25 May, 2009

We Got It - Tree and All!

We got it! Negotiations went well, and we are the proud new owners of an inn in Hiawassee, GA. The first order of business for us was removing that huge tree from in front of the house. We knew there was going to be some landscaping work done, and we were sure the tree was not going to figure into our plans. We found a great contractor, and he set the tree-pullin' wheels in motion. We travel among Hiawassee, Charlotte (home), and Atlanta (hometown) a lot these days, so the tree was pulled on a weekend when we were not in Hiawasse. The contractor reported that the house looked better already - you could see it from the driveway, and it looked welcoming. Unfortunately, when the tree came up, so did a water main. That was no good, but they were able to replace the main fairly easily. No harm, no foul. We have had our first bump in the renovation road. Hopefully, things will go more smoothly from here.

Before (with tree)

After (without tree)

21 February, 2009

Hiawassee it is!

After much deliberation and some difficult negotiations, we chose Hiawassee, GA.

The Hiawassee property had been run as a B&B for years. The name of the inn was Mountain Memories. Original and subsequent owners ran it well and had a following. People came, and kept coming, for the great views and for hospitality. When we found it, it had been empty for over a year. The structure itself was built in the '60s as a small house with a couple of bedrooms and a garage. Pieces were added along the way, and now it's difficult to decipher the exact original footprint of the house.

Here are some pictures of the inn as we found it:

This is the view as you drive up. The house has potential, but you can see that the landscape needs work and that huge tree in the middle of the front yard needs to go so you can see the house.

This is the gazebo - completely covered in ivy. The rest of the side yard is in similar condition.

The year of disuse while the inn was on the market took its toll on all rooms.

The carpet needs to be replaced, the walls painted (one of the rooms has visible water damage), and some general aesthetic upgrades are required. We also assume that some of the guts of the house will need work, since the place has been empty so long. Well, we'll talk to some inspectors and the deed holders, and we'll see what happens!

06 January, 2009

The Great Debate

The adventure has begun! We, John and Dale, finally decided to abandon the suburbs, desk jobs, and predictability of the workaday world and open a bed-and-breakfast. Crazy? Yes. Fun? We hope so!

We've been traveling around areas in the Southeast to see where we wanted to be. There are some beautiful areas in Virginia and West Virginia. We found a few available B&Bs in historic towns and a few in college towns. The business was there, but our family is in Charlotte and Atlanta (including the grandson). Virginia is just too far for our comfort.

We've narrowed the search down to North Georgia and the mountains of North Carolina. There are some beautiful places out there - and some not so pretty. During our search, we try to stay at B&Bs.