For the final house hunters trip, I flew out by myself. I was mostly on the trip to look at a potential rental as we weren’t seeing anything on the market we really liked and had decided to rent for a year. My husband was trying to save up his vacation days for the move, so he stayed home.
However, if I was going to be in the area, I was going to look at as many places as I could. House shopping from 3,000 miles away is difficult (hence deciding to rent in the area until we found a place). When you live nearby, you can rule out houses with a drive-by. Professional real-estate pictures can make a crappy place look great. While I could do a google earth/satellite view of the houses, a lot of them were located on dirt roads and google doesn’t drive down dirt roads, so I couldn’t even use street view. This often meant that we would arrive at a place and I’d know instantly that it wasn’t going to work, but we’d have to politely look around to appease the selling agent.
On Friday, I looked at the 3 houses in Maine, then drove to New Hampshire for the night. My realtor emailed me to listings that night and asked if I wanted to add either on. The one had just been listed that day. I was honestly so tired from the flight and all the driving I had done that I barely even looked at the posting, but it was in the right price range, had things that looked like they were on our wish list, and I might as well look at everything I can. Since our usual routine is to look at every single piece of information we can in advance, I was flying pretty blind on this one.
We looked at House #1 first and I truly loved the house, but adding equestrian facilities was going to be a difficult project due to the wetlands immediately adjacent to the house. The second house we looked at was fine, but was also going to be a huge project to put in an arena because the property was very hilly and very treed. While the house was very nice, I didn’t love it enough to want to deal with the property upgrades. The third house we looked at was up a dirt road that was so bad my little rental Yaris was literally skidding backwards down the hill as we tried to follow my realtor in his 4wd truck. I was already writing this one off because of the road – I am not going to try to get a horse trailer up and down that road – and then the house was just terrible. This one was a house my realtor added on without having seen himself or sending me the listing. He had planned to show me a different property for sale by owner that got scratched and he replaced that showing with this one, but he regretted that the second he got there. House #2 (number per the post) was the one I had the most hope for. Although it would be a project, there was a decent chunk of land that we could level out for an arena and barn, lots of pasture land, the house was so cool, and it was very close to town. But I just couldn’t shake the bad feeling I had about living right next to that road with the road going through the property. Although it was a dead end road with only a few houses past it, I worried about my dogs getting hit by a car. The owners had posted a bunch of cute little signs about “please slow down for small dogs” and I wondered how many problems they’d had. I don’t plan to let my dogs roam the countryside unsupervised, but I would like to be able to let them run around with me while I’m outside and I didn’t want to live in constant fear of them getting hit.
That leaves House #3. Because I hadn’t really spent a lot of time looking at the listing, I didn’t really have many expectations for this one. I was kinda shocked. My realtor hadn’t been able to look at in advance either and he was also surprised by how nice it was.
The first thing that draws you to this property? The freakin’ view:
The house is set on top of a hillside overlooking a valley. You can see hills in the far distance, but directly below the house is acres of green pasture and forests.
We all stared at the view for a bit and then decided to look at the barn first. I already mentioned that I love a good bank barn and this one was set up really well with 6 stalls, a tack room, grooming bay, a wash stall outside, feed room, attached shaving storage, hay loft above and tractor storage below. The people who lived here had built this property from the ground up and everything had been organized so well. They even set up a spot off the bank to dump manure down into a manure spreader.
I loved the barn, and then we hopped in the golf cart and went down to the second barn. This is a 4-stall barn attached to a series of paddocks and pastures. Everything was so well planned. Each stall opening into it’s own paddock and then you could open different gates to allow the horses into different pastures. There are also additional pastures for rotation.
We hopped back in the golf cart and went around to the arena. It’s a pretty big arena (about 150×100) with a little shed for storing jumps. The footing needs work. It needs to be re-leveled and there’s grass and weeds starting to come up in it. It’s usable for now though.
Alongside the arena is a creek and, in the field past the arena, there’s a pond. As we walked down to check out the pond, I noticed cross country jumps. There’s a line of ditches and trakheners, a log pile, and, in the far field, a bank complex. There used to be a water jump, at a point where they had dammed up the creek a bit, but it’s long gone. Most of the cross country jumps are falling apart, but we can fix that.
We took the golf cart up to the house and began the house tour. As I mentioned in the house hunter post, I don’t like open floor plans. I am just way too messy for that sort of life. I like rooms and division and privacy. This is, by far, the most open house we looked at. It honestly takes open floor plan to a whole new level.
The whole first floor, except for the guest bedroom is one giant, open space. The kitchen, dining room, and living room are all combined. To make it even more open, the living room connects to the upstairs (you can see the loft opening in the picture above). There’s a den down a half flight of stairs and an office up a half flight of stairs. If you continue up the second half of that staircase, there’s another office space that is the loft above the living room and then a glass door to the master. There’s a second set of stairs that go directly from the kitchen to the master bedroom. There’s no door to these stairs. The master bathroom has a glass door on it. I told you it was OPEN concept. Yeah, I’m gonna need some doors, stat. Or at least, I’m gonna need some solidity added to the doors I have.
While it’s not my ideal house, I’m not complaining. The house is gorgeous. Open floor plan isn’t my cup of tea, but the views can’t be beat and while they might not have added enough doors, but they didn’t skimp on windows.
It was at this point that I texted my husband and told him he needed to see the house. It was Saturday and we were leaving for Arizona for 2 weeks on Tuesday. I asked my realtor if he thought we could come see it after Arizona and he was like, no, it’ll sell before you get back.
So I called my husband and he booked a red-eye for that night. He departed SF after midnight and arrived at the airport in NH around 1pm. I picked him up and drove back to the house where we did the house and barn tour again. We got to meet the owners who were very nice. The wife is an eventer and did Rolex back in the day. I think she liked that we were fellow riders. This time, in addition to the house and barns, the selling agent took us on a golf cart tour of the trails. A lot of the houses we looked at claimed to have “trails” but they were barely existent or overgrown. This place has miles of trails all wide enough for a gold cart – or riding side by side.
It was a bizarre heat wave in Vermont that weekend. The weather was actually hotter the further north you went and Vermont was worse than Massachusetts and Canada was even hotter than that. It was like 101 degrees and we were all drenched in sweat (not a single house we looked at had air conditioning) by the end of the tour and all ready to get back in our cars for A/C. The selling agent drove off, we discussed the house with our agent, talked about what amount to offer and contingencies we wanted and told him write it up. We signed the offer electronically on the drive back to New Hampshire that evening and they accepted it by the next morning.
Wow!!! Congratulations, Olivia! This place is amazing and I can’t wait to follow along on this new adventure!
Damn. I’m in love with all of it. What a dream! And those mountain views! 😍
Vermont is one of my favorite places on earth. This place looks amazing! Can’t wait to see more of it 😀 So excited for you guys!
WOW- what a place! Congrats!
Wow! Congrats! I love it. It hits so much on your wishlist and that view is amazing! Ponies look happily settled in too!
Exciting! Congratulations and looking forward to more stories! Now from my beloved east coast!
YAY this is the one I thought you picked I think! I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! 🙂 CONGRATS and the horses look settled too! THAT BARN SWOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN so jealous 🙂
One of my favorite places in the country to ride. Gorgeous views! I am so very, very jealous. Congratulations and I so look forward to following along on your new adventure 🙂 Also, I love open floor plans so I was drooling at this house (though I’m not really neat enough for them either).
Okay, now that I have more info on #3 I love it. Congrats!!! The views are amazing.
YAY!!!! This is so exciting, and it all looks GORGEOUS–especially those views! Congrats!!!
Awesome! What a gorgeous house and barn and VIEWS! Welcome to New England!! 🙂
Yay!!!!! Congratulations! The house looks so similar to my friend’s house in VT. I imagine they all have that feel though. I’m so excited for you guys! Not sure if you want to share on the internet, but I’m curious what town you’re in or near? My brother lives up in Worcester which is near Stowe. As soon as he gets some running water and plumbing, I’m going to visit. Would love to meet up if you’re nearby!
I won’t speak for Olivia, but I’m 10 minutes away from Worcester! We should plan a VT meetup sometime. 🙂
I’m 20 minutes from Woodstock, and I think an hourish from Amanda. We should definitely do a meetup!
OOh, awesome sauce! Those trails are suitable for carriage driving, too! and already has XC jumps?! TWO barns? BIG ARENA!!!! yeah, yeah, YEAH. A few loads of sand and a coverall top and Boom, indoor. Congratulations! Meeting the owners was a bonus; they clearly loved this property and were probably happy to see it go to people who appreciated all their work.
Nilla and Shasta come, too?
omgggggg it is LOVELY!!! congrats on the move – it sounds like a dream farm!!!
that is so awesome, congratulations!!!!!
Such a gorgeous property!!! And a view!!! OMG you can never go wrong with a Mountain View!!! Can’t wait to hear how life in VT is!
What an amazing place! Congratulations! 😀
Woot! That’s so exciting! It’s such a lovely place! The ponies look very happy and settled <3
Good luck in your new home.
Wow what a beautiful house and barn … and ALL of it! Congrats!
Congrats on a lovely new home!!!
Hooray!!! Welcome to Vermont, I can’t wait to see everything!
Congratulations! That place looks lovely!
Love this place, it’s gorgeous!
Hooray! I love this place, too. So excited to see Levi and Eugene and Nilla running amok there. 🙂
…and I just noticed the head behind Levi and the extra halter behind Eugene. All four Musketeers.
Are the house pix of when you saw it at showing, or is that your furniture, etc?
Congratulations and welcome to New England! I’m on a small, woodsy horse property now, but spend my childhood galloping around rural NE farms and really miss those big pastures and side-by-side trails. Perfect time of year to arrive! Have a blast watching the leaves turn and your herd enjoy cool weather and turnout!! What a satisfying end to your House Hunter series.
Congratulations! Looks wonderful!
Omg my Cali-born head would explode getting to ride trails like that, especially right out the back door. Congrats it looks amazing.
You made an excellent choice! I love that there are two barns and so many trails!
So freaking excited for you guys!! It’s gonna be such an awesome little farm for you guys
Congratulations! What a great new home. I can’t wait to hear more about it (and see if you start to like open floor plans). 🙂
Congrats on your new house!
Wow, looks like you hit the jackpot there, congrats!
Congrats on your new home!!
YAsssss this is the one I loved and I’m glad it was even more impressive in person. Can’t wait to hear how y’all are settling in
Omg!! I have missed these postis completely but wow, you are living in a heaven!