Mountain Home Vacation Rental: Deerwood Retreat
Deerwood Retreat Owners Blog
Our Journey to Deerwood Retreat
We have had some success and fun with renting properties to others and so we began looking for a new project.Our research started over a year ago.After looking at many areas, we settled upon the North Carolina High Country.We were drawn to the beauty of the mountains, the high elevations, the cool temperatures and the quaint little towns of Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk.The area is also known for its winter hobbies of skiing and snowboarding on Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Appalachian Mountain.We also liked the area for its hiking and mountain biking opportunities at Grandfather Mountain, Rocky Knob State Park and the Emerald Outback.
Next on the agenda was to find a vacation rental property management company.After some internet searching, we came upon Carolina Cabin Rentals (“CCR”).They had a great website which came up first in Google searches, an important tool to attract prospective vacationers to our new home.We talked to a member of their team who was very welcoming and full of helpful information.The information provided helped us to hone in on what type of property and amenities we were looking for.So we proceeded to book a cabin through Carolina Cabin Rentals and took a road trip up to the High Country of North Carolina to explore the area for one week.The process of booking and the customer service we received from CCR only confirmed what an excellent choice they would be to manage our new vacation property.Everyone at CCR was pleasant and helpful and the cabin we rented from them was beautiful, although an adventure to get to.
CCR referred us to three realtors to aide in our search and we decided to work with a realtor associated with Hodges Realty located in Boone.Our realtor was great from the very start.He even agreed to come pick us up at the cabin we were renting, as we were a little apprehensive about driving up and down the five mile, narrow, twisty, gravel roads with steep drop offs.
In the two days we hunted for houses, we saw twenty!Seeing all the homes and staying at the cabin we were renting helped us figure out what we were looking for ourselves in the home we were going to purchase.We discovered that a layered, long range mountain view available both from inside and outside the house was a key factor for us.Accessibility was another.We drove on a lot of scary roads and even scarier steep driveways over those two days of house hunting and, being from South Florida, we are not accustomed to mountain roads so it was a real adventure for us, although one we finally got used to.We also knew that we wanted a fireplace and a light and bright interior in our home.We discovered that log cabins are beautiful and cozy, but we also learned that they tended to be very dark and gloomy on the inside.A high elevation also became important to us.During the time we were in the High Country there was an uncharacteristic heat wave.The difference in temperature between 2500 and 4700 feet above sea level was quite drastic and this led us to realize that we wanted our new home to be at a high elevation.
We almost chose among several houses during our two day search.One house we considered needed too many repairs.Another house was in an area where the neighbors frowned upon vacation rentals.A third house was nice at 5500 feet, but through some digging, we discovered that it was inaccessible in winter.The snow making equipment at the top of Beech Mountain covered the road every day rendering it impossible to drive on.Renters need to hike up to that particular house and the house brought no repeat vacationers.
Finally, after months of looking, Deerwood Retreat came on the market, we immediately fell in love with it, and we saw that it had huge vacation rental potential.We did not want this one to get away, so within hours I flew to Charlotte to see the house.Unfortunately, my wife could not make the trip on such short notice. Face-timing would have to do.The house turned out to be perfect!Not only did this house have the long range, layered, multi-state mountain view that was a must for us, but there was also a straight-on view of Grandfather Mountain, an important local attraction.The home is situated at 4700 feet and so the temperatures were cool.The drive up from the main drag (State Highway 105) was only about three minutes on a paved road with plenty of room on either side.It was steep and had some switchback turns, but a small price to pay for the views and elevation.
Deerwood Retreat is located in the town of Seven Devils.Seven Devils is only about four square miles and was originally developed as a vacation resort.The town is very welcoming to vacation renters and for us that was a real plus.Seven Devils has its own hiking trail known as Otter Creek Falls as well as pickle ball courts open to guests just a quick drive down Seven Devils Road.Even the town had a cozy, welcoming feel.They stage live music and other events as well.It is also centrally located to all the other small towns, attractions and skiing in the High Country.
Prior to our purchase, Deerwood Retreat had been completely renovated, with a new metal roof, concrete board siding, new wood and stone entry portico, new decks and central air conditioning.Not that we would ever need the AC, but an important amenity sought after by many vacationers, who, upon arrival, will quickly discover that the AC is unnecessary.There was an outdoor fireplace, a play area for children with its own deck and playhouse and beautiful gardens filled with wild flowers.What really struck me was the immense beauty everywhere I looked.
The interior of Deerwood Retreat was also just right.The wall of windows in the main living area offered full mountain views from just about every angle.So many of the other houses we viewed had boasted mountain views, but we laughed because you had to sit or kneel down in one particular place in the house to actually enjoy the view.The cabin we rented while house hunting had great views, but the fireplace was in the middle of the window wall blocking the view.We learned that having the fireplace on a side wall, not blocking the view was important and Deerwood Retreat had just that layout.The stone, wood burning fireplace was surrounded by beautiful wooden built-ins and a wonderful hearth and mantel. The ceiling was high and had beautiful beams in the timber frame style.The windows and doors were solid, natural wood and gave the home a real mountain lodge feel.The master bedroom was on the main entry level which was a convenience.Downstairs there was a nice guest bedroom with a log bed situated so that you could lay your head against the pillows and look out at the mountain views.And then when I came upon the bunk room, I knew families with young children would love this room.Four bunk beds were built into the wall with a doorway to a secret staircase leading to the upper beds.The bunk room also doubled as a playroom with a Foosball table, an Xbox and Wii video games.
I came upon beautiful gardens along the sides and behind the house with wild flowers growing everywhere.After additional research, we discovered that a fairy garden was built upon the grounds.Building miniature fairy gardens is a hobby enjoyed by many (www.fairyhomesandgardens.com) and a life size fairy garden had been built upon this property, bringing hours and hours of joy to young children.These gardens are a source of wonder and mystery.The property has plenty of bridges and walkways to be explored and there are hidden surprises as well, like the little animal paws prints embedded in one of the walkways.We knew this home would be great for either couples or families with children.
I sat down on the back deck and took in the view, listening to the silence which was so peaceful.The temperature was cool and refreshing.My wife was on Facetime with me and agreed that this house was the one.I told our realtor we need to buy this house and he said, “Well, let’s do it.”
As the new and proud owners, we have lots of plans to make Deerwood Retreat even more attractive to our future guests.We are installing a seven person hot tub on the covered, middle deck, which happens also to have fantastic mountain views.The hot tub will have built in lighting and Bluetooth music capability with built in speakers.We are updating the living room furniture with three leather, swiveling electronically controlled reclining chairs which can turn to face the cozy wood burning fireplace, the views out of the window or the kitchen.Each bedroom will have flat screen televisions with cable service.During the slower spring season we will take the house off the rental market briefly in order to replace the living room carpet with a stone floor to accent the wood floors in the rest of the living area, replace the kitchen countertops with granite and turn the laundry room into a combination laundry room/half bathroom.After all, the house sleeps ten and we feel that guests should have the convenience of the extra bathroom.We are committed to making Deerwood Retreat as comfortable as possible for our guests.We are even thinking of the little things, such as providing board games and adding to the already completely stocked kitchen. Deerwood Retreat’s reviews on CCR’s website have provided us with some great ideas.We are so excited, we even created this website to provide as much information to you as possible.We want to hear from you about your suggestions and requests.We want our guests to think of Deerwood Retreat as their family vacation spot to come back to again and again.We are committed to making that happen.So to sum up, welcome to Deerwood Retreat.
The Deerwood Retreat Family