Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Pursuit of a "Country House"

I haven't posted in a while because frankly I've been too busy. With the mortgage crisis and real state bubble in the rear view mirror (hopefully for good) and real estate prices getting back to decent levels, we have been working feverishly on our Indianapolis property, which we have had to hold until prices went back up. We are pleased to announce it goes on the market this weekend and it is our hope that "The Willows", our restored and updated Shingle style home, that has been featured on HGTV and urban times finds new loving owners.

Over the last few months we have been engaged in evaluating where we are, our goals etc. When we bought our home in Cincinnati, we never dreamed we would wind up being defacto developers. But with us now owning eight homes and half a dozen building lots, that is where we are. Much of my time is now spent with meeting with city officials, promoting the Save not Raze program and showing homes to potential preservation minded owners, meeting with builders and developers, public speaking requests and my activities as president of the  Knox Hill Neighborhood Association. Knox Hill, in addition to being a "preservation passion", has become a full time job, leaving little time for relaxing. In fact our last real vacation was in 2002.

So, we decided we needed to be able to get away from the 'job' of Knox Hill and decompress. To that goal we decided that we needed a 'country house'. A place we could get away to. It had to be livable/campable. It had to be historic, and it had to be within an hour of Cincinnati. Close, but not too close to town. It had to be quiet, not urban, and a place we could fix up along the way but not be "pressured". We drew a circle on the map surrounding Cincinnati and began the arduous task of research, looking at a lot of homes on line and some in person.

Of course, true to our "Preservation Principals", it needed to be a house that would benefit from our unique abilities. So in proper "Victorian lifestyle" we plan on having our city home, the Historic Nagele Merz house, and our "country getaway". This will allow us to divide our time, allow us to focus more clearly on the tasks at hand that day and also pay more attention to our historic design business.

All I can say right now is, after months of looking, we think we have found the "right house". The offer has been prepared, we think the sellers and us are on the same page, and when we can make a "formal" announcement, a "landmark home", will once again realize its potential and we will be able to getaway for few days a week. As usual, everyone will think we are crazy, but this will work for us.

We have also set some goals of getting some of the Save-not-Raze program properties into new preservation minded owners hands.  Keeping our development properties in Overlook District on tract and of course the patient and detailed restoration of Nagele Merz. But most importantly, devoting little bit of our time to relaxing.

1 comment:

H.A. Blackthorn said...

I really applaud your work to save old homes. Here in Washington state we have many beautiful Victorians, but some of them aren't give the care they deserve. Congratulations on the new home!