Okay - I'm taking another leap of faith here...
I placed an online ad for the spare bedroom today. Basically, I will be providing a free room, with all utilities paid, and in exchange, this person will help me fix-up the house. (Actually, there is another project that they are going to help me with, but I'm going to keep that one a secret for now). I'm limiting the contract to 9 months, which should mean that all work will be finished by end of year; long before the 360-day deadline.
This is a big step, but if my goal is to really turn this fantasy into a reality, then I have to do this, and I have to get started right away. I'll probably spend the next week or two interviewing candidates. Wish me luck.