On an innocent trip to North Carolina in May of last year, we stayed for 3 days in Asheville North Carolina and drove around thinking how beautiful the mountains were and how lovely it would be to live there.  Alas, we felt that the move-in ready homes were priced higher than we wanted to spend, and left thinking it would not be possible.

But when we got back to our home in Seattle on Saturday,  May 23, we both independently started to search for properties in the Asheville area.   On Monday morning,  Brian showed me a house he had found near Hendersonville, on 11.5 acres and with almost 4400 square feet.  It was built in 1983 and was located on top of a ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with a spectacular view, for a nice low price– but the words “handyman special” were literally written all over the description.

We talked about it for a couple of days, alternately dismissing and entertaining the thought.  At about the same time, we brought home our new Standard Poodle puppy, Beowulf.

Finally, Brian decided to call the selling agent to discuss it.  The house had been on the market for 9 months, with two low and unaccepted offers.  The agent told us that there was another person interested in looking at it, so we got a flight booked for Brian on the last seat available to Charlotte for Memorial Day weekend, while I pulled puppy duty at home.

There was no flooring in the house (all the carpet had been ripped out) except for the hardwood in the great room and the parquet in the kitchen.  Water damage had ruined areas of popcorn ceilings.  Evidence of rodents and termites (with no permanent damage) was abundant.  The central vaccum system and intercoms no longer worked.  A nightmare!  But we decided it needed to be rescued (just like our four cats).

So it was that we made an offer quite a bit below the asking price, which to our delight was accepted.  Later, during the due diligence period, we discovered other issues and managed to get the price down even lower.


Six weeks later, on Bastille Day, we took ownership of this neglected beauty and christened it “Bebbanburg”, after the fabled ancestral home of Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

This blog is to be an account of the progress of  the restoration of Bebbanburg and  our upcoming move there.