Reno going slow, and why that’s GREAT

Reno going slow, and why that’s GREAT

A positive heading, should have been easy to write, right?

WRONG, it took me most of this afternoon to stop dwelling on what I perceived as a dismal lack of progress in the last fortnight.

I was disappointed in how little I had achieved since I last blogged. I was annoyed at myself for letting stuff get in the way, diverting my focus away from my reno research.

How wrong I was, taking the time to look for anything positive in the last fortnight made me realise that I had made all the right choices and achieved amazing things. More on that and the amazing cover photo, that I took, later.

Why was I being so hard on myself?

What led to me think I was a disappointment? I could be here for hours, so to spare you some pain I’ll focus on 2 main areas:

  • Comparisons – one of the most self destructive things we do to ourselves
  • The importance of “stuff” – it didn’t get in the way, I chose this stuff

Why is it so dangerous to compare yourself?

I am watching my “school” group post pictures of the progress they are making, purchasing properties, before and after photos of renovations, and I love them. I find the photo’s both inspiring and educational, which is where I should stop.

Instead I compare my progress to their’s and berate myself for being “behind”! I have somehow decided it’s a race, and I am coming a distant last. No prizes for me.

This is why comparisons are dangerous, you decide you are competing with someone, anyone, everyone, and most competitions have winners and losers, with you choosing yourself as the loser.

I had to remember that everyone started reno school at different stages and for different reasons. Some people were renovating the family home, some were renovating an existing investment property to improve the rental return, some had just purchased a property to renovate, and then some were like me. Newbies, with this glorious blank canvas to play with. What a great place to be, the opportunities are endless.

I acknowledged that everyone’s circumstances are different, and I don’t know the stories, challenges, hardships, highs and lows that got these amazing people to where they are.

I also need to have some self compassion and priase for me. I work full time, I provide an amazing life for a very spoilt dog, Hugo the wonder pug, I exercise, run an amazing female wine tasting group that connects people, and I make time for my friends and family. I’m doing amazing stuff. Which brings me to……….

The importance of stuff!

We hear people say it all the time “life got in the way” and we make it sound like life, or stuff, is such an imposition. What was this stuff that I chose to do in the last fortnight? Let’s be clear, these were my choices, this stuff did not just happen to get in the way!

I caught up with a close friend, not on Facebook, not on email, Skype or a phone call. An old school face to face catch up, in Darwin, a flight of over 4 hours. A long weekend catch up that was full of laughs, food, wine, music, dancing and more laughs, mostly at my dancing!

Relationships and personal connections are the building blocks to a happy healthy whole me, and it’s important not to get so caught up in my goals that I let relationships slide.

I also got back to nature, hiking the beautiful Sydney harbour and coastal walks that I am lucky enough to have on my doorstop, perfect training for the Inca trail that I will tackle in August. More important than the physical benefits is how much calmer and more positive I feel after a hike in nature.

Now to that photo, the only photo that is needed in this post. This is Berry Springs in the NT, and the recuperative power of water is amazing. I thought paddling and floating around in the natural pools was relaxing and energising,  until I found the amazing effects of a 30 minute waterfall massage. All the tension, anxiety and stress I had been holding in my body was kneaded away by the power of water.

I highly recommend finding a waterfall and getting a massage, handy hint, wear bathers with strong elastic, quite a few fish are now in therapy.

Thanks to nature my body and mind are in the perfect state, ready to tackle anything.

I am really happy, I am exactly where I need to be, my reno is going at exactly the right pace, for me. Now that wasn’t so hard to write, right?




Flippin Heck

Flippin Heck

After my first instalment you have probably lost countless hours of sleep desperately seeking answers to the following cliffhangers:

  • Did *wealthy chick #1 purchase the ‘70’s retro apartment in North Sydney?
  • Did wealthy chick #1 get over her inability to ask for help?
  • Did wealthy chick #1 find research interesting and sexy?

* Wealthy chick #1 is what I will be calling myself from now on until I absolutely, totally believe it. Feel free to use wealthy chick #2 to infinity if this helps you believe you are, and deserve to be, a wealthy chick.

I’ll give you back your sleep, here are the answers and I have mixed up the order because I can and it keeps you on your toes.

Did wealthy chick #1 get over her inability to ask for help?

If we go back to the last instalment we learnt that this” asking for help” gig is not a quick fix, it’s a process and all processes have stages, they take time, and I am on stage 1. Okay, okay the short answer is no.

I have, however, been delighted to discover that when I talk about my renovation goals and limitations, people freely offer their help and advice. I have put aside my worries about sounding stupid, listened avidly, asked questions and accepted generous offers of help.

Did wealthy chick #1 find research interesting and sexy?

Bah ha ha, tummy hurts from laughing. On a serious note this leads me to the title, I went “back to School”, the fantastic School of Renovating, as education is key to conducting the right research.


I was the cool chick sitting at the back of the classroom, texting the cute guy, getting straight A’s. Reality is I got the start time wrong, was late on day 1, got the last seat, at the back, and I was not texting cute guys. If there was an exam I am sure I would have got an A, a B+, did I at least pass with 51%?

I loved going back to school, aside from still not being the cool chick, when, when will this happen? I dutifully attended my lessons, loved learning from the generous Bernadette Janson and met an awesome group of people who are also renovating.

I still don’t find research “Brad Pitt” sexy, but it is certainly far more interesting to know what to research and why.

Did wealthy chick #1 purchase the 70’s retro apartment in North Sydney?

70 kitchen

Actual photo, and what renovator can resist orange 70’s wallpaper, in the kitchen, where all good orange wallpaper should be, matched with green tiled counter tops? Swirly shag carpet, blue tiles in the bathroom, all beautifully squished in to under 40 square metres, totally irresistible.

The answer, “groovy baby”, no-one could resist this, and even better there were two apartments in the same complex, so the next obvious question is, should I buy and renovate two, at the same time?

Whoa wealthy chick #1, let’s slow down on the action and dial up the research.

I used the skills I acquired at “school”, asked for help from a friend that led to me touching base with my banker and decided North Sydney and properties this small do not fit my renovating goal of making a profit.

Asking for help reminded me that most banks have restrictions on lending to properties <50 square metres. The same restrictions will apply to my potential buyers, so asking for help and research does work. Thankfully, or the “research” theme running through my first blog was looking rather silly.

My first auction – and a fleeting pat on the back for me


I decided not to let the groovy apartments go to waste and I went to my first property auction. With no intention to buy I was still worried my random hand waving would result in a successful bid! Relief, you have to register and get a numbered card to bid, hand waving problem solved.

Is this proof that some of my fears about renovating are just in my head, and don’t match reality? Interesting, we’ll explore that in later instalments.

The property expected to sell for $380k to $418k. If I was bidding I would be happy to pay up to $380k. The bidding starts at $350k and quickly gets to $370k, where it’s passed in. Auction over, not nearly as exciting as a TV auction and I felt underwhelmed.

I later learnt the property sold for $380,500, and I felt quite proud, and smart,  like really SMART, that my instincts for price were spot on.

Fast forward a week, official interest rates are cut by 0.25% and the second apartment is auctioned and sells for $458k! Are you kidding me, it’s nearly the same apartment, in the same ’70’s condition, granted it’s a curable condition, but one that requires a financial injection.


I no longer felt proud or smart, so I am back to worrying that Sydney prices will defeat my renovation dream. I am planning my pity party, and you are all invited, although with my readership of 1 it’s a party for me and my Mum!

STOP, it’s hammer time! I go back to research, back to positive thinking and most importantly I stop putting unnecessary time restrictions on when I have to buy and renovate a property.

I absolutely agree that goal setting works well when you have a date to achieve the goal, although as an action person this wealthy chick needs more self- love and will no longer be so hard on myself when I don’t meet my manufactured and unrealistic timeframe.

Epic pity party cancelled, invites revoked, sorry Mum, another time. The quest to find the perfect renovation property continues.

See you on the renovation flipside.

PS: a recent quote that I think we can all learn from:

“Worry is the Imagination used Poorly”