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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Start-up Decisions... WWYD?
themoorethemerrier 01:03 PM 09-27-2011
I'm getting to the wire here and I need as much advice as possible!

License is under way for group family dc. We've got a huge demand, so I was approached by our CCR&R to open up a dc. We plan to specialize in school-age children or those that attend morning preK or Head Start and will offer a summer "farm to fork" program.

Once we have more dck than I can have alone (which is 6 because 2 of mine are under school age), my hubs is jumping on as my assistant. We'll be making more than he does now at his job and we also have a small farm income. We've been "tightening our belt" for the last 6 months in prep for this and the only debt we have is our mortgage.

We bought our house 6 years ago and there are still things that we have had to wrok on. Now our indoor dc space, the living room and kitchen, is already feeling a bit tight. I have a few options:

1. Spend $40K to put the master bedroom in the basement to open up that room for a homeschooling/reading room with a large toy closet (locked!) put on a large dining room, dc-exclusive entry room for dck belongings and needed forms, paperwork, binders, etc. as well as a pantry/mudroom for just us (that would be a dream come true for mommy since all the boots, coats and cold would stay in there!) On a whole, this is our vision for the future since we know that we will have to expand enough to accomodate our maximum amount of children.

2. Spend $20K to enclose the porch for a combined dc entry and pantry (not my dream come true I sound like such a pampered baby! ) and start putting the master bedroom in the basement and all the other things on the must-do list.

3. Spend $10K to enclose the porch for the combined dc entry and pantry (it has to be done) the the must do list.

We like to be more DIYers, but Kev has a job and farm work along side of my homeschooling and dc, so it's just not practical unless we want to wait three years to get the dc going.

Our other thought is that if we wait, when we will get this done? How do you get improvements done with kids there?!

I think that's all the pertinent information. So, WWYD?

(Sorry to be blowing up the site with all my gazillion questions! )
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Blackcat31 02:09 PM 09-27-2011
Do you by chance have anyone you can maybe barter with?

When my Dh and I built our home I traded childcare services to a current dcd who did tile installation by trade. He came out to our house and tiled everything and then gave me a bill. I credited that amount to his daycare balance. No money out of either pocket.

I don't know if it is something that would work for you or not but thought I would suggest it.
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MarinaVanessa 02:26 PM 09-27-2011
I think that you should think about what will work better for you in the long run. If you both want to do the $40,000 items then that's what you should do however why not do one project at a time?

From personal experience, what we did was figure out what we wanted to do to our home and DC space and (because we did not have all of the money up front and had to save for each project) every year we did one room/project. We made sure that the entire project was finished before we started a new project and that made everything so much less stressfull. The one time we took on two projects at the same time we replaced all of our windows (to special windows that protect us all from UV rays) and renovated the kitchen (to give us more storage and kid friendly space) and it was a MESS. I do not recommend it.

All in all if you are going to make changes to the structure of your home and you have already decided that you are NEVER going to move out, then have at it, otherwise think about the changes you are planning and how they will translate to resale value. Will having a second entry be appealing to a homebuyer interested in your home? Will your family's mud room and it's location increase the value of your home? Can having a finished basement for your master bedroom increase your chances of selling your home? Will it have it's own bathroom and can you then advertise that space to potential buyers as potential rental income?

It seems to me that you have your heart set on the 1st option. If you choose one of the other options will you be happy with your home and business? Lots to think about.

I do like the idea of bartering services. Maybe you can do that to lower your out of pocket expenses.
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themoorethemerrier 07:45 PM 09-27-2011
I like the idea of bartering!!!

We are NEVER going to move - I hate packing. Seriously, never. Still, my mother is a real estate agent and she was saying that it would bring up the value of our house (the basement could not be used as a rental space due to the set-up, even though it will have a bathroom), but not that it mattered right now in our market.

I do really want to just get it done even though the cost scares me, but maybe the one project at a time might be our best bet.

There is so much to consider, a little too much I think...
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Crystal 08:36 PM 09-27-2011
You seem pretty certain about the demand and that you will fill your spaces quickly. I would start advertising and set up a waitlist, giving an anticipated opening date to anyone interested in being on your list. This will give you a real idea of how many clients you can expect from the beginning.

THEN I would decide which way to go with the renovations. If it looks like your going to fill spaces quickly, then you'll have a pretty good idea if you will be able to afford the payment on a $40,000 loan. If it doesn't look like you'll fill spaces quickly enoogh, go with one of the other options.

Personally, I would really try to swing the entire project at once if at all possible.
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