Friday, January 9, 2015

House Hunters

I've mentioned before how we have been seeking a way to abandon our lives as we know them and relocate our little family to eastern Tennessee. While we work on sorting out the details behind the scenes, we are both actively seeking properties we may be interested in online. We are always checking out real estate apps/sites looking for our dream home.
There are 3 few important factors to our house hunt:
1. Schools must be well rated. Ryan just started middle school this year and it can be very challenging to find well rated schools in very rural locations. This is definitely proving to be an obstacle. I would not be opposed to home schooling however if I did not have to work outside the home.
2. The property must have at least 5+ acres. Charlie would buy 100 acres if I let him but he forgets that we might need to maintain more of it than is physically possible. He also forgets that we have to pay for this property and more acreage could = more $$$$.
3. Speaking of paying for our dream home, I want it to be a situation where we buy outright or it is so cheap that we maintain virtually no overhead. I would be fine with buying a horrendous dump for chump change and fix it up. Charlie isn't so sure about that. Regardless, we are on the same page about a mortgage. I view this tactic as part of our retirement plan. Also, minimal overhead may mean that I will not have to work outside the home which could possibly help factor number 1.

So now that you have a little idea of where our heads are, I thought it would be fun to share our house hunt with you! I am going to feature listings that have caught our eye, share photos and the pros and cons and let you guys even put your two cents in through the comments. I know, I know, it's like Christmas all over again! 
The idea came to me when I posted this picture of a listing Charlie sent me on Instagram and it generated a bunch of comments. I think it's the perfect house to start with. Not only because you guys seemed to like it, but I really, really, REALLY like this one. Like A LOT. So does the entire family. But before I share anything else, let's take a peek, shall we?

Built in 1809, this show stopper is in Fountain Inn, SC. This puts it a mere 50 miles from Charlie's parents and the Cabin In The Woods. Fountain Inn had only 6000 some odd residents in the 2010 census, has well rated schools and the lowest crime rate in it's county.
The house has been completely remodeled and updated and even has a partial slate roof. It sits on 3.62 acres and comes with a barn.
Want to see more?

rear view

side view

front side view

view from upper balcony - look no neighbors!!!! woot!

 you all obviously know what this is

downstairs hallway
downstairs hallway to front door

front rooms

the kitchen - i wouldn't change a thing

 another kitchen view because really, i love it

and another because have i mentioned, i love it?

master bedroom - i die.

 master bath

one of the 4 bedrooms

I mean, really. It's easy to see why this one has stolen my heart.
Because I am so in love here are the pros:

1. It was built in 1809 - I would prefer to buy something pre 1970's - I am all about character and quirks.
2. It has been completely updated. Other than changing some of the paint colors, it is move in ready. Our furnishing and decor would accentuate this home beautifully. This house is really "my style".
3. That kitchen. Wait. Let me say it again. THAT KITCHEN. That is all.
4. Schools are rated well and that crime rate thing.
5. It's rural - I mean, look at that balcony shot. No neighbors and I love that idea.
6. Fireplaces in every single room. Need I say more?
7. Have I mentioned that kitchen?
8. It's huge. Measuring in at 3800 square feet there is a ton of room for us and any guests we would have. 90% of guests would be traveling in excess of 12 hours by car.
9. It is only 50 miles from my in laws. Charlie and his dad are like BFF's and his folks are not getting any younger. 50 miles vs. a 12 hour drive is pretty good.
10. It is only 197 miles from my mom in NC. About a 3 hour drive. We are a 9 hour drive apart now. Much, much closer.

But nothing is ever perfect so here are the cons:

1. It is not in Tennessee. I repeat; it is not in Tennessee. I don't know if I can settle for that.
2. It's huge. Do we want something so large being that the kids are so much older?
3. The price. We can afford it for sure but not without a normal people mortgage. And I don't know if that amazing kitchen can trump that for me.
4. It's only on 3.62 acres. Again, I don't know about that with the dreams we have in our hearts for utilizing our land and growing our own food.
5. It is not in Tennessee. And I don't see any mountains in the distance.

So there you have it. 
10 pros and only 5 cons.
But the 5 cons are pretty big ones.

What do you think?


  1. The house is beautiful! Is it haunted? lol. I adore old homes. Your cons are big ones. Are you willing to move out of Tennessee? That seems like the biggest issue.

    1. Cherre,
      Don't laugh but I think about the haunted thing a lot. I grew up in a house that had some "issues" so that is on the forefront of my mind. I already googled to ensure that no Civil War battles took place in that vicinity. ;)

    2. Now that's hilarious! I don't know if I would have thought of that, but that's a good one

  2. So you need this house moved to Tennessee? Lol! Love it! And love real estate watching! Will be fun to see what you find!

    1. Yes we do! If it was affordable, I would just lift our current house up and take it with us to be honest. Glad you will be following along on our adventure. :)

  3. The only thing that I can say is that the house looks amazing Eleanor!

    Wishing you lots of fun visiting all those beautiful houses.

    Madelief x

  4. Good gracious, what a house, what a decision. Nothing wrong with NW SC, for sure! It's a beautiful area, and you ARE in driving distance of the mountains at least. However, there is something special about looking out your window and seeing mountain ranges.

    What's the sticking point with Tennessee? Just curious.

    1. The house is indeed amazing and no, there is nothing wrong with NW SC, we are in Pickens about twice a year as it is and goodness knows I do love it there.
      I can't actually put my finger on what it is about Tennessee but I simply love it. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I am there. Like I am home, but not. It's hard to explain. The only other places I have ever felt like that with are Ireland and Maine and if given the chance would move to either one in a flash. In fact, we always thought we would end up living in Maine but with the parents in the Carolinas and the whole aging thing we think it may be better in the long run to be closer to them.
      The plus side to this particular house is that it is only 20 miles out of Greenville so for job purposes it is not so remote that it would be a challenge to get to work.
      I also fully plan on taking you up on your knowledge - I haven't forgotten your offer! We should be heading down in a few months to do some serious searching so I will be in touch.

  5. It really is pretty and looks well taken care of. You might not have mountains but look at the privacy, Wow!!! I would love you to be 3 hours away!!!!

    1. And just think of what I would do to that house at Christmas time! I can close my eyes and see us side by side in that kitchen cooking Christmas dinner! xo

  6. Thanks for sharing your house hunting adventure! The house looks lovely! And thankfully it's been renovated, because that is a pretty old house!

    My only suggestion is to take a trip and actually see the house and the neighborhood. Just because there aren't any Tennessee mountains, there might be some awesome parks or open space right near by. AND, there could be another 5 acres for sale right down the road that doesn't have a house, so it might not show up online. You can also do a lot with 3+ acres.

    Go check it out! You might love it just as much as Tennessee...

    1. Hi Johanna!
      My mother in law actually has a friend in that town and she is planning on doing a drive by and staking/stalking it for us. We will probably be at the cabin in a few months so if it is still on the market we can check it out in person then. :)

  7. Also being 3ish hours away from the goodness that is the SC Lowcountry...I say stop thinking and buy it! Haha don't you love it how easy other people's decisions are? Looks like a really great house. And so nice to be so much closer to family. And you're right-would be SO much fun to decorate at Christmas! Then you could come visit me when I'm in Hilton Head and we can share our secrets to Holiday dictatorship :)

    1. Having been born and raised in a seaside town all my life I will probably need to take you up on that Hilton Head offer. Especially once we landlock ourselves and the ocean is no longer a few minutes drive away. :)

  8. Hi,
    I have been reading your blog on an off for a few months, I like your style of being down to earth! It is so refreshing! I had not commented on any posts before, but just needed to comment on this one.
    The house is amazing! That kitchen itself is amazing! I do hope you find the house of your dreams ;)

    (P.S. myself and family moved to California from NY and is looking for the house of our dreams also).

    1. Hi Bea!
      Thanks for following along. House hunting is so much fun. I usually only do it voyeuristically with the show and stuff but now that it has turned into a possible reality for us it is really exciting. The only problem is sometimes I am so busy mentally decorating and furnishing prospective properties that I am easily swayed by aesthetics. Like that kitchen. Gah!
      Good luck in your house hunt - sunny California is a big change from the currently cold, dank East Coast. I'm jealous! :)