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Old 12-30-2020, 02:32 PM
 
135 posts, read 95,512 times
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Hi everyone,
My wife and I grew up north of Baltimore, Md., and made a career move to northeast Ohio 25 years ago. Now that we are retired, we are looking to escape from living in a crowded city and move to a more scenic area with milder winters and rolling hills but not too far from conveniences and health care. We would love to move to the Cotswolds in England but that doesn't seem possible.

So, we are looking to replicate that experience with a move to the Shenandoah / Blue Ridge area. We are looking for privacy with a small (2 bedroom would be adequate) English style stone home with character (wood beams, etc.), on a larger property, maybe 2 or 3 acres with a view, not too far from a conservative leaning, or at least middle of the road, community (we are live and let live types). I plan to build a free standing woodworking/art shop/studio for my wife and I to pursue our hobbies. I would like to keep our budget under $600-$700K if possible.

In terms of priorities, a pleasant, moderately upscale community would be very high on the list. An English style stone home with character and craftsmanship, views and some privacy would be next. We don't want to be too remote and in the mountains where the weather may become treacherous in the winter.

British style country homes were very popular in this country from about 1890 to 1935. Back then, they were built just outside of cities, such as Philadelphia and New York. If I could locate Amish builders willing to take on the task, I would not be opposed to having talented craftsmen build a small stone home for us or redo an existing one.

One area that looks attractive is Staunton, but I look forward to suggestions.

All comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:13 PM
 
485 posts, read 363,217 times
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Try looking in Middleburg, it’s a beautiful small town. Although it’s gotten very pricey so I don’t know what you will be able to find within your price range. Regarding Staunton, I know lots of people recommended it but it seemed pretty run down for me and I was not at all impressed.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:41 PM
 
1,624 posts, read 2,049,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ship4u View Post
Hi everyone,
My wife and I grew up north of Baltimore, Md., and made a career move to northeast Ohio 25 years ago. Now that we are retired, we are looking to escape from living in a crowded city and move to a more scenic area with milder winters and rolling hills but not too far from conveniences and health care. We would love to move to the Cotswolds in England but that doesn't seem possible.

So, we are looking to replicate that experience with a move to the Shenandoah / Blue Ridge area. We are looking for privacy with a small (2 bedroom would be adequate) English style stone home with character (wood beams, etc.), on a larger property, maybe 2 or 3 acres with a view, not too far from a conservative leaning, or at least middle of the road, community (we are live and let live types). I plan to build a free standing woodworking/art shop/studio for my wife and I to pursue our hobbies. I would like to keep our budget under $600-$700K if possible.

In terms of priorities, a pleasant, moderately upscale community would be very high on the list. An English style stone home with character and craftsmanship, views and some privacy would be next. We don't want to be too remote and in the mountains where the weather may become treacherous in the winter.

British style country homes were very popular in this country from about 1890 to 1935. Back then, they were built just outside of cities, such as Philadelphia and New York. If I could locate Amish builders willing to take on the task, I would not be opposed to having talented craftsmen build a small stone home for us or redo an existing one.

One area that looks attractive is Staunton, but I look forward to suggestions.

All comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
Keep an eye on Waterford Virginia. It is a historically protected town with a lot of stone and brick properties dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a very small community, and the town primarily, though not exclusively, skews liberal. Some properties come on the market from time to time, such as this one that sold last spring https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...12417112_zpid/.

Occasionally there will be similar properties in other very old small towns in the area, such as Hamilton, Round Hill, Lovettsville, Purcellville, etc. Check regularly on https://www.oldhousedreams.com/state/virginia/. Most of these properties will be very expensive, but not all of them.
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:40 PM
 
135 posts, read 95,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmiSky View Post
Try looking in Middleburg, it’s a beautiful small town. Although it’s gotten very pricey so I don’t know what you will be able to find within your price range. Regarding Staunton, I know lots of people recommended it but it seemed pretty run down for me and I was not at all impressed.
Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:52 PM
 
135 posts, read 95,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersatz View Post
Keep an eye on Waterford Virginia. It is a historically protected town with a lot of stone and brick properties dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a very small community, and the town primarily, though not exclusively, skews liberal. Some properties come on the market from time to time, such as this one that sold last spring https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...12417112_zpid/.

Occasionally there will be similar properties in other very old small towns in the area, such as Hamilton, Round Hill, Lovettsville, Purcellville, etc. Check regularly on https://www.oldhousedreams.com/state/virginia/. Most of these properties will be very expensive, but not all of them.
Great ideas, thanks! I need to keep learning more.

When we first started our search, several months ago, Western North Carolina near Asheville was highly recommended. But thanks to folks on the CD forum, I was cautioned that Asheville has become very liberal. As I looked further, it appears that their advice was spot on. I firmly believe that everyone must be treated fairly and that there must be equal opportunity and good education for everyone. But, I'm not a fan of the current diversity and inclusion movement because it pushes equality of outcome, not opportunity, and causes resentment and divisiveness. Also, regarding Asheville, it appears that the influx of new people moving there over the past several years has caused housing prices to go through the roof. So, for several reasons, we've shifted our sights more north.

I am hoping that this group will provide guidance in our search.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:20 PM
 
1,496 posts, read 1,121,151 times
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Stone homes are far, far more common north and NE of Winchester, up in the Hagerstown area, Chambersburg, and on up into the Cumberland Valley southern PA, and many east of the Blue Ridge in places like Gettysburg PA and Emmitsburg MD. They quickly get less frequent as you go south of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley. Small stone homes are less common; stone homes were mostly farmhouses on active, prosperous farms, and consequently were most 2 story larger affairs. They are architechturally quite different, without the steep slate roofs and the ground-to-roof gabled wings. I see a few small examples of what you refer to in the NY area in this ara, but not many; they simply were not popular down here. Most of the small versions of that style around western VA were gas stations LOL.

As for the actual region, that depends a lot on how urban/remote you want, and so forth. If you want a more conservative region, then further down in the Shanandoah Valley will be more suitable than east of the Blue Ridge. (There is a long time political and cultural difference right along the Blue Ridge.) Up the Cumberand Valley in PA, south of Carlisle, will also be pretty conservative; it tends to be so wherever there has been a longtime, concentration of agriculture, and both those regions have that. Of course, each town has its history and character. It sounds like you would want to be in a smaller town, not the size of Staunton. Road networks are good in the valleys and so you will not have problems finding an area for getting to what you want without hard driving. 'Rush hour' is mild at worst.

You mention 'upscale' but 'upscale' areas tend to be more 'spendy' and pricey, and often more liberal, so it seems like you are asking for a balance. Perhaps a smaller town around Harrisonburg or up towards New Market or Woodstock. And there is the Valley of Luray, like with Luray VA. There are good sized Amish and Mennonite communities around Harrisonburg and Dayton. (I think that the hitching posts for horse-drawn buggies still are at a few grocery stores in those towns.) Similarly, there such communities around Chambersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro PA

Your budget ought to be quite adequate in the Valleys, even if you build as you are thinking.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
7,670 posts, read 13,329,278 times
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If looking at the valley I would suggest starting near the Strasburg area and south. In my humble opinion Winchester has gotten too busy. Pretty good hospital though. But to me the most gorgeous mountain views, without being up on them, start mouth south.

This is part of the view from our front porch. 2nd is the back yard. And there are many better views than what we have. https://imgur.com/8WdsigM

https://i.imgur.com/MXoORYr.jpg
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Old 01-01-2021, 04:23 PM
 
135 posts, read 95,512 times
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Originally Posted by Bigfoot424 View Post
If looking at the valley I would suggest starting near the Strasburg area and south. In my humble opinion Winchester has gotten too busy. Pretty good hospital though. But to me the most gorgeous mountain views, without being up on them, start mouth south.

This is part of the view from our front porch. 2nd is the back yard. And there are many better views than what we have. https://imgur.com/8WdsigM

https://i.imgur.com/MXoORYr.jpg
Wow, those are incredible views, especially the back view. That is exactly what we are looking for. Edinburg looks perfect. Please explain what you mean by "mouth south." Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
7,670 posts, read 13,329,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ship4u View Post
Wow, those are incredible views, especially the back view. That is exactly what we are looking for. Edinburg looks perfect. Please explain what you mean by "mouth south." Thanks for your help.


LOL. No idea. Guess my typing skills are deteriorating and now I cannot fix it. Edinburg area is near a smaller hospital but close to Winchester and Harrisonburg. I've used UVA as well and it is a longer drive but one I love to take as I do back roads. You may have to build considering what you are looking for but with your budget this won't be an issue.
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:50 AM
 
135 posts, read 95,512 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot424 View Post
LOL. No idea. Guess my typing skills are deteriorating and now I cannot fix it. Edinburg area is near a smaller hospital but close to Winchester and Harrisonburg. I've used UVA as well and it is a longer drive but one I love to take as I do back roads. You may have to build considering what you are looking for but with your budget this won't be an issue.
When I look at your photos, it reminds me exactly of the rolling terrain of the English Countryside. What is the climate like there (summers, winters, humidity, snow) as compared to other areas? Thanks!
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