Kelly and Rick's (Hopefully) New Digs.

I like stories, so bare with me a second.  A few months ago a realtor told me about a property that sounded interesting.  After about three months of trying to get the realtor to show us the property with no luck we decided (with the little information we had) to go out and try to find it.  After an hour or so of driving we found it, knocked on the door and introduced ourselves.  We knew before the owner even opened the door that we wanted this place.  The land was amazing and had such wonderful energy.  The owner opened the door and showed us around and we fell more in love with the place.  It's not perfect, the land is a bit smaller than we want and the houses (did I say there were two on it) were smaller than we would like, and not quite the way we want, but it's very nice and well within our price range.  I have been looking for land for a bit over a year, sometimes seriously, sometimes not.  This is far better than anything else I have seen in this price range.

Since the land has two houses and room to grow I'm hoping this can be the start of a small community. This could be a place to test our ideas and let them incubate for a few years while we learn, grow and work on the property.  Then in a few years it can be an investment for a larger community property.
The week after we met with the owner we set up a long appointment with her and my builder friend Dave (AKA - Da' Moose).  We went and combed over the place very thoroughly.  I forgot to bring a camera, but while Kelly and I were talking with the homeowner my friend Dave snapped a few pictures.  He didn't take many pictures but I'm very thankful for what I have.  Unfortunately I don't have any good close-ups of the houses or the back side of the property. If I can get back with a camera I will take more shots. I will try to narrate the land/houses from the pictures I have.  I re-scaled these to 1024x768 and cranked up the compression to 20 on Paint Shop Pro.  This gives a very good image, yet is more manageable.  Warning it is still a big file to download (especially if you are on a modem).  If you need a better shot (1800x1200 no compression) or smaller files e-mail me.

The land is on Gouges Branch road, which is off of NewFound Rd., which is about 10 minutes out side of Asheville on Leicester Highway.    Most of the land around the area is plowed farmland, but we found a nice oasis of hardwood trees (many types), bamboo, ivy, Mountain Laurel, Dogwood, Azalea, Magnolia, moss, fairies and gnomes all nestled into the hills.  The land is full of many varieties of flowering trees and plants (I wish I had some of the summer pictures the owner showed us to scan in here).  The land has been lovingly cared for by a woman of such wonderful energy who gave this land and houses such a magical property.  Perhaps the first clue that this place had the right energy was the sign at the driveway as we approached.   This is the view from the South Side Driveway.  You can just barely see one of the houses from this picture.

Sign from the Road.  The white flags are part of an electronic dog fence that surrounds the property.
Serendipity, "The Faculty of making fortunate discoveries, of things that you were not looking for, by accident."  I like this, good thought to move forward on.  Rather how we found this place to begin with, and hopefully what it will provide to to others as time goes on.  Perhaps we will keep the name.  Serendipity community anyone?

This is the view from the driveway on the south side of the of the property.  The property is about one and a half acres.   The land was settled and the houses built about 35 years ago.   Apparently it was logged for hardwoods to make money for building in it's early days, so while it is rich in trees and vegetation, the trees all average only about a foot in diameter and are young.  From this view you can see the two roundettes.  The closer one is on stilts.  It has 10 sides and is 26 feet across.  It has a fireplace, single bedroom and large walk in closet.  A deck wraps around about just over half the house with an deck overhang on most of it.  Each Roundette has it's own septic but they share a common well.  The fence is a small dog kennel.

This is a second view from the south side driveway.  You can see the kitchen window and the fireplace to the left with the second roundette in the background. 

The property has two addresses and two driveways.  This is the view from road at the gate to the north side driveway.  You can see the second  roundette at the end of the  drive.

This is the view from just inside the gate of the north driveway.  The view is looking south.  This is the second roundette.  It is smaller than the first.  It is only 21 feet across, but has an almost full basement.  The basement was half finished at one time. It is now a laundry and storage room but has finished walls and ceiling in half of it. This roundette is on a full foundation. There is a poured floor and full height basement under about 3/4 of the space.  The other 1/4 is accessible on a "shelf" from the main basement.  It's dirt floor and block walls are about 3 feet above the main floor.  This roundette is set up as an efficiency with no dedicated bedroom.  Part of the deck (the side facing this picture) has been enclosed to make a sleeping nook of about 12'x8'.  The nook is external to the main diameter of the house.  This roundette also has a fireplace and a second chimney to the basement for a wood heater.  The deck circles about half the roundette.

This is the view from the road of the south driveway.  The houses are nicely nestled into the woods behind the road.  Notice that the houses are pretty well hidden from the road.  In the summer months they will not be visible from the road.

This is the view from the road midway between the two roundettes.  You can barely see them from the road in the winter.  In the summer they will be fully hidden.  The roundettes are in the front of the yard.  Most of the land is behind the roundettes.  I have no pictures to show it, but the land gently slopes down to a valley about 3/4 the way back and then gently slopes up.  All the land is easily buildable.  There are no wet spots and drainage looks good.  There is a small tree buffer on the south and east side of the land.  The north side has a large buffer of, perhaps, 10 acres.  The current home owner has not seen the owners of the north property in the 35 years she has been there so this could be good land to expand on.

This is the view looking south (and slightly west) from the south driveway. The land across the road is a large horse farm.   That is Haywood county in the background.  I do not know what peak that is but it would be in the direction of Mt.  Pisgah.  It is in the Starnes Cove area

Another shot from the middle of the properties looking west across the horse farm.

So that's the place.  Right now we are discussing logistics, sharing and learning how to buy a house.  Neither us or the seller has any experience in this and we are trying to plow though this together without a
realtor.  The home owner has clicked well with us.  We trust her and we get along great.  I think she feels much better selling the property to us as she seems to like our energy and we are willing to work with her simple needs.  The last person interested in purchasing scared her with there energy and intentions.  The property is not currently listed and we think we are lucky to find this place before it went on the market.  Our building friend thought it would get snatched the day it went on the market.  He also seems excited and just a little envious about this property which has surprised me greatly. I believe his words are we are crazy if we don't buy it and if we don't he will.  He as agreed to help us fix it up and make the changes we are after.  This also has surprised me since he lives about two hours drive from the property.  He has been and immense help and full of great ideas on how to make more of the land while preserving the feel and intention of the space.  I am looking forward to him participating and teaching us as we undertake this endeavor.

BA-DEEP BA-DEEP Dats All Folks (anyone got an extra $100k burning a hole in there pocket).

Stay tuned.

  Kelly and Rick

Last Updated 02/23/04