We have owned this beautiful, Victorian property since Halloween 2021. In two years we've made a lot of progress, reached a lot of milestones, and learned a lot of lessons. The project has, of course, had some surprises, which have put things behind schedule.
SOME OF OUR SETBACKS HAVE INCLUDED:
THE WRITERS STRIKE > A steady portion of the income funding our monthly expenses was from film and television productions. Since the Writers Guild of America went on strike in May 2023, our high-budget rentals have dried up. The strike seems slated to continue through spring 2024, which puts real strain on us entering winter, which is our the most expensive operating season.
CHALLENGES UNIQUE TO THE OLD PROPERTY > Although we did our due diligence before purchase, there were still surprises. Such as:
PIPES > When we began work on the plumbing, behind the walls we found an undulating, Seussian, labyrinth of pipes and fixtures, fused and Frankensteined from eras and standards spanning 133 years. During the sudden deep freeze of November 2022, in-spite of our preparations, some of the pipes burst, setting us back months in repairs.
TREES > Although many of the trees on the property looked healthy on initial assessment, during heavy winds branches started falling down. Fortunately, there were no injuries, and no damage to the vehicles or structures. Experts taught us how to identify neglected trees, and a team of arborists safely brought down the most dangerous of the dead trees in Spring 2022. This work saved us and the property from potential ruin, but the unexpected cost set back our interior renovation timelines.
TECH INDUSTRY LAYOFFS > Tech companies laid off more than 300,000 employees in the first half of 2023. Digital nomads, who previously accounted for a percentage of our operating costs, have become increasingly sparse. But more critically, our primary funder, who has been covering all monthly budget shortfalls out-of-pocket, was downsized from a tech-industry job this summer, which tied our hands and forced us to lay off our renovations contractors. This has halted almost all renovation progress, as the job search continues.