I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills …

Craig was the one who came up with the perfect location for us to look for our “little house in the big woods”: Arnold, CA. I’d heard of it, mainly because a friend of mine has a vacation place there, but didn’t know much about it. Craig did, though, as he had gone motorcycle riding in the area before. It sounded pretty nice, so why not try looking there?

We got in touch with our real estate agent here in the Bay Area and it turns out that her parents-in-law have a vacation place there, too, so she knew all about the area. She spent many hours with us, looking at property listings online, telling us everything she knew about Arnold, and ultimately, finding us a realtor we could meet with to check out the various places we had in mind. She’s awesome, our Shelly Potvin!

We got in contact with Tim Muetterties from Realty World in Arnold and in short time, realized we’d gotten in touch with the right person. Tim has an in-depth knowledge of the area that is very impressive.

We met with Tim on a cold but sunny weekend, and the first thing we did was take a tour of all the neighborhoods in Arnold. That was really enlightening, because each neighborhood has its own personality and amenities and it was good to know what we wanted and more importantly, what we didn’t want.

After the tour, we went back to the office to find properties that would match our criteria. It was at that point that we decided to NOT have a vacation rental house. We wanted a place where we could relax and have things set up the way we wanted, not locked up because the following week some stranger would be coming in the house.

Now here’s another interesting tidbit, which if you know Craig, makes this kinda funny. Many of the houses up in Arnold are cabin/chalet-type houses that don’t necessarily have garages. They have carports or nothing at all. I think that’s because so many of the places are vacation rentals and people don’t see the need for a garage. As we got back to Tim’s office to start picking out properties to look at, I said we had to have a garage. Craig said “Oh, it’s not really critical to have a garage.” HUH? When did we swap brains? When did I become the one who thinks we should have a garage and Craig didn’t think it was important? In the end, I won (ahem) and we only looked at houses that had garages.

We decided to target our search to two neighborhoods: Blue Lake Springs and Meadowmont. From what we saw and what we got from Tim’s descriptioins, we knew that Blue Lake Springs had a wonderful clubhouse, with a great pool, outdoor concert-type area, etc. Meadowmont had no clubhouse, but it seemed quieter, as there are more full-time residents who live there.

Next up: Houses, houses and more houses!

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