15 Acre Farm & House for Sale in Southwestern Virginia for $195,000
Our Property is For Sale!
We love this house and the land, and hate to move. But we have put a lot of thought into where we want to spend the rest of our lives (or at least the next few decades) and have decided to buy an even larger piece of land with friends. I’ll discuss this decision more at the end of the post (we’re only moving 45-minutes away), but first I’d like to share the details of our property in case you or someone you know might be interested in buying a small farm in southwest VA.
Update: The road we live off of (just 1 mile from our house) was featured in the New York Times Travel section this week!
This 1,612 square foot home is what you would call a small farm house, or a farmette. It sits near a quiet road on almost 15.5 acres (more about the land below). There are 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, although we added on a room for a second bathroom attached to the master bedroom, which is currently being used as a nursery room. There are two family rooms (one could be a dining room) and a sun room, as well as a medium-sized kitchen with a breakfast nook. It has a huge red barn, two chicken coops, a cow/goat shed, workshop, spring house / milk house (where they used to keep the milk cold by way of spring water running through a trough) and another small outbuilding we use for recycling storage. The home is on well water and has a newer model well pump. It has the best water I’ve ever tasted – so clear, cold and clean, it puts Evian to shame. The home has a relatively (5 years) new septic system with the drain field in the pasture. The shingles on the older part of the house are about 5 years old; those on the new addition are only months old. It is one-story with a high attic that we have stuffed with new insulation. In fact, we have insulated the walls, ceiling and under the floors as well. But that’s not the only improvement we’ve made. Below is a complete list:
- New Insulation (as described above)
- New Gutters
- New Fireplace Insert
- New Chimney Liner
- Re-Pointed and Capped the Chimney
- 20 New, Double-Paned, Energy-Efficient Windows
- Two New Doors
- Two Fresh Coats of Paint on House, Barn, and Outbuildings
- Rebuilt Front and Side Porches
- Built a Three-Rail Fence Around .25-Acre “Yard”
- Built a foot-bridge across the creek
- Updated the Bathroom
- Updated Fixtures and Hardware
- Added a Dishwasher
- Updated Plumbing
- Installed New Hot Water Heater
- Insulated Plumbing
- Updated Electrical in Part of the House
- Updated Electrical Box/Panel and Service
- Built a Gorgeous 372 Sq. Ft. Addition
- … Lots of other small things here and there
Basically, this house doesn’t need anything else done to it. We’ve fixed everything that needed to be fixed and then some. It would be perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a fixer-upper but still wants to live in a farmhouse that has history and character. We love our home and will be sad to leave.
While the newly-fenced area is only about a quarter-acre, the “yard” is about three acres bordering a creek on one side; the fenced-in pasture is about four acres, and the rest of the 15.3 acres is wooded hillside. There are at least two springs on the property. One used to gravity feed to the house and milk-house (which is still here), and the other creates a wetland area at the back of the 3-acre yard. I liked the varied landscape, but if we stayed here I was going to turn that area into a nice, clear, spring-fed pond and stock it with trout or bass.
If you walk up the deer trails and through the woods to the top of the property there are two other potential building sites with fantastic long-range views. I like to walk up and spend some time there for exercise. It would also make a pretty rolling-green pasture (and it was about 20 years ago) if you needed more room for livestock.
Perhaps the defining feature of this property, and what we will miss the most, is the year-round babbling brook (aka a bold spring branch) in the back yard. We love the sound of water running over rocks, which you can clearly hear when you open any back window in the house. It never runs dry and, although it comes out of the banks at times, it has never in the history of this house (built in the 1930′s and added onto in the 1950′s) flooded the house – although it did get into the crawlspace once in the 1980′s when a large, round hay-bale rolled into the creek and blocked the flow. The spring that fed the house its water now flows freely into this small brook behind the house, and I often cup my hands under the spring outlet to drink the cold, clear water. On the other side of the barn this small spring branch runs into a larger creek (little snake creek) that has some passable trout and bass fishing at certain times of the year, and a nice swimming hole (about four or five-feet deep) if you don’t mind the cold water.
We have a large garden area, perhaps about 800 square feet, and there are two cultivated apple trees and several grape vines in the back yard. This place could have a fantastic orchard, vinyard and garden with a little hard work and time.
If you’re into hunting there are numerous wild turkeys and deer on the property. During the summer months we can almost guarantee we’ll see a few deer under the apple tree eating windfall apples if we look out the back windows at dawn or sunset.
1533 Red Hill Rd. Hillsville, VA 24343
The home is located in Carroll County, Virginia just outside the small country town of Hillsville, but equally close to Fancy Gap, which is on the border of northern North Carolina. You can visit Mount Airy, NC (the inspiration for Andy Griffith’s Mayberry) in about 20 minutes. This is where we usually go to the movies. We’re also near Galax, VA – home to the Galax Fiddlers Convention and part of the New River Trail. The Blue Ridge Parkway is 12-minutes away and you can be at Mabry Mill (absolutely stunning!) and several live bluegrass music venues within 15-20 minutes.
Hillsville is in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia. The land is fertile and the scenery is breathtaking. The people are some of the friendliest you’ll find anywhere. While it is in the Appalachian region and is certainly rural, Hillsville and the surrounding areas aren’t plagued with many of the socio-economic problems I’ve seen elsewhere in areas of Appalachia. There’s even a high-end golf resort a few miles up the road. It is largely a community of farmers and retirees with some young folks like ourselves thrown in here and there. The high-school looks to be state-of-the-art. Other than that we haven’t looked much into the school system, but you can find out more here.
Things to Do
- Canoeing or kayaking on the New River or Big Reed Creek
- Biking trails or scenic country roads
- Golf or Tennis
- Tour local vineyards and wineries
- Fly fishing
- Horse riding
- Hiking the many trails, including the Appalachian Trail
- A Sunday drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway
- The Bi-Annual Hillsville Flea Market (WOW!)
- Visiting sites like Mabry Mill, Claytor Lake or the Natural Bridge
- Listening to live bluegrass music on the Crooked Road Music Trail
- Go “antiquing” (seriously)
- + Many more… You can learn about all the other activities here and here.
We respect the privacy of our neighbors so won’t say too much here, except to say that we only have one pair of neighbors whose house we can see clearly and it is right across the street. They are young for retirees and are very friendly. They make great neighbors. We do know lots of other people in this little valley and all of them have been more than helpful. We’ll be sad to leave such a friendly, helpful, caring community.
More Pictures (click to view full size):
Why We’re Moving
After months of weighing over the decision, we have decided to buy a large piece of land in Floyd, Virginia (just 45-minutes away) – where we hope to build the off-grid-ready home that we dream about. While our neighbors here are great, they are mostly at retirement age while we are about to have our first (and possibly only) child. This factor has played the largest role in our decision. The second factor is that most of the friends and acquaintances we’ve met in the past year live in Floyd and we find ourselves driving 45 minutes to visit them. Lastly, we’d like to start a community from the ground up (not a commune, but a sort of intentional community where everyone owns their own land and does what they want with it), which will save a large chunk of Floyd county farmland from the development of 50 or so 3-acre second-home sites. We will probably rent somewhere in Floyd while looking for the perfect piece of land and organizing a group land buy. We’re thinking maybe three families with 10-25 acres each and 25 acres in a public trust that we can all use for non-destructive, recreational purposes (i.e. hiking, fishing, hunting…) for a total of about 75-100 acres. The deed would be split up so we all own our own land and homes. We hope to get most of the shared-work and social benefits of commune-ity without the pitfalls of politics, reaching consensus, community rules, ongoing fees, etc… that you find in many intentional communities. We’ll write more about this later as the plan takes shape. For now, we’re enjoying our time here with the sound of the creek in our backyard and the comfort and charm of our newly-renovated old farmhouse.