Monday, January 08, 2007
Actually this story about the land starts a few months back, but its been pretty busy and so I'll just have to work to catch things up. Lucky for you, that should leave out some rather boring stretches.
Every five or six months since I first moved to Portland 20 years ago I'd been driving up a certain road a few miles east of my house. This may seem a bit odd, but there was a little turn out at the top of a hill where I could stop the car alongside a section of s-curves. There was an old red barn, then acres of grass fields - grazing land - punctuated by trees and creek, rolling down and off as far as you could see. I live about 11 miles west of Portland and the area has turned into a very actively expanding suburb, so over time that rural view became more rare and more appealing. I guess that is what kept pulling me back to park and look out over the hills there. I went as far as looking up the plat maps and figured out the parcel I liked was 8 acres... more than I could afford or keep up... so in my mind it just became the place I dreamed about in no practical fashion.
Middle of last year, I took my boyfriend up to see the place. We parked, noticed how the farther views now included many new rooftops, and then turned around and headed back towards my house. I told him I'd always thought about stopping and seeing if any of the nearby houses would consider selling their places when about a half mile down the road I noticed a brushy grown over place with a sign out front. Sure enough, there was a for sale sign, with a broker's number, which we dialed sitting at the end of the long gravel driveway skeptically looking at the run down house and junk yard hound barking outside. Just under an acre. With a tear-down house and a motivated seller. I'd literally driven along this road for nearly 20 years and there had never been a place for sale along it before. But it wasn't anything like I had pictured sitting up at that turn out.
We set up a time the following day to go see the place and it was pretty scary up close.
The 1950s ranch house was in terrible condition and we couldn't even walk the back third of the parcel due to solid 8-12 foot blackberries and hazel brush. There was an orchard there they told us, but it became obvious there hadn't been any maintenance done in some 20 years. Why would I be interested?
Because of this view, which we could see when we walked to the edge of the parcel from the farmer's field next door.
Within a week we made our first offer. "Motivated sellers", and we offered cash. You'd think we'd wrap up the details quickly....