I can finally reveal the big news I’ve been hinting at on Instagram for months: we bought a house on the Rappahannock River! We closed on Monday evening and are thrilled. I’m going to write so many posts on this process and the continued process of renovations and decorating over the coming months, so, today, I’ll keep things high level in how things came about.
I grew up going to visit extended family and friends along the Rappahannock River and, over the past few years, as Adam and I went down to visit my parents at their cottage on the river, he fell in love with the area, too. It’s such a special place, with its views that rival any ocean view, the salty water which beckons dolphins towards the shore, and charming small (very small) towns all along the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck.
It was always a goal of ours to buy a second place (hey, it was in my 2021 goals!). When we bought in DC, we opted for a condo instead of a house because, while we thought it might be a distant dream, we wanted the possible flexibility of smaller living in the city and then having a weekend retreat. Then, when we decided to sell the rental house in DC, it became more of a “the time is now” decision.
Buying a House on the Rappahannock River
Again, I’ll get more into this in a later post, but we spent several months looking at properties in the area. In the big schemes of things, I know that’s not a long time. However, we knew that we needed to move fairly quickly (I’ll get into that in a later post, too).
We looked at farmhouses close to the river, but out in the country (we absolutely adored this one that it looks like someone else has now snagged!), we were charmed by a Victorian style cottage next to a vineyard, and we considered taking on a darling, historic fixer upper on a creek (I’m dying to know who bought this!). I’m not sure of how many houses we looked at in the end, but I imagine it was somewhere in the range of 20-25. And, with each one, we had a clearer picture of what we were looking for.
I cared most about a house with historic character, charm, and a garden. Adam wanted to be on the water, but was willing to compromise if it had a pool. We ended up only compromising on historic — while it’s not new, our house isn’t historic. From what records and the inspector can tell us, the house was built in 1992 on the site of a former cottage and only the foundation was retained (we do know, for a fact, that the original foundation is there). But, despite its lack of age, it is so, so charming. It has gardens, a picket fence, and a pool — and the view of the Rappahannock River can’t be beat.
Over the next few months, we’ll be making some necessary aesthetic updates (thankfully, the house was in immaculate condition structurally and otherwise, which we credit to the late owner being a General). I’m so excited to create a classic Virginia home on the river and I’ll be chronicling it all here and on the house’s Instagram account (because, of course): Rose Cottage on the Rappahannock, named for the rose garden that I can’t wait to tend to.