Spoiler Alert.  We humans come in different forms, and we have different needs and wants.  There, we’ve said it out loud and now you know what we know.  You can if you so wish, call it a day and move on to something more interesting instead.

So, what does this have to do with bricks and mortar or slabs of concrete? Property is never, ever, one shoe fits all.  Nor is it Tony Stark’s mansion, a non-existent Malibu mansion.  Some of our clients have deep and strong feelings to own a new build, a never lived in property with a guarantee. Whereas some, they want, they need and desire the feeling to reform or renovate and, in some cases, they want the big one, a restoration project.

Is there a difference between a reform a renovation or a restoration?  In simple terms, yes. If you sat down and thought about it for long enough, the difference between a children’s story book and Tolstoy’s War and Peace.  Bottom line, the difference is time and money.

Reforms are projects that are deemed straightforward.  A new kitchen or bathroom.  Maybe an outside terrace.  A new floor here or there.  Chances are you could see workmen for a few months off and on and you’ve spent (all dependent on what and with whom and to what taste) 10-50,000Euros less or more.

Renovation and restoration are in this writer’s mind one and the same.  Renovation is the non-emotional version of restoration which is the romantic term for lots of time and money.

For those considering a restoration or renovation, please tread carefully.  Consider your own abilities to carry out works or the capacity you have for builders, management thereof, buying materials or just going the distance, the time it will take to get to the end.  Restoration is very much for the patient and those with deeper pockets.

If properties were a classic car, you could call the endeavour a romance of rust.  That feeling of restoring something back to its former glory or to enhance the glory that was into something better, more appealing, and hopefully, eminently useable.

In the same way a classic car enthusiast takes on a daunting, often time and money consuming project knowingly accepting financial and emotional loss, a restoration of a country farmhouse or gentlemen’s type residence in the heart of a community is for many, the same misguided adventure.    It is for those who dream of romance, not of the flesh, not of rust, but of dust.

The romantically inclined will try and reduce, often they seduce the time it will take to complete and the overall cost to justify this purchase of what is ultimately, property madness.  They will often have strong arguments with their non-emotional and non-believing friends, family, and partners.  The restoration hungry property restorer sees nothing but, property love.  Please forgive them.

That said, if the property is where you wish to live for the remainder of your life, or it holds a special (romantic or emotional) connection to the past or your future and you know what it is you are getting into, then GO FOR IT.

As a fellow classic car lover and restorer of such money pits, I say live your dream and let no one stop you.  For those that try to convince you otherwise, they will waste their good time.

For those interested in looking at or exploring reform, renovation or restoration projects give the G-Team a call and let us be your devil’s advocate.  For as we have seen more than once, someone must keep a hand on the reigns, and we have been known to do it rather well.

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