Through a series of articles, we show the journey of how we came to Heart Ridge.
We have a favorite place that we love to go to. It's our small cabin in the mountains near Brevard. There's no cell phone service or internet-- just the quiet stream and lots of time to read, write, converse, and pray. We've owned this place for about 5 years. We love having guests come to visit. The cabin is small, so we built another tiny cabin to sleep a few more. When our whole family comes together there, many camp and use hammocks. Although, we love this spot, one day a nearby property caught our attention. With our love of this area and the desire to share this experience with others, we have been dreaming of buying more land in order to have a retreat-like property. This nearby farm that was for sale certainly deserved a look.
This family farm owned by an elderly man who lives in Greenville, had been on the market for several years. Besides a main house made out of cedars taken from an old log house, it had another large guest house, and a barn. We immediately fell in love. The best feature was when you hiked to the top of one of the pastures, you felt like you were in the opening scene from the Sound of Music.
This would make a perfect place for a retreat. We felt peace and majesty.
We took all of our family members to see this place. We hiked around it. Made plans to build additional housing.
While we were dreaming, we might as well dream big. The owner was being selective about who he was going to sell the place to. In fact, the seller's agent, had grown up with the sons of the owner and had gone to visit this place as a young man. The agent was very familiar with the property and was very helpful. The family did not want this beautiful piece of property to be sold to developers. They had many memories here. They like our plans to use it as a retreat place for individuals and families.
We began researching how to start such an endeavor. We met with a couple of our friends who were finance guys to brainstorm some possibilities. Tami read books on nonprofits. We even brought a builder friend to see the place. He had concerns about the well and water for that many people. Septic fields could be dug. He suggested smaller housing units.
After much research, we put together a business plan. We figured that we could sustain a retreat business, if we first had investors to help us buy the property.
This sent us on several more meetings to finding prospective leads. Long story short, we couldn't get any bites. And even though the property needed to be sold and was in disrepair, we couldn't get the price to go under a million. Also, to get to it, you had to drive over a mountain. And once there, the driveway was almost a mile long.
Brevard real estate, especially a piece of land like this with pastures, woods, and pond, is worth quite a bit. As much as we've come to love this area, perhaps we should look elsewhere.
Keith and Tami Kiser
On the journey of building a retreat center and more.