House For Sale: Come Live in Bucolic Splendor!

My mother-in-law has put her old house up for sale, on account that two-and-half acres of lawn and woods is a little much for her to keep up on her lonesome. So: Looking for a place to live in beautiful, bucolic Darke County, Ohio, home of Annie Oakley (and also, me)? This three bedroom, two bath ranch home on two-and-a-half acres with two-car garage and barn is, honestly, just about perfect. Come buy it and live where you can see the Milky Way at night!

Here’s the official listing for the house. If you’re interested, contact the listing agent, Jeff Apple. He’ll be happy to answer your questions and set a showing.

42 Comments on “House For Sale: Come Live in Bucolic Splendor!”

  1. if you click on the link, a chatbox comes up and asks who you are.

    me: John Scalzi doppelganger
    Chatbox: hello John, are you here to buy, rent or sell

    gotta love it.

  2. Holy cow, you could only buy a garden shed around here for that price. On a garden shed sized piece of land! Makes me want to leave beautiful Boulder, CO and head to less costly places.

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Couple of questions:

    Does it have ghosts? If not can I bring my own?

    How close do you live? Are there any restraining orders against you?

    Are you the type of neighbor to stop by for a cup of sugar at odd hours then stay an inappropriately long time to visit?

    Do your animals wander long distances? If not can you train them to while carrying small packaged goods such as cheese, cured meats and/or Dion & The Belmonts CD’s?

    And finally would Krissy be able to mow the lawn for me?

  4. Yeah, that place would set you back a cool half-mil in my area. More than that in the “trendy” parts of town.

    Beautiful spot, though; if I was retired (and a little more spry), I’d seriously consider it. Hope your mom-in-law gets a good quick sale that closes without drama!

  5. The realtors are going to be mighty surprised when they see the page visits for her listing…

  6. 2.5 undeveloped acres here in NoVa would probably run you $10 million or so. The house, alone, on a 1/4 acre lot would be in the $800k+range.

  7. I have no idea what two and a half acres of land would cost where I’m from, because nobody where I’m from owns two and a half acres of land. What the hell, etc.

    That said, is there an HOA to require that the lawn stay a lawn and not, say, two and a half acres of rose-garden/clover-field/wildland/immense moss-and-pebble “aerial view” mosaic?

  8. Icarus @#1: Yes, I got the chatbox, too. I “explained” and then skedaddled. Poor devil.

  9. You had me at “Milky Way.”

    Not sure about moving to Ohio, but the price is so very nice compared to anything in Northern, VA.

  10. I just have to chuckle at the idea of a homeowner’s association in the rural midwest!
    (Yes, I grew up in the midwest. No, I wouldn’t dream of pissing off my neighbors by subjecting them to an HOA.)

  11. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.

    I dunno, Scalzi – I keep hearing ugly rumors that your neighborhood has a serious infestation of Republicans!

    Especially a particularly virulent species known as “John Bo-Ners” that are rumored to be reappearing after infesting Washington, DC for so long….

  12. That poor person who has to monitor the chatboxes at the realtor’s office. I doubt he or she is used to hundreds of page-visits a day. Or hour….

  13. Putting the house out here on the Coconut Wireless might actually get some results (aside from us looky-loos). Around here, the only place that has that type of pricing is on the Big Island, where Madame Pele frequently redecorates in your neighborhood and water, electricity, and sewer are generally on you. Or possibly on Molokai, where the nearest stores bigger than a tiny local superette are on another island.

    It looks like the chat box no longer auto-opens; I guess they got tired of us.

  14. Dang! we just bought a new house (moving in right now!).

    I was going to suggest that you auction it as “live near John Scalzi!”, but then thought better of it

  15. OMG I would love to retire here, but I guess there’s some form of restriction regarding a UK national from buying up land/residence and only having a pension to live on ??? Ah, well, I can dream :)

  16. Ehn, I can see the Milky Way from where I live now.

    I mean, I can’t actually see it *right* now. That would be a little disturbing, seeing the Milky Way at 4:20 in the afternoon. Probably a sign of something apocalyptic.

  17. I used to live in Darke County Ohio when I was young. Great memories. Union City for middle school. And when I was a wee babe, Bradford — Dad was HS football coach there about about a half century ago.

    It would be a really good place for someone with kids to live.

  18. @srs

    I did the same thing. My husband and I are **years** away from owning a home in the Bay Area (or even a condo), but we could totally make that asking price work. We’d just have to move to Ohio, where neither of us have jobs….oh well.

  19. @Carole-Ann: no such restrictions exist in the USA. As long as you have the money, you can buy it. You just have to get the right visas to live in it.

  20. Also worth mentioning, it’s an ideal home for a Democrat who wants to challenge for John Boehner’s soon-to-be-vacated House seat!

  21. Or! For the same price you could buy half a terraced house in Tilbury!!!!!!!! (Tilbury is a bit like Detroit after a natural disaster)

    The housing market in the UK is soooooo screwed…

  22. What hillsy7 said – 2 1/2 acres AND a lovely 3 bedroom house for less than $180k? Not a chance anywhere in the UK

    That’s a lovely looking home

  23. That is just down the street from the Stillwater Prairie Preserve, one of my favorite places in the world. It’s a shame I’m still three years away from retiring/moving…

  24. Looks very nice. We’ve been looking in a very low key way for a house to retire in, and it meets all our requirements – either less lawn or something flat enough we could use a riding mower, about 2/3 size of our current place, brick exterior, rural similar to our current. Unfortunately it’ll be 3 to 7 years before we actually retire, and until then, no near our current house (southeast Michigan) is a deal-breaker. Given what the local market here has been like (about 10% of the homes turned over this summer) her place won’t be on the market long. Best of luck to her.

  25. Oh, and for those with sticker envy, “rural” in the Midwest doesn’t mean long commute when measured by time. We’re not quite as out in the country as Scalzi et al, but it’s otherwise comparable. My wife and I both have an under-30-minute commute to work at different places in Ann Arbor, about 70% rural roads for me with a total of 6 stop lights and 1 stop sign. Cost of commute for me – 1 gallon of gas per day in my Honda Civic (avg 38mpg). If we put our house on the market, it would be about 50% higher than the one under discussion, but our area is considered expensive.

    The key here is rural, and how rural. If we were to move into Ann Arbor itself our commute times would only cut in half but the price would at least double. And that only if we accepted a typical city lot rather than our hilly, wooded acre+. Conversely, if we wanted to add another 10 minutes to our commutes we could cut the house price to match what is being asked for the MILs house.

    Gotta love college towns and surrounding communities in the Midwest.

  26. The price!!! As a Sydneysider I get a case of property envy almost everywhere I look but even converted into Aussie $ and allowing for lower incomes that’s… wow. In my street (inner-city) a bargain is anything under a million. And we’re talking teensy little 1- and 2-bedroom terraces topping out at about 150sqm + courtyard. You can’t get an *apartment* for less than 750k!

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