I made a number of house hunting trips to Nelson before finally moving here.
Nelson has a high number of stunning turn of the century villas set within immaculate gardens, none of which I could afford. I was looking for a more modest older house that I could weave a little magic on. I had my eye on a small house near the beach, but then discovered it had compliance issues which the vendors weren’t willing to negotiate over. So having already sold in Wanaka with the moving van booked, I potentially had nowhere to move to. I had just three days in which to decide what to do, or the problematic beach house would be mine.
So I looked online, saw a property which I thought might do and asked the estate agent for a floor plan. I was sent the footprint of the house and pulling out some graph paper I spent an hour that evening drawing up the house plans. Half the night flew by as I redrew the house, remaking the interior spaces as well as adding a garage and an entire new wing plus a large deck.
Splendid, I thought, and come morning I placed an offer which was accepted. Had a building inspection done and by afternoon the house was mine.
One month later I drove up to Nelson with my sleeping bag and vacuum cleaner in the car. The following morning my furniture arrived and the next year was typical hell of living in one room of the house while renovations went ahead, plus a pup and then a kitten joined the family.
The house still isn’t quite finished; there is some painting, some tiling and some landscaping to finish, but everything else is done. The house was built in the late 1880’s and is now fully modernised with new everything – roof, plumbing, wiring, double glazed windows, solar hot water, kitchen, bathrooms. I am proud to say most visitors can’t tell which is new and which is original.
The house has now become a home.