Q. I see the house has been listed a few times over the years. And now it's listed again. Why didn't it sell?
A. Well the long and short of it...? Price. When I bought this back in 2005, I paid $390,000 with the intent of putting a wedding venue and guest suites here for my restaurants in Decatur, The Supper Club and Billy Goat's Cantina. For 2 years I came up every week and worked with an Atlanta construction crew to reconfigure the space, cover the block interior walls with sheet rock, redo all bathrooms, gut and reroute plumbing and create an open kitchen, install doors to bring in all the views of nature and basically modernize a 1959 ranch for entertaining and culinary pursuits.
In 2007 someone bought out my businesses. I sold both of my restaurants and moved to Mt. Airy full time and started a little farmette and got chickens and continued to upgrade the property. In 2008 this little thing happened called the Big Short...wherein the American real estate market crashed. The Mortgage Bubble. Maybe you've heard of it? Now well over $180,000 into upgrades suddenly my dream property was worth 1/2 of what I paid for it. But I loved living here and my farm and my chickens and my space and peace so I hunkered down and waited for the market to come back up. I am an entrepreneur and investor at heart, but a chef, gardener and nature lover to the core. This was a welcome change for this city girl transplant. I have bought and sold 16 homes all over the country in the last 20 years. I've known when to hold and when to fold. 2008 was a *special* time that threw even seasoned real estate hobbyists for a loop.
Over the years I have tossed the property up on Zillow because it's free, fun and easy! And I get a lot of feedback on traffic, saves, favorites and can take a market temperature without getting involved with an agency or doing too much leg work. The market has only been READY in the past year. And that eclipse of time when I'm free, ready, able to move on, pulled to another opportunity, willing to part with this amazing place. There have never been any accepted offers on the home nor has anyone backed out of a deal, had a pending sale or gone through a due diligence period. So don't buy into that scare tactic of ohhhh, that house has been on the market for "too long" maybe there's something wrong with it. Yea, or maybe it's a great deal. Get your inspections, crawl all over this place, I'll show you exactly what I've done over the years and other potential expansion ideas. I am a single entrepreneur who funds my own projects. I cannot put any more money into this particular property which frustrates my inner project queen, but I have spent too much already. My loss is your gain. The tax assessed value is $420k so you'll have no problem getting an appraisal and it's a fair and pretty aggressive price point but you'll need to qualify for conventional loans because it's an old home. Cash is king. You'll also need 20% down to be solid. I'm a little negotiable but I know what this place is worth. Make an appointment and check it out. This is not a fire sale however. I will not entertain insulting low ball offers. I can keep it and rent it out and wait for a fair price, so don't confuse my desire to move on as desperation and foolish ignorance. I didn't get here and create what I have because I don't know what's up.
Q. Why is the grass longer in some places than others? Have you just stopped mowing the lawn? Are you just letting it all go to seed? Did you fire the landscaper? A. Nope. Google NO MOW PROJECT and SUSTAINABLE PRAIRIE and RAIN GARDENS. I am a progressive Farm to Table Chef for 20 years and an Environmental Permaculture nerd. Shrinking the Lawn is a passion of mine. Lawns are not edible and waste precious water and other resources. Soil retains water if the grass is allowed to grow taller. I have experiments in the back acreage to encourage animal habitat and provide bee and butterfly populations... over the years I have let it go native and work with my landscaper to cut and maintain 8 ft walking paths around the property. I'm quite proud of the results. The diversity of birds, wildlife, bees, critters, frogs and beetles and woodland creatures has many benefits. One important one, is that there are no FLEAS on my dogs. Ever. Even fewer TICKS, less mosquitoes (we have bat boxes) and a balanced eco system takes care of itself. Composting for 5 years and cover crops over the filled in swimming pool from the 60s (about as unsustainable as you can get) has resulted in rich soil for growing mineral rich vegetables. This is the future.
Having said all of that, it's just grass. If you want to cut it flat like a golf course that's your choice after the sale. A day with a bush hog and a couple zero turn mowers and you'll be slick as a soccer field. I keep the front acreage and the lawns cut at the front of the property as we are hosting guests every week. There is an ability to strike a balance between being a good neighbor and having lush nature. I have never irrigated this land once in 13 years. It is lush and green. What looks like "letting it go" to the uninitiated is actually a long term process set in place to make this place easier to maintain for one person. It's been a win win. Less time, less money, more nature. I can hike my own park. It's pretty cool. There are tons of other things that can happen here, the sky is the limit.
Q. Is it zoned commercial? A. No, it is zoned residential with a permit to run a business here. Events and receptions and weddings and yoga retreats. Gatherings of all types. You may check with the town of mt airy ordinances to check on your business idea. I currently have event permits and 2 Airbnb suites.
Q. Taxes? How much are those? A. 2017 for Town of Mt. Airy and County of Habersham total was $4500