Come on my Drive with me… house hunting and meandering.






On Saturday, I was in Paso Robles, hunting down property listings while Hubby was attending a family matter.  Our Real Estate agent said that as long as I was down here and had a free day, I may as well drive around and make sure we wanted to view the homes on our list for tomorrow.

I thought that was a grand idea!  I love driving around to get to know a new place.

The day was perfect!  Crisp air, clouds mixed with winterclean sunshine, bright green grass, damp rolling hills dotted by ancient oak trees.

Lovely.

I was reminded how much I loved the area…

You see, in the summer, it can get very, very, extremely hot here.  That’s the down side.  But, every person here will tell you that it ‘cools off’ in the evening.  Hubby agrees. But, he says that it does get very hot during the days.  The people that live here just get used to the hot summers because they love living here, I think.

MY SOJOURN

So, I had 3 addresses set into my GPS.  At around 10am, I set off from Hubby’s little bungalow on RiverStar Vineyards (He was so lucky to find this beautiful spot, thank you, Pat!)

The sun was glorious… I had the radio up and I was very light-hearted and happy.  The first destination was only 10 minutes away and the ride there was easy and beautiful.

As I was driving, I reminded myself how there was no green at all the last time I was over here. In the summer, this entire area is full of vineyards and brown earth.

Anyway, the neighborhood had mostly nicer houses, which was good.  To be honest, I couldn’t figure out why we could afford a house in this neighborhood, especially a fairly NEW house.  Not that we are looking at shacks… but these were not shacks, if you know what I mean…

Hmmmm.

Since we didn’t have an appointment until tomorrow, I didn’t drive up the driveway or peek inside… I just looked from the street.  This pretty large house had glorious views, huge front pastures (with scrubs but no big trees) and a paved, long driveway.

Hmmmmm.  What is wrong with this house?, I wondered…

I decided to pick up the flyer that was in the box attached to the FOR SALE sign.  As I was reading it, I noted that the house was straw bale construction.  Aha!  Either it was not built up to code or people are afraid of straw bale construction here.  That is why this house is the least expensive new house on the block!

(Know that when I came back to Hubby’s bungalow, I couldn’t get to Mr. Google fast enough to study up on straw bale houses… If any of you have experience with straw bale construction, please contact me with your pros and cons!)

I took a photo from the For Sale sign.  It is not a good photo, especially with my finger in the frame.  But you can see that it is up on a hill with a paved driveway and wonderful views.

I didn't drive up the driveway of the first place because I was just doing recon. Our actual appointment is tomorrow. But, while there, I picked up the flyer and found out that this is a straw bale construction house. Hmmmmm. No wonder we can afford it in this posh neighborhood.

I didn’t drive up the driveway of the first place because I was just doing recon. Our actual appointment is tomorrow. But, while there, I picked up the flyer and found out that this is a straw bale construction house. Hmmmmm. No wonder we can afford it in this posh neighborhood.  (Yes, that is my finder at the top of the frame.)

RIGHT NEXT DOOR!

I decided to drive up the road to view what might be back there, and I saw that the very next house on the road is for sale… Hmmmmm.  Are they having a war?  Hatfields and McCoys?  I came home and looked up both of the houses and they’ve been listed for a while.  Hmmmmm.  Always a concerning sign.

I’m all excited to find out the scoop!  I cannot wait to see both of these properties tomorrow.

Oh and I continued up the road and found only very large equestrian homes.  Very large.  Like acres and acres… breeding farms and ranches.  So, I am thinking that this road might be really fine for purchasing and might be OK to ride down, but not sure.   Depends upon the amount of traffic.

Both of these homes are 15 minutes from the Work Family Ranch. They are friends of my friends, the V6 Ranch.  Anyway, I know the Work Ranch allows outside horses to ride on their zillion acres. They also practice holistic grazing for their cattle and land.  I like that.

 THE NEXT HOUSE…

The next house was in our favorite town out here, Creston.  The road to Creston is scrumptious.

A few years ago, we gave offers on 4 homes in Creston.  Cash buyers beat us out.  So, I know these roads well.  As I passed the houses that we didn’t win, I took note to see how they looked and tested my heart to feel if I was sad.

I wasn’t.  It was all good.

While driving, I screeched to a halt when I saw this little guy.  I think I kinda scared him… but he was very, very, extremely cute!  He was standing in the front pasture of a huge ranch with gates that yelled ‘JR’ from high atop and iron pedestal.  He was in there with a dark gelding.  Just the two of them, grazing together in this huge paddock.

I had to screech to a halt to jump out of my car and take his pic. I think I scared him.

I had to screech to a halt to jump out of my car and take his pic. I think I scared him.

Anyway, the house on Creston was next to another house we had seen a few years previously. The land is gorgeous but the road is bad…  We’ll see.   Once we look inside the houses (yes, there are two on the property, which is a plus), we will know whether the bad road is worth it.

DRIVING TO THE NEXT PLACE.

I have to say, the drive from Creston over to the next house which was on Hwy 58, was spectacular.  Boy, with a commute on those roads daily, I doubt anyone would complain…

I stopped in front of the massive gates to this house that had a FOR SALE sign.  I didn’t bother to look up its price because it was about a bazillion acres and it looked like a Western Movie set. Incredible.  I took a photo of the FOR SALE sign, just because…

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 4.13.06 PM

I saw this property that was for sale as I was driving. I didn’t bother to look it up. It was about a million acres and looked like a movie set. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t qualify. LOTTERY!

Anyway, the next house for me to view was on Park Hill.  And, as I told the agent after viewing it from the outside… it was all ‘hill’ and no ‘park’.  So, it was off the list.

HEADED BACK TO TOWN.

I continued on the lovely Hwy 58 into Santa Margarita and then onward to Templeton.  Both are charming little towns.

I’ve attached some photos so you can see what I was seeing, sort-of, through my windshield as I was driving.  Just imagine these in 3-D with glorious sunshine and angels singing.

This is my favorite type of landscape… rolling, oak smattered, green hills.

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Beautiful rolling hills.

This is part of Santa Margarita Ranch.

TOWN

I stopped in town to get something to eat.  I found a great little breakfast and lunch place called, KITCHENETTE that Hubby and I have attended previously.  He thought it was too expensive.  I thought it was very tasty.  So, I went back there for another great lunch – all organic and fresh!

Speaking of organic and fresh, I saw this vegetable garden outside of a local market.  Loved it!

The most fun thing was that as i was driving to town, I heard a cute radio ad for a store that sounded cool.  So, I memorized the address (a good radio ad when you can remember the address easily) and headed there.  You see, I will end up staying 2 days longer than I had planned so I needed a new, inexpensive top or two.

I drove straight to the shop and it ended up being new – but full of repurposed and recycled stuff and clothes that she had purchased from resale shops and yard sales… so all the pieces were picked, not just dropped off.

Lucky me!  I found three tops which combined were $8, plus a classic leather jacket (that I didn’t need) for $27!  To feel less guilty, I bought Hubby a really fun surfing logo shirt that he will love.

This garden was outside of a local market!

This garden was outside of a local market!

AND SHORTLY, I WAS BACK IN HUBBY’S CABANA… DOING INTERNET SEARCHES ON STRAW HOUSES AND ANYTHING ELSE I COULD THINK OF ABOUT THE HOMES WE WILL VISIT TOMORROW.

I am here in Hubby’s cabana, writing to you.  He will be back in an hour or so.  I think I will take a nap and rest up for our big day of actually seeing these properties tomorrow.

Hubby is bringing home dinner (probably home-made soup) and we will just watch movies here.  I’m glad to have a nice, quiet evening!

Thanks for coming along with me on my day trip!  ;)

This simple real flower and mason jar display was on the restaurant wall. I took a photo because I wanted to remember it.

This simple real flower and mason jar display was on the restaurant wall. I took a photo because I wanted to remember it.

 

 



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2 comments have been posted...

  1. Alexis

    Depends on who does the straw bale construction – well, that’s true of all “built” houses. However – you need to talk with several lenders. Not all are on board with straw bale construction. Best to find that out sooner or later. Check area zoning codes and local county or city Building departments too and make sure the house actually had permits and inspections during the process!

    If you are able to buy on contract without going through a lender that would be a way to get around any nonsense from lenders; however, remember that the next buyer (as in, what if your husband gets transferred?) would have the same problem with some lenders.

    Straw bale is not in many areas considered to be “mainstream” enough for many lenders to take a risk on – specifically for the potential resale problem.

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