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Journal Entries

Building our new home: from finding the location, creating the design, choosing the builder, to the building process. This journal chronicles our process, from end to end.

How We Chose Our Land

Here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we could get a premium-priced lot with a mountain view, which is most often steeper, and more costly to build on, and often farther from town. But, for a similar price, we found a larger parcel, tucked in the woods, in a low-density development with a large park area for dogs, kids, and adults to roam in the grass near converging streams, a rustic pavillion, and lots of tall shade trees.

We wanted to buy a lot from an established, trusted developer, who would be around for years. Bridgewater was developed on part of Taylor Ranch, known for its longhorn cattle. Fourth-generation Cane Creek Valley resident, Billy Taylor, planned Bridgewater to be open, wooded, quiet, and accessible. Here's a quick drive-through video from their Web site. Rural, but not remote, and with top-quality public schools nearby, it felt right for us.

The one-and-a-quarter-acre lot we chose is wooded, with the building site set back about 125 feet from the street, among a variety of hardwoods, pines, mountain laurels,  rhododendron, and galax. It slopes gently toward the back, so it will accommodate our single-story-with-walkout-basement plan.