You got the "complicate" part exactamundo right. This is the first house where we have been relaxed and happy. Everybody has their space for their thing and it all can go on simultaneously, and as long as most of the household members follow my house rule of not dragging one room's stuff into another room (as all the rooms are dedicated to a particular kind of activity), house does very well. We even have a wrap-around porch for sitting and stuff (we have a grill in one corner) even if the weather isn't that great. Hubby and I love thunderstorms - I learned to love them in TX and he in flat-old IN.
My aunt renovated an old house - and spent almost twice what she would have had she torn it down and started over. She wanted to preserve a bit of history, be green and recycle/reuse, and all that jazz, but the house needed an incredible amount of renovation to bring it up to code, and just to fix stuff in general, so she didn't really have a choice but to spend the dough once she got started. You are smart for pricing it out.
I went to the link. Very cool! I didn't catch the beachy thing at first going on at your place - I can now see the draw. Being American, I think you know that kind of soulless suburban every-house-looks-like-another development sprawl I mean. I could totally dig a neighborhood where each house had individual character, but coming from NJ, that isn't what you mostly find there nowadays (or in suburban OH, either), and I wanted out of that.
I have something else for you: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Let me know what you think!