old country house blog


My Old Country House
My Old Country House and Charlie’s tail. Ever my guardian angel – that dog is wherever I am. 

Our house is still for sale. There must be a name for this point in the process. When your house has been on the market for over six months, and you’ve passed  anticipation and excitement and exhaustion and have entered into just flat-out-done.

The view from my yard
The view from my yard

I consider myself a glass half full girl. And trust me,  I know it could be worse.  I am always looking for the silver-lining. I try not to take things personal. But when you have put every ounce of your heart and soul and sweat into your home, when you have loved her so much you started a blog to honor her – only to have prospective buyers pass judgment, and say they “just wish she had a first floor master…”

….well….It can wear an Optimist down.


I remain ever hopeful. Confident that the perfect family for our perfectly-imperfect home is still out there. Or maybe they have already been here…and will come back. It saddens me that the trend is so much toward new, new, new, newer and NEWEST.  Not to wax philosophical, but I think that it is a reflection on our entire culture of perfection.

But in my opinion, my old country house IS perfect. Just the way she is. Because she is real.


I have always felt that I have joined my old country house on HER journey – rather than she on mine, for she will be here LONG after I am gone. Just as she was here long before I got here.


I love My Old Country House

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Well said, Lesli. I couldn’t agree more with your comments. I also believe that things have a way of working out. Hang in there my friend.

  2. Sometimes when a property is on the market too long, people wonder what is wrong with it that it hasn’t sold. You might be better off taking it off the market and waiting until Spring to relist it. Your house is unique so you just need to find the one buyer that can appreciate it’s uniqueness. That being said, I think that you are asking way too much for your area. Also, the interior is so fabulous but the landscaping is so old and blah. Sorry, I don’t want to sound mean. I just have moved a LOT and looked at sooo many houses in my lifetime.

    1. This entire process has been humbling and disheartening. With no comps, we priced as advised by our realtor and have lowered the price 3 times..and will lower it again very soon. Our beautiful old boxwoods and ash trees have never botthered us…but hearing that they look “old and blah” makes me want to go cry somewhere.

  3. I would buy your house if I could afford it and lived in the area. It’s just fab. I am an old house lover too and I don’t understand why people who want NEW are looking at an OLD house? I also don’t understand if they want 1st floor master why are they looking at a 2-story house? They should be looking at ranch style houses. If you ask me, the buyers are the problem, not your beautiful house. I don’t think you want these nitwits buying your house anyway, because if they want new, who knows what they will do to the poor house in terms of removing character & charm in an effort to “modernize” it. The perfect buyer who will appreciate it will come along. I hope soon!! Maybe get a St. Joseph statue if you haven’t already? Put him in your front window.

  4. Nothing on the landscaping looks old and blah. The person who said that is old minded with the idea that only the new and souless matters. I love the landscape, I love the house, I love the space, better said, I love everything about your house. I just don’t live near you and can’t afford a true house! I would do as Mary J said (the only thing right she said, sorry) take it off the market, so people start wondering what are they losing and relist it later. Be brave and strong as you look you are Lesli, at least to me you look that way. XOXO

  5. Your house is lovely. Don’t change a thing. Someone will come along who will think it’s perfect. As my realtor said when I went through the same thing ~ there’s a lid for every pot… I’m local and know the area your house is in quite well. It’s magical. I would live there in a heartbeat if I didn’t love my own house so much! There’s so much new building going on in Charlottesville that the market is flooded. Be patient. Someone will come who will love your house just as you do.

  6. I’ve a couple of acquaintances who are Realtors and they say if your house has been on the market for five or six months to remove it from the listings, wait three months and relist it. They gave the reasons sited above. Evidently it’s a well documented experience in the housing market.

    If I could afford it and lived in your area, I’d buy your house in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, with two bad legs and one bad back, I’d have to look for a one story old farmhouse to satisfy my old house lust, lol! I question what goes on in the brains of home buyers who purchase an old house and then rip out everything to make it modern…….and spend a fortune in the process while destroying all of it’s personality. Why don’t they just go and buy or build a brand new modern ugly box? It makes me so angry! It’s not like there’s a never-ending supply of wonderful, character filled old homes, right?

    Anyway, don’t lose hope. Take it off the market until spring and I bet the perfect new custodians for your wonderful old house will pop up about the time the tulips and daffodils do! 🙂

  7. Lesli,
    Your home is a gem! Inside and out – so special. Don’t give up, the family who is meant to be there will buy it and love it when it’s the best time for you…hang in there. So good to see the pics again, love your place so much!

  8. As I said, I agree with you. I live in a house built in the 20s in a very urban area around Chicago. My house has been modified a lot through the decades as it started small and was expanded a few times. There was an addon in the rear, the original attached one car garage was converted into a bedroom, closets and a bathroom were added upstairs. All of this has resulted in some quirky spaces and some things I just have to live with. But I love it for what it is. It is in a mature neighborhood with lots of Frank Lloyd Wright homes. We have an excellent location and a great backyard. I wouldn’t change it. I aporeciate how it has changed to serve the families through the decades.

  9. I was a little shocked at Mary J’s frankness, although her perspective was presented in a very diplomatic way. It made me go back and look at your pictures. The exterior of the house in no way measures up to the interior. It is hard to see the architecture through the mature plantings. Maybe a consultation with a professional to help you retain some of the mature plantings you love while adding some new life and character would help in the curb appeal. The bright side is that right now would be a great time to do some landscaping. Plants and shrubs are deeply discounted and they often thrive being planted in the fall. Hang in there. We are all rooting for you.

    1. Thank you Collen for you well thought out suggestions. And I am sure there is room for improvement on the exterior of our home..and maybe we will embark on some of them. That being said, It is hard to think of dropping our price yet again, to meet the market, and then invest any more money in our home. Especially with winter coming. We have hundreds of daffodils and tulips that come up in the spring. But thanks for your suggestions!

  10. I think everyone is being a little hard on poor Mary. I think that she was just trying to be helpful but it all came out wrong. I actually agree with what she said. I think that you have used your magic to get Cinderella ready for the ball. Now she needs to wait for the prince to come with the glass slipper.

  11. It’s so hard to know what to do. We had someone help us with new plantings when we put our house on the market. The people that purchased it ripped it all out. Our realtor had us paint rooms over that were too bright or loud. Tone it down she said so we did. Then people left comments on the open houses that the colors were too dull. I wanted to rip my hair out. I said my prayers and hoped for the best. One of my girlfriends had a Christmas Open House when her place was on the market for months. She and her husband decorated, served cookies and holiday treats and the realtor conducted the open house. After months on the market it sold that weekend. Keep the faith, your followers are praying for you.

  12. Amazing house, Thank you for sharing your house with us. You have a lovely house and you captured it so well! This so special house will bring a healthy amount to you.

  13. Dear Lesli:

    Where to begin? I landed here and had to take the tour before commenting. Each room and space has been treated with such a thoughtful, loving eye. Your home bespeaks a generous, kind, artistic spirit and you have been a truly dedicated and wondrous steward of an amazingly gorgeous vintage home. And very well-named. I actually got a bit teary-eyed when I reached the room with Zelda’s quote above the mantle. Now, you know that we who worship old homes are in a class by ourselves. Not for us the flash of last week’s trend or the fickle thrill of the latest gold leaf craze. We are the ones who thrill at the sight of original built-ins and the feel of rattling glass doorknobs. We grow faint at paint-encrusted mantles and wood floors buried under old carpeting. We know when we open the front door that a craftsman not to be found today joined those floorboards. And we know why that wooden banister is so smooth. We hear the voices, all of them, of all of the souls who have lived day to day under the roof of this old country house. So. My point here is that the right person will open your front door and her heart will go pitty-pat. She will know that she is home. Be patient. Being new here, I don’t know why you’re selling. But I can only assume you must.

    1. wow. I am so glad you faound me and visa versa!!!Old Houses have a kind a life all their own…and I have made so many connections because of this big old house.
      We are moving to downsize. We are down to just 3 of us at home now and it just feels too big…though I have never stopped loving being here…and there are far worse things I can imagine than being “stuck” here while we wait for her next owner to find us.

      Thanks so much for your words of support and inspiration.

  14. The right family will come along just like your family did at the time. We restored a 100 year old home years ago and then moved into a new house 5 years later. I still miss that old home 25 years later. There’s nothing like it. And we really are just caretakers of old houses. I think they teach a young family so much… patience, skills you thought you would never need, responsibility and respect for a home that I don’t always think people have in newer homes and that new and perfect isn’t always what we need. I think old homes teach children to be flexible and adjust to the crazy things that go on in an old home 🙂 I have loved your blog since the day I found it and I think people who let the placement of 1 bedroom more important than the “feel” and spirit of home are not your people!! hang in there… being on the market is so hard but ignore the comments…. they obviously aren’t house people 🙂 They are just looking for a house!

  15. I am new here, just wanted to say that your house is lovely! Reading your post made me remember something I read many years ago, and maybe it can explain something… You said you love your house, I loved it, too! One day I read that an entrepeneur, owner of a vintage shop, was selling a gorgeous wardrobe. A young woman saw it and loved it. She asked the price, realized she could not buy it, looked at it again, sighing and left. It is not about the price, it is that the owner said that 2 years passed and she still had the wardrobe at her shop. It was not overpriced, it was just tat the young woman put her energy on the wardrobe, by loving it that much. I do not know, just telling you that maybe this could be an explanation, your energy about the house is strong, maybe potential buyers feel it “belongs to the heart of someone”. I hope that soon people see that this love enriches the property and buy it!

  16. If your house has been sitting that long then it’s probably overpriced. When there are no good comps, it’s tough. But someone will come along. I agree with others that suggested you take it off the market and re-list in the spring, and try not to take it personally when you have to drop the price– it doesn’t invalidate the work and love you’ve put into the house. I found out when buying my house (also old, with no comps) that it has been listed and de-listed twice before. In addition to not having comps it was kind of in an odd price range and it had some updated big ticket items (windows, septic) and other systems that were not (heating, electrical), so I’m not surprised it didn’t sell quickly. People usually seem to want all or nothing in regards to that stuff and mine was sort of in fixer-upper purgatory. Old houses can be really intimidating, even to people who love them.

    1. We will remove our house in mid December and relist in February. The pricing is incredibly frustrating. Our house is absolutely not overpriced. Comparable houses in our neighborhood have sold, for much more than ours. This neighborhood cannot be compared to the town next to it. They have entirely different histories. However, the buyers who are doing most of the looking out here have little to compare it too- EXCEPT brand new construction. That being said, our neighbors house down the street, same sq footage but with 3 more acres, is over 100k more. and another house which was a dilapidated tear down on 15 acres just sold for 150 less than ours. I believe we are priced right…but the right buyer has to see the house. There is a psychology to the buyers. They either want an old house, that is a great deal and needs a massive amount of work, that they will pour their heart and soul into = or a new house. We are an old house that has been completely modified. But I know we will sell it. Just taking longer than I thought it would, but I am excited that we get a last Christmas here!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.