Monday, December 17, 2018

Almost Home

Am I trespassing or welcomed?  Which is it?
This past weekend we were traveling through a local small town and decided to try and find the house we had attempted to buy 15 years ago. It took some effort, dead-end streets, back-tracking, but we found it. We were living in a tiny house in Nashville with three rapidly growing boys and wanted to move to the country.  Not everything is quite as I remembered.


It needed work back then, paint, carpets, deep cleaning.  We were willing to tackle the job because we were young and strong. Not many big houses on good sized lots were in our price range. The builder had made some cost-saving decisions which lowered the value but most were things we could tolerate or fix.

Inside the drive-in garage, the house was not built on a block foundation but is sitting atop solid bedrock.  It is protruding up from the ground inside along the back left side.  I considered it to be sturdier, but our real estate agent said it was shoddy craftsmanship to avoid the expense of excavating a large hole.


The builder had also used cedar tree trunks cut from the property as support poles for the porch. The spot where the dark blue car is parked is graveled not poured concrete.  It appears the present owners are not concerned about making these types of cosmetic improvements.


The land is about as bad as it can be without being a desert.  It is solid limestone bedrock with only an inch or two of soil.  If cedar trees can't survive, it's bad land.  We weren't going to be farmers and Bill hates to mow, so that didn't bother us.  I envisioned rock gardens tucked away in little cubby holes along wooded walking paths.


We even liked the fact that the land backs up to a railroad track.  Neither of us wanted anyone moving in behind but now there is a new subdivision being built in front of the house across the street. This house is right on the road.  We would still have been living in a construction zone like we are now.  Being off away from traffic is now something we cherish.


There was one feature I absolutely loved.  The land was previously a quarry, which is common in this rocky area of Tennessee.  I had to get it.  My own rock quarry.  Who owns a rock quarry?  


We decided it was our dream house and told our realtor to immediately drive an offer across Nashville in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic before the office closed.  He made it with seconds to spare but called to say someone beat us by two minutes with another offer.  I cried. 

Now as I look back, I realize not getting it was definitely the best.

Additional links about exciting rocks:




A Famous Rock, Berlin, Tennessee

12 comments:

  1. It's a nice house but it sounds as though God had other plans for your family.

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    1. I agree, but why does it always take me 15 years to figure it out?

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  2. Interesting how things tend to work out for the best. What an interesting story about the land and the property. That quarry sounded interesting...

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    1. I really wanted that quarry. It was like having your own private lake in your backyard. It is preferable to the sink hole we have now. But, this place has been great for us...yet I still wonder how our lives might have been different. What if...what if....

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  3. What if, what if… That´s the old question We cannot know what would have happened in our life
    if we would have taken this or that decision. But certainly it often can be quite enlightening
    to see places many years after. The feeling that you had done the right thing is satisfying
    in any case.
    Christel

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    1. We never returned and I have wondered over the years about the house. I really wanted it then and was deeply disappointed when we didn't get it. I do feel satisfied now.

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  4. It looks like a pretty place! There are so many out there, aren't there? I'm surprised they would let them build on rocks instead of a foundation--around here, I guess there aren't enough rocks, because we have to have a foundation to build:). The amount of building codes and permits needed here are insane. When we were doing our huge remodel at our last property, it took us a long, long time and many, many tries to get all those inspectors to come and pass things as we finished them! At this time of year, I can't help remembering one major inspection that finally passed on Christmas Eve. The inspector said Merry Christmas, and signed it! Whew! Still, we were so glad we jumped through all the hoops. We never thought we'd sell that place, we planned to stay forever, but we ended up selling it. And, because we had done all the proper permits and had them all passed, we could sell it with so much less trouble. What a blessing in the end!

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    1. There were many pretty places out there; however, finding one in our price range was the big problem.

      How they managed to get the house past codes was a mystery to me. Before we bought that house, we would have hired an inspector to check every detail. They are expensive, but worth the money. Hiring an inspector to check this present house probably saved our lives. The chimney was a little too short and did not draw smoke (and carbon dioxide) out correctly. We could have easily asphyxiated while curled up in front of the wood-burning stove in the basement.

      As I think back, who knows what other shoddy corner cutting problems we would have found.

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  5. Our last house was built by a builder who cut a lot of corners. We weren't worried about it when we bought it because we knew we could fix what we saw. It was all the hidden stuff that ended up being a headache for us when we remodeled. I always said that house was built by Moe, Larry, and Curly. As nice as it would be to have land with no one building behind you, I think you dodged a bullet missing out on that one.

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    1. I am beginning to come to that realization even though I have wondered about it for years. It was the "road (house) not taken."

      ...I shall be telling this with a sigh
      Somewhere ages and ages hence:
      Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
      I took the one less traveled by,
      And that has made all the difference.
      Robert Frost

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  6. If, if we had come to Fish Hoek, instead of going to Porterville.
    But we would have missed building that house, that mountain view, the pond and the birds.

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    1. I guess I would have missed the friends I have made in this neighborhood. They are really great people.

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