The last house we saw was simply… gorgeous. It was one of those we drove past, and I exclaimed ‘Oh, that one’s pretty!”… only to realize a few seconds later that we passed the house we were going to see…
Our ‘dream list’ for properties has been somewhat… long and slightly ridiculous… And our criteria for selecting a Realtor was, among a few things, that they didn’t look at us like crazy people when we gave them what we were looking for, in the price we hoped…
- Farm/garden/animal possibilities, 2+ acres at least.
- Must have wood burning something — fireplace, but preferably a wood stove
- Stone walls a plus
- Renovated, or livable while still being renovated.
- Barn, attached would be nice.
- Not new construction, unless it looks old.
- Rural feeling, without being in the middle of nowhere.
… stated as we both sat there in our Suburban clothes, looking very much not the part of homestead farmers. (What?? It can’t hurt to dream, right? 🙂
Meet the Oak Hill Farmhouse…
Of course, these pics are a bit sunny for the dreary winter days we’ve been having… which means it’s been on the market for awhile. Over half a year, in fact. But honestly, I was so enamored that the pics I took were few and far between, and just didn’t do this place justice.
So… you enter from the driveway up to the Farmer’s porch (which is what they call… porches… here), which ran the length of the house, and looked out onto the driveway, and pasture beyond.
Let’s head inside to the first floor…
It was beautiful. You entered right into the large dining/living room combo (after our last house, I said never again to dining/living combos, but I take it all back.) The entry is essentially the third ‘light’ area in the top left pic. This huge room featured gorgeous original hand-hewn beams, a nice high ceiling, built-in bookcases, a fabulous working wood stove… and just this feeling of warmth and homey-ness – the whole house was this way.
From the large room (the small entrance beyond the painting in the far left of the top right photo) led to a private first-floor guest room, gorgeous renovated bathroom, and summer/guest kitchen – all which exited out on the patio with hot tub. The summer kitchen was so nice, and I LOVED those white beamed ceilings. Gorgeous. Sure, it needed a bit of decorating, but we needed *something* to do in this place!
Back into the living room, there was also another entrance into the blue family room, and into the large kitchen (you can see in the bottom kitchen photo, the shadowy wood stove – to give you a sense of layout). The kitchen had SUCH good bones, it just needed some decorating. The floors were huge 18” pine, with brick all around the edges of the room – all of which featured glass sliders out to the width of the farmer’s porch and a back deck (not shown). Only drawbacks in here? Cabinetry was a bit dated, laminate counters were a bit meh, but it had a wine fridge, so we could look past that.
Ready to go Upstairs?
It was just beautiful. Light-filled, renovated, tons of character without that old and musty feeling you can sometimes get from old houses. Upstairs featured a huge Master (20×18) with attached, renovated bath. Those two rooms had slightly lower ceilings (ie, 8 feet instead of the roomier other spaces), but with our Hobbit Room experience at the Batavia house, we were well-adjusted, and these felt downright tall! Upstairs also featured another huge guest room, full bath, and 3rd and 4th bedrooms, which the owner was using as a walk-through sitting room/music room (potential offices?)
And finally– it was covered in snow when we visited– but here are a few pics from the Summer highlighting the outdoor areas, which was such a huge selling point of this property…
The property was on 2.5 cleared acres, which made it feel much larger than it was, I think (many other places have 2+ acres covered in trees, which doesn’t really count as useful land.) The property was bordered in stone walls, newer fences, and a few neighbors dotted around with horses of their own (apparently there is a verbal agreement from the current owner that the neighbors’ horses can be pastured as his place.) And the former homeowners live a few houses down.
I always try to include a basement shot, because, as ugly as they sometimes are, in old properties – it’s critical to see what’s going on down there. This one didn’t look bad, at all. Majority of the foundation was solid granite blocks, but newer portions featured poured walls, insulated floors, new plumbing (for all those renovated bathrooms).
So wow. This ended our first trip out house hunting.
Negatives? Well, there were just a few…. it was a bit more North than we’ve gone before, but wasn’t bad… and actually made the taxes more affordable (this place had the cheapest taxes of all the places we looked at.) The biggie– it’s WAY out of our price range. BUT… our realtor thought it might be overpriced and wouldn’t be surprised if they cut the price drastically in the coming months, which would make it more palatable to us. (Apparently the owner also is in a situation where he needs to sell.) And the final slight negative – it was *just* off a road that was off another slightly busy road, with that slightly busy road in view. Not a HUGE issue, but if we could pick this house up and move it a bit farther out of sight of cars, it would be perfect.
So there you go. We’re booked for next Wednesday to go see a few more. And crossing our fingers to see what fate has in store for us with this one!