Home Again, Home Again, Dancing a Jig

Well, actually the dancing would come later.

We spent almost the entire day on Sunday, September 30th looking at different properties in and around Maggie Valley. It was an interesting way to become somewhat familiar with the area. Our most excellent real estate agent, Kelley, had listened to what we were interested in and had mapped out stops at properties that matched our parameters. We saw some nice places, beautiful views of mountains and valleys and, at Kelley’s suggestion, enjoyed a delicious lunch at “Salsa’s” in downtown Asheville.

Pictures of our travels in and around Maggie Valley are over on the right in the Flickr badge.

In the end, it came down to two properties; the one that Cindy really liked (and, after seeing it, so did I) on Sheepback Mountain and a nice 3 acre piece up on Crabtree Mountain. After weighing the pros and cons of each, we decided to make an offer on the Sheepback property. Though it is smaller, there are more possibilities available with it down the road including purchasing adjacent property on the south side and/or a nice already-in-place rental home and property on the north side, as well as our original plan of building our own home in a few years.

The Sheepback Mountain property has a lot of trees, a creek flowing along the western edge of the property line and what looks like an excellent location for a house, though we have to wait for the local health department to approve the location and issue a variance. The property is at about the 4,000 foot elevation level on the mountain and though it helps to have a 4×4 vehicle to get to and from the property the roads are good and well-maintained. One of the best things is that I can hike over the mountain in about 45 minutes and be in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the opposite side. Kelley also told us the price was 15 to 20K less than it was worth, making it an instant good deal.

The Crabtree Mountain property was also a good deal; more than 3 times the property at only about twice the price of the Sheepback Mountain property, and had a great view back down into the valley as you can see in the pictures. But the developer had clear cut all the trees, the road was very rough and winding, and the atmosphere was more farming and agricultural in nature.

The Sheepback Mountain property is more like an enchanted forest, and in fact I think that is what Cindy will eventually name it; The Enchanted Forest.

We returned to the realty office in the late afternoon and signed all the papers, making an offer that was about 5k lower than the asking price (although we had already decided that we would accept the asking price) and adding in the contingency that the health department would have to approve the location of the future home. We also left a check for the “earnest” offer and a check to the local health department to pay for the inspection.

I guess I should mention that the health department inspection is needed because the original placement of where a house could be built on the property is farther away from the creek than we wanted and is on a more sloping section of the property. After meeting with a builder and walking the property early Sunday morning, we felt like the house could be built on a flatter portion of the land that is closer to the creek. Environmental regulations require the foundation of the home to be no closer than 50 feet from the middle of the creek. We have no problem with that and are all for being as environmentally sensitive as we can possibly be. In fact, our plans all along have been to be as “green” as we can be in building and living in that beautiful part of nature. This is just a case of needing the health department to reinspect and approve the new location of the home.

That left us about 2 hours to return to our rental cabin and enjoy the sunset and visit with the cabin owners (and their pets) before hitting the sack to try and get a good night’s sleep before our drive back to O-town. We were up, packed and on the road by 5am Monday and finally rolled into Orlando about 3:30pm. It was a whirlwind weekend and we were both exhausted.

Tuesday we found out from Kelley that the owners had declined our offer, stating that they had priced the property to sell. We already knew that and knew we would still take it at the asking price, but just felt like we had to take the chance that a lower offer might be accepted. Kelley also already knew to tell them we still wanted it at the asking price. The owners accepted and they also agreed to take it off the market while we waited on word about the financing and the health department variance.

This past Monday, we found out the financing had been approved. On Tuesday Kelley let us know that the health department was scheduled to go out and do their inspection later this week, then they will need time to evaluate and rule on the request. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

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