Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creating A Sustainable Dream Part 2

Searching through Real Estate in western North Carolina looking for an affordable place that is not only right for sustainable living but is also a good long term investment has consumed me! I have to confess I don't really play around when it comes to choosing a home- because I actually know what I am doing... in fact I used to do this for a living and miss those wild days of a swinging happy economy where buying and selling land was almost as easy as putting a quarter in a gumball machine. Each property I consider gets examined carefully, not just on the MLS but also through pulling up tax records to read a lil history on the place, and sending over some questions to the seller. Most of the last few months I have been searching for land only, but was not opposed to some type of structure being already on the property- whether it be a barn, house, or tiny cabin... as long as it had the features I am looking for to slowly transform it into a green, sustainable mecca which will not only give me good exercise but also provide me with some independence.
At present all the best places I have found have houses on them & are located in Madison County (where I wanted to be!), these are the current top three and I would like to introduce them to you and get some votes!
1. The Rabbit Den Cabin - This is the tiny under 600 Sq Ft house I am in love with, the brown cutie pictured above! It has 15 acres with a small pasture with it, a tiny barn just the right size for my donkey and adjoins national forest on both sides. It has spring water, a wood stove and NO BATHROOM! Ya might think no bathroom sucks, but actually the bathroom is the one room I would like to create myself, completely eco style with composting toilet and tub that drains into a grey water system. This place inspires me to make art, and is close to community and a town.2. The Haunted Farm House - No, it's not really haunted, but my gawd it reminds me of the farm house in every movie were the zombies or children of the corn or whatever tries to break in! I love it too! This house is not only close to town, close to national forest, but also comes with 2 totally usable flat farm-able acres. It has a wood stove plus electric heat and a bathroom/kitchen already in place. There's a cool outbuilding the donkey can stay in behind the house. This big house also has job potential... think Appalachian Trail hikers stopping point to shower and rest, cause I would be that close to the trails and downtown Hot Springs. A big selling point is the house is a classic farm house which is never a bad investment... you know unless it's the money pit and really does have ghosts!3. The Hunting Cabin- Ok, here is something sustainable and bad ass from the start, this log cabin was made with ALL lumber right on the land by hand back in the 70's! It is on 7 acres of very beautiful farm-able land with endless forest behind it for adventures. There are also fruit trees, springs, an old trout pond(which is dry) and cool rock formations. Like all the others above it has wood floors, but doesn't have a wood stove already in place (i use wood stoves for heat and cooking during the winter) But does have a fireplace chimney! It also has neat outbuildings so I have a place to put the donkey here too!!! Only drawback is the house isn't as close to an immediate community but is a few miles from a general store. I imagine I will be making friends with people at all the general stores! ha.

SOoooo, which do you love, which gives you a good vibe, which would you like to live in and why!?!

XoXo

12 comments:

Erik said...

#1 looks great, what's the MLS number?

Panne said...

gut tells me #2 is gonna get you sick. i'd say it's a toss up between 1 and 3, but would have to put it up on google earth to see how it lays out to be able to pick one. without seeing the lay of the land i'd have to say #3 but that's because i'd repair and refill the pond.

let me know which ones you're not interested in.

Kittie Howard said...

#2 -- The Haunted Farm House. I think your eco-friendly lifestyle will attract others...I see you holding discussions, seminars, B&B options. The negative is you'll only have 2 acres of land and I think this could crowd you a bit...but not enough to nix the location. #1 is totally you and a perfect setup but, from your blogs, I also see you flowing into #2.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Erik!
I can not reveal my sources just yet! ha... but will IM you the info. To be honest #1 Rabbit Den Cabin is my favorite at the moment, but I can change my mind pretty easily if something about it doesnt work out. All three of the houses are surrounded by tons of forest - #2 and #3 have tiny farms and pasture land next door but nothing major.

Panne -
Thanks for the gut feeling...
for a healthy home I need the following:
*OK water to drink (cause when I got off plastic bottled water and starting drinking pure well water out here my symptoms of MCS improved alot!
* no fresh paint
* no majorly toxic mold (although regular mold does not seem to bother me alot anymore)
* no mothball smells that are so strong it's like they wet the walls with it, ect....

Wood floors is always what I need cause carpet causes me and some of my family & friends major allergy problems.
PS_ Are ya just telling me that cause you want the haunted house for yourself!?? he he

I forgot to mention that both #1 and #3 have springs and spring water (#3 has a well too).
#2 the haunted house only has a well.
They ALL have creeks on or right next to the property.

FYI FOR EVERYONE::::
My realtor's name is Noelle Dumas and she works for Keller Williams Realty/ Weaverville Office. I have worked with her since around 2004 and she is the best realtor EVA' -so if you need one for the WNC area call her-!

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Kittie~!
I could have guessed you'd like #2 the haunted house :) ... it totally appeals to my inner New Orleans, which isnt always a bad thing. The 2 acres does make me feel crowded a bit, but luckily this is a national forest area (Bluff/Spring Creek Community of Hot Springs) and most likely the neighbors will let me walk in the woods- i NEED to have some place to explore for sure.
I love all your ideas - because of the state of the economy, having some options for income is high on the list right now. Pretty much in this area, and because I have to work from home- those things are reallly appealing.
Also the appeal of people coming around often is really nice.
BTW- The HAunted house #2 and The Rabbit Den Cabin #1 are around the corner from each other. ;)

Panne said...

you can have number 2. way too big for me. i doubt it's haunted by spooks, but like i said it just don't feel right. might be cuz it has that nawlins ick to it.

i started looking in ETN. lots cheaper on that side of the mountain.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Panne!
Don't knock Nawlins! The place has got style, skank and colorful culture... makes me home sick for the pazzazz. One thing lacking here is that kind of spirited culture, but people in the mountains are very kind too.
My size house would be the Rabbits Den Cabin, i like tiny just for me - but the bigger houses pose potential for some kind of business side too.
I have some friends who were looking here in WNC and have moved over to looking in Eastern TN too because the prices are waaaaay cheaper. I dont really know much about TN, but it's very pretty!

Mokihana and Pete said...

#1 is my #1 choice. I like the vibe and I think the vibe would like you best. I agree about the #2 being off or maybe too squared off. The size of land in #1 feels broad and funky with options to grow, and yah, no bathroom? no problem. Look whose talkin' tho.

Very cool choices and Madison County eh, like in the Bridges of ...?

Mokihana

Lou Cheese said...

For what it's worth, house #1 most closely resembles the house you drew in November's Sketching A Sustainable Dream post. Talk about the power of positive thinking....

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_8V0UwQyA6ow/Swk0khM_jnI/AAAAAAAAEoE/gZ7IlgGtDj4/s400/BigSandyMushNOVEMBER+311.jpg

If it was me I would check how well insulated the houses are, what condition the roofs are in, and I would get the well water and springs tested. The state's EPA office might do the last one for free if requested.

Private well water can get contaminated from fertilizer the farms use, and springs, like the artesian variety, can catch run-off before the water goes underground.

That being said, when I was a kid my grandfather & I would take a 45 minute car ride to an artesian well and I swear it was the cleanest tasting water I've ever had.

If your springs turn out OK, I'd factor it's location into the buying decision. Closer to home = easier to carry drinking water inside. Closer to the plantable fields = low flow irrigation system. Closer to the outbuildings = constant supply of fresh water for Ju Ju Bean. A hand operated well-that could be some work.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Lou Cheese!

#1 does look like my drawing and it think it actually took me a few days to realize---- i went back to my wishlist and drawing and there was a 99% match from what I could tell. My realtor said the same thing- it fulfilled my dream list, which nothing else we've viewed has.
The only thing missing from my drawing was a pond- which I don't think it has, but one can be made if there is spring water or creeks on the property (which there is!)

I think I have decided against #2 because it has more chance of problems with water - it is close to a farm that bales hay... they may have sprayed fertilizer in the past. #1 is the last house on a road, backed into national forest in an area known for it's healing and pure water (Hot Springs NC). For me water is a HUGE deal. When I stopped drinking bottled water my health improved a great deal.
There is running water in #1 also, it happen to be spring fed and not a well - which is really cool. :)

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Mokihana!

Not the Bridges of Madison County..... but here at least it's the LOW TAXES of Madison county! YAY!
I like the vibe too.
xxoxxo

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