To say my in-laws house is spectacular would be an understatement. They probably have one of the most magnificent homes I've ever been in not because it is a million dollar mansion or high tech heaven but because it is stately and tasteful. Spacious yet comfortable. It is old for US standards, having been built in the 1800's. Their 13 or so acres of land on the top of a small mountain in NC used to be a vineyard with gently sloping terraces that have been transformed into beautiful English Gardens surrounding a simple, elegant, farmhouse that has been transformed into quite a nice place to call home. My family and I were lucky enough to live there for 9 months while waiting on the PD register. It has been my in-laws vacation home for the past 14 years but after it was loaned out to us and they didn't have access to it on a regular basis, they realized how much they enjoyed it and decided to make it their full time home.
The spoiled king of the castle, Boris with Ewan in the background
Changes have been made, patios created, bedrooms enlarged, windows updated.....full kitchen renovation, the works. It is perfect. So, when it came time to house hunt in the same town, I hated everything. Nothing measured up and I came home empty handed. I fell in love with one house that I would be happy with but the owners were not clued into the fact that the USA is in a recession and house prices are dropping. They are asking well over the appraised value and 20% higher than others in the neighborhood. I hope it sits there for a year with no offers and they lower the price.
For now I will have to be content with my government housing in New Zealand (hey, we all have to make sacrifices) and give up on the USA house idea for now. It's probably a good idea since we don't know yet where our next posting will be and may not be able to live back in the States for quite some time. I will have to also hope that my in-laws enjoy having us as house guests because that was the best "resort" I've ever stayed at even if the help was a bit uppity (those were my father in laws words when describing himself as host).