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Kelly: The Dream Takes Shape: Part I

Happy Shacks 2Cross posted from my blog…since I think I’m the only one here not participating in NaNo! [Editor’s note: Thanks, Kelly!]

I was catching up with some Facebook friends last week and my blogging and art friend Carmen shared, “Having an article and blog feature in this issue of Artful Blogging is a dream come true! What’s on your list of dreams?” I shared with you one of my dreams in my Purple Cottage post.   Then I told you I’d be checking out a piece of property I’ve been watching for quite a while in this post. I’ve admitted here before that I haven’t totally bought into the whole “universe bringing you what you desire” concept just yet, but some little things here and there have been leading me more towards believing that, and my little visit to check out this property was a big knock on the head! I’ve known the property since college; it’s been unoccupied for at least 15 years. In that 15 years, it’s also never been for sale. So, guess what? The first time I go over to seriously take a look at it? Yep, big For Sale sign right up front.  Here are a few pictures.

Happy Shacks 1Walking around the property, I was able to really think through my dream, standing right there…right where it could actually happen. There are 10 small cottages and two small-house type structures on about 3.5 acres with 700’ waterfront footage and two docks with 16 boat slips, and then another 4 acres of undeveloped land across the street. All the structures, as well as the docks, are in good solid shape; they just need some TLC and cosmetic enhancements. So what would I do with it? The cottages would remain just as they were initially meant to be used, for lodging. They are all about efficiency size, though I’d put double queens in each for bedding to allow for more flexibility. I’d renovate one of the larger buildings into a classroom/workshop space and the other into a café/gallery space with “front office” facilities. I’d use the facility as a whole for all-inclusive art retreats, wellness retreats, and corporate team-building retreats. While the cottages are not being used for retreats, the facility would essentially be a B&B, targeting couples and/or corporate bigwigs looking for a unique, peaceful getaway.  We’d have charter fishing services available for both the retreat attendees (thinking bored husbands/boyfriends here) and B & B guests. We’d subdivide the property across the street so it remains deeded separately from the “business” property since that’s where we’d build our houses.

Happy Shacks 3I have a close friend I’ve been thinking this through with. Kath has been a high level exec with Coca-Cola since we graduated from college and is ready to escape from the corporate world. We are the perfect team for this. I have the retreat planning, leadership, team-building, and art background, and she has the wellness, business and corporate contacts background. Our husbands would handle the excursions, dining and general maintenance aspects. She also has twin boys who would grow up having the hots for my twin redheads.  🙂

Happy Shacks 4So back to Madame Universe and her connection to the property and my current employment. As I was driving over to see the property, I got the call to schedule my final interview for my position of choice. Then, boom. The next morning, there’s this big For Sale sign staring me in the face. My dream, right there ready to happen. That was a Friday; my interview was scheduled for first thing Monday morning. Interesting timing, don’t you think?   When I didn’t get the offer for the campus I wanted, that For Sale sign popped back into my head. Maybe that was part of my message that a new job was not the right thing for me right now. I’ve always been one to follow my gut, and once my top choice was off the table, I knew I needed to stay where I was.

Happy Shacks 5So what’s next? What’s next is to just keep the dream alive while we work through the possibilities. The property is currently listed for $1.6 million, but given the economy, the amount of time it’s been sitting there, the fact the most others interested in it would probably be knocking down what’s there and starting from scratch, and what I’ve learned from others who have property in the area, I think we could get them down under $1 million. So we’ll see what happens. Initially I hesitated sharing my thoughts with you here, because once you put it out there, it’s out there, right? But then I realized that if you don’t share your dreams with others, how can they help you get there? This particular piece of property may work out, and it may not, but it’s made me realize that I can do this…if not with this property, then with another. For now, though, baby steps. Still working out the details on my first baby steps, but I’ll share those with you soon! In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on my initial plan.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brittany Vandeputte #

    That is beyond exciting Kelly! Tell us what we can do to help you make it happen!

    November 5, 2009
  2. Kristine #

    WOW! I’m so excited for you, Kelly. I hope it all works out. Sounds amazing!

    November 5, 2009
  3. jen #

    Kelly, that’s fabulous! Love the pics. Looking forward to hearing more about this dream becoming reality for you. Wow! (And FWIW, I’m not doing nanowrimo either ;-D Just busy with life)

    November 5, 2009
  4. This place is magical, Kelly. I can SEE what you would do with it — hard to think that it isn’t yours, just sitting there waiting for you to find it.

    November 5, 2009
  5. thanks guys. my dad lives in south florida and has tons of property management and real estate experience. he’s been doing some investigating for me, talking with the realtor “on behalf of a client” :-). so he’s taking care of all the “due diligence on the property”, whatever the heck that means. i’m just glad i have him to help me figure out all that part. another funny side note. i actually went to school with the realtor! i sent my dad a picture of a party (held at his house during spring break when he was out of town…ooops) that included this particular realtor. dad remained mum about the connection when he talked to dan. i asked him if he told him he had a picture of him in his house drinking beer circa 1988 and he said he’d save that little nugget for the negotiation stage. 🙂

    November 5, 2009

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