I recently bought my dream home–a tiny little cottage right on the edge of a beautiful lake. I had never thought I would be able to afford one before, and so I asked the real estate agent why the price was so low. The property was certainly older and smaller, but none of it looked in very rough shape. Sure it needed a little TLC, but it was far from needing a complete renovation. She explained the no one wanted a house this small on such a small plot of plan. Previous buyers wanted to expand it, but the plot of land wouldn’t allow for it, and no further plots were for sale. Secondly, the HVAC system was on its last leg. The place had been empty for so long that it would either need to be repaired or replaced. Well, I decided to buy it anyway, by talking to them lowering the price just by another five thousand. I then spoke to an HVAC company about coming by to do a walk through. They did agree with the real estate agent that the central air plan would have to go–even the duct work was going to need repairs. But the cottage was so small, I asked about ductless HVAC. It would take work, but they agreed they could put in a ductless mini split system such as a heat pump. It took a lot of work to remove the ductwork, but in the end I was able to do what none of the previous buyers could–I made more square footage. Removing the ductwork freed up a great deal of space, and even gave me taller ceilings. Next year, I’m using my tax return to add a loft.