You might have noticed I've been missing for awhile. Perhaps you saw a weather map and assumed I had melted into an oil slick and floated off to sea. Or fled to Australia where it's winter to cool my fevered brow.
We have been searching for a place to call home and believe me, that is a full time job.
|Sunset from the deck of our island home|
We started months ago thinking we would buy the home on the island that we have been renting. You can't beat its peace and beauty. But the house needs many repairs and a lot of upkeep, and the more we thought about it, the more reluctant we became to spend our time and resources fixing things. It is very difficult to get people to do work way out here. (For example, we have been trying steadily to get a plumber to fix a plumbing problem for over a year and have not yet been able to get one to show up. We are tired of trying and just lucky we have one toilet that works!)
Our next plan was to move to Beaufort, population 10,000 and the second oldest town in South Carolina. It has gorgeous old southern homes, a slow southern lifestyle, lots of history, a pretty waterfront. We have spent a lot of time there and come to love it. And we have spent entirely too much time dashing off to look at yet another home that has come up for sale in order to make an offer before it has been snapped up.
Only to become more and more discouraged.
|Sunday morning on Beaufort harbor|
Prices have soared over the last couple years with homes of little value going for ridiculous prices. There has been no urban planning so there are decaying old trailer homes grandfathered into neighborhoods of nice homes, making us leery of being able to resell the home when it becomes necessary.
Two weekends ago we looked at three more houses that left us cold for various reasons and completely discouraged. It was 98 degrees, so humid the moisture hung in the air as haze and hit your chest like a wall every time you walked out the door. I couldn't even count the red bug and mosquito bites I had, not to mention the two new fire ant bites on my foot.
We were done with Beaufort. What to do? We came home and started looking at a map.
Long story shorter, on Monday we drove three hours north to Georgetown, the third oldest town in South Carolina. Neither of us had been there before but it took only about a half a day of looking around to realize it had what we wanted. It was several degrees cooler because it is 20 minutes from the ocean. The historic town center is intact and thriving, there is plenty of outdoor recreation, a nice library, lots of history. Best of all, real estate prices were about $100,000 less than what we had been looking at! Georgetown was our town!
We returned to Georgetown on Friday to look at houses with a realtor. We looked at lots of houses but there was only one house that struck both of us as The House. When we walked in the door we each knew that this was the house for us. Everything about it was perfect. Well, everything was perfect except that negotiations were under way with another buyer. The buyer and seller had been going back and forth for quite some time trying to agree on a price, and we were told they were close to an agreement.
We decided to make an offer anyway. Why not? And by the next day, ours was the offer accepted!
In the course of looking at houses I'm not sure how many we have looked at. Fifty? A hundred? Some had a fatal flaw, like neighbors with chained dogs or yards next door full of trash. Some were strange with things like tiny rooms with no use. Many were okay but had no personality. A couple gave us the creeps and me nightmares. This house, the Maryville house, gave off sunshine and brightness and good vibes. You could tell happiness and love lived there.
We can't wait to add ours!
|A hedge all around of red roses and purple hydrangea|
|And look, in the center--a small banana tree!|