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