Days 164-170 – Asheville, Week 9

With the clock ticking on our three-month stay in Asheville, we decide it’s time to put some serious effort into property-hunting. We’ve done a lot of looking already, but always on our own, just looking up properties online and checking out various communities that we’ve bumped into on our travels.

But now we’re ready for some help. We have gone online and found the website of Private Mountain Communities. We spend an entire evening going through the 40 or so listed communities, ruling out those that are too far away from Asheville or clearly won’t let us build the modern house we really want to build. A few have only houses, no empty land, for sale; so those are eliminated as well. It’s a really long process; we go to the individual community’s website; we look up the available properties on Zillow; we check out the location on Google Maps, etc.

After we’ve whittled down the list to about a dozen communities, we make an appointment with Lori at Private Mountain Communities so we can talk to her about them. We don’t want to waste our time driving out to a community if she can tell us in advance that they won’t let us build a modern house (it’s not always easy to tell from the websites). She persuades us to take a couple off our list and add a couple more. Lori also provides us with directions and contact information for each community (most of them are gated, so we’ll need to meet with the sales agent at each one to get a tour).

We dive right into it, looking at a couple of communities near Asheville that afternoon, including two model houses, which are both lovely but very traditional.

Throughout the week, we continue making appointments and seeing communities, ruling out one that’s just too far from Asheville, another on a lake because we can’t find a lot that we like. We are looking for eastern and southern exposure, long-range views and the ability to build our modern house. And we have a budget that rules out the lovely $3 million piece of land on top of one mountain.

In between visits, we work on our Christmas shopping, go to the gym and, happily, continue to golf.

We feel both encouraged – we are refining our search and getting a better feel for what’s critical for us to have in our retirement home – and discouraged because we have not had an “ah-ha, this is it” moment.

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