The House That Changed Everything

Our agent emailed a picture of a house to us last February. The subject line said, “This might be the one!” We had put our dream home in the mountains of Western North Carolina on the market a few weeks earlier having made the decision to move ourselves to the beautiful city of Greensboro, North Carolina.

It would be a gross misrepresentation if I admitted to you now that my husband was anything less than furious when I had said to him, “What if we moved to a larger city?” For several weeks I failed miserably at answering his question, “Why?” He remained reluctant through the entire house hunting phase until we walked through the front doors of this lovely, old home. This home changed everything.

We bought the house as-is. There was no inspection, no need for due diligence really. Bees had set up residence in the 3rd floor bedroom walls, the kitchen flooded when the water was re-connected, the key broke off in the back door when we tried to escape the flooding kitchen, yet it was the garden that frightened my husband more than anything we faced inside the house. It was perfect.

The previous owners had left a note on the counter wishing for us all the same happiness they had enjoyed here for nearly 50 years. After four months of renovations that took the house down to its bare bones, we had created the perfect home. We moved in the first week of the hottest August I’ve ever met.

We had barely gotten unpacked and settled when the doctors discovered his cancer. Working our way through this experience made us realize life is short, and ultimately the same question entered our discussions again. “What if . . . ?”

It was after we had bought a little cabin in the mountains to escape the summer heat that I discovered the answer to my husband’s question of Why? It seemed to me our move to Greensboro had served its purpose, to discover and treat the cancer all previous doctors had missed, and now it was time to go home.

On May 4th we put our lovely, old home up for sale. May 6th it went under contract, although that contract was sadly terminated on the 24th. After a 10-day silence, the 3rd person to see this house extended our 2nd offer, and we finalized the deal on June 24th.

Every square inch of this nearly 100-year old home was poked and prodded; every nook and cranny analyzed, discussed, and debated. There were a few surprises. For example, excessive moisture was creeping under the foundation courtesy of the torrential downpours we’ve had all summer. Due Diligence deadlines came, went, were extended, and sometimes extended themselves all on their own. Experts were consulted, repair lists amended. All the while, we waited. It was on July 4th when my husband said to me, “We should write a book on how to inject stress into life.”

We became experts on the installation of a French Drain, compiled a thoughtful reply to our Buyer’s list of concerns, and fiinally finalized the deal four days ago. This weekend our belongings will be moved back to the mountains. . . just shy of 12 months from the day we left.

Our lovely, old home was a good investment, my husband is in good health, we’re ecstatic about returning to the mountains we love, we can finally move into our ‘forever’ home, and as our agent back home says, “Yeah!!!!! Maybe life can go back to simply remodeling.”  My thoughts exactly.

3 thoughts on “The House That Changed Everything

  1. What a beautiful home! It doesn’t surprise me at all that the third person to see it bought it. Good luck with the move!


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