A Little Cabin in the Woods

Success in selling a home seems to lie within the art of ‘staging’ so that the decor is bland, and impersonal – appealing to the widest audience of buyers. On the opposite side of the transaction, the buyer must do their best to look past the seller’s decor and picture that home as their own. I’ve learned this over and over through the years from both sides of the transaction. Even still. . .

We had only seen our little cabin once before we extended an offer and sent earnest money to seal the deal, and the day had finally arrived to make that little cabin our own. A walk-through was scheduled for 8am last Thursday where we would inspect the property once more. This was also our opportunity to meet with a contractor to set about updating the little place. Our agent arranged everything. She also reserved her vacation rental in town for us to spend the night before closing.

imageMy husband put the address into GPS, and it announced each turn well in advance. After 3 hours of driving, the last turn came where a lovely rock wall lined the drive. At the top of this beautiful drive sat a stately, turn of the century home. I said to my husband, “This can’t be it. We’ve missed a turn somewhere.” We drove back to the main road, counted the house numbers back up, and landed on that lovely drive once again. We searched the woods for a little “vacation” cabin, but arrived at the same beautiful, old home. I told my husband, “This is our luckiest day.”


imagePreservation Stay, Waynesville NC (see the whole house here).

She didn’t take us seriously…

The dogs explored outside while we took in every room of this beautiful home sitting gracefully atop a hill with views of the town of Waynesville down below. Christmas decorations still lit the streets of this quaint mountain town, and it was the most romantic place on earth. We wrote our agent and said we had changed our minds. We wanted to buy this house!

On Thursday morning we made our way to the little cabin. Our agent arrived first and took the weight of the initial blow on our behalf. The sellers had not moved out.

Boxes sat on the porch, furniture occupied each room. . . clothes, junk, food in the pantry, cobwebs covering the chandeliers. Everything remained staged just as it had been for the past 20, maybe 30 years. I was going to take a picture, but it would have scared us right out of our minds, and I decided to leave well enough alone.

We moved the dilemma to the attorney’s office where the seller’s agent was summoned by phone. Eventually, everything worked out and our little cabin is finally a clean slate, so to speak.

The seller kindly left the blueprints of a renovation started many years ago, but never quite finished. Perhaps the best part of renovating is studying blueprints, tracing paper and ruler in hand ready to document a new design. Already, we have torn down walls, moved doors, and re-arranged the kitchen – all on my tracing paper.

Our little cabin in the woods. . . a house full of potential!


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