MORNINGDALE FARMS


A Little Bit of Heaven. Alot of Peace of Mind!

Our Story

From 2003 through 2005, Kathy and I searched for a tract of land on which to build our dream home - a LOG home. We searched for a few acres in Maryland within driving distance of my workplace in Millersville, but soon discovered that $150K/acre was definitely not within our price range, especially since I wanted at least 10 acres and we are NOT millionaires!

As our dream started to appear to be unachievable, I said, "Let's look back up toward 'home'." Meaning, let's look for property up in Pennsylvania - which is where we grew up and had left in 1979 so I could start my career. After getting over the initial shock, Kathy said, "SURE!" I had expected that response because she has always wanted to move back to Pennsylvania.

We contacted a realtor in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and started our search. Unfortunately as most "buyers" have experienced, not all realtors are created equal, and this realtor was not able to match properties to our explicit "minimum requirements." After three unsuccessful land-hunting trips, we terminated our relationship with that realtor and started back at square #1.

We got our log home supplier, Kuhns Bros. Log Homes, and their local representative, Bayside Log Homes, involved in our land search, and they identified a couple realtors in the area to contact. The first realtor on the list that we called was with the Kress GMAC Real Estate office and his name was Marlan Jones. We gave Marlan our "wish list" of what our dream property must have and, within 48 hours, he called me and said he thought he had the ideal match for us!

Of course, if you have ever bought a house you know that virtually every realtor "has what you want", but "it" generally falls quite short of your expectations or is way out of your price range - after all, isn't that "the game"? Fortunately, this was not true with Marlan. He had indeed found us a real piece of heaven - about 50 acres with 35 acres of wooded timberland, a ~2 acre stocked pond, a trout stream at the back, a future natural gas well site and at least 1000 feet from the nearest neighbor!

We quickly drove up to evaluate the property and, as luck would have it, the area received over 18 inches of snow the night before. Like a real trooper though, Marlan was there to walk the entire tract of land with us despite the 10F temperature and blowing snow. As though God had intended this land for us - the pine trees were nicely covered with snow and the pond and stream were partially iced over - what a picturesque site, WE LOVED IT! Within a month, we had a Purchase Agreement signed with the owner, and we closed on the property in March, 2006.

We found an excellent local excavator, Dale Snow, and throughout 2006, Dale cut through and gravelled our driveway, added some riprap to the pond overflow, and installed the septic system. We also had Max Hickernell and Tom Bookamer, local well drillers, locate and drill our water well. At the same time, we placed our home in Crofton (MD) on the market using ForSaleByOwner.com and tried to sell it ourselves without listing with a realtor. Most everyone who knew us said we were totally foolish for attempting to sell without using a realtor. Yes it was frustrating at times when realtors would treat us as plague carriers, but it ultimately became a battle of wills (us versus Maryland's overpopulation of sleazy realtors) and WE WON - in March, 2007, we had a firm Sales Contract on our home and were able to contact the log home supplier and our contractor, Steve Jonas, to finally "get the ball rolling" - our dream was one more step toward fulfillment!

Well, we closed on our Crofton home in late June of 2007, started the foundation in September, were under roof by mid-October, and it is now January of 2008 with cold weather here and heavy snow coming again soon! On the following pages, you will find the chronology of our building experience. Even though we still live in Maryland, we are making periodic trips to our future home while it is being constructed just to check up on things (I can be a control freak at times). But, since day #1 we have had total faith in the talents and integrity of our contractor and his crew as their capabilities and craftsmanship continue to impress everyone who stops in to see Morningdale Farms!