Our client, JT, a professional photographer, (black & white) - tells us he has been "chasing waterfalls". I ask him my favorite question: "Tell me what is most important to you about this much sought-after waterfall."
His eyes light up. He explains that often he passes his days photographing rectangular structures. So, when he is at home, he prefers to be close to the organic shapes and forms (and energy) that nature provides.
He has his finances in order (he's pre-qualified) for a land purchase of about 40 acres with a grand natural water feature and is ready to make an Offer.
In addition, JT is very interested in Small-Scale Hydroelectric Generators. We listen attentively as he describes the sustainable design that includes the "low-impact hydro" system of his dreams. It consists of an enclosed water wheel that spins by jets of high-velocity water coming from the (much sought-after) waterfall. The water dashes down to a turbine through a long penstock. Then it picks up speed, and is directed at the blades of the turbine by nozzles. He'll connect this whole to an electrical generator, and happily thereafter run his energy efficient appliances. (see graphic)
GRAPHIC courtesy of Green Power
He anticipates starting his project which also includes building a small, but elegant eco-friendly home in a year or two. This getaway will be sequestered away from the roar of the crowd and close to the sounds of nature. And, being a steward of the heritage of our bioregion, he intends to place his waterfall and most of the surrounding acreage into a land trust. (See AR's Corey Atherton's detailed post on conservation development and land trusts here.)
There are hundreds of waterfalls and hiking trails in the mountains, so our quest for the "right" waterfall may not be too difficult. We begin a journey that must be every REALTOR'S® dream. It's summer, we are on our way to explore some of the most beautiful places in North Carolina, take photos along the way, and possibly cool off in the mists of our famous native falls.
Along the way, I discover that this is a special individual -an eco-wise investor with a gentle sense of humor. His internal dialogue sings of self worth, of harmonizing elements that secure quality of life , of valuing what is natural, wild and free. His "song" happens to be one of mine- "saving endangered waterfalls". I say "endangered" because when one person builds atop a waterfall, in a way, that waterfall can become "extinct"--others may not benefit from the experience of mists, rainbows, the exploration, the picnic there by the shallows, could lose that unique and energizing gift. But back to our journey.
"Tell me about the time you will spend at home when we find your waterfall, " I ask.The answer comes quickly. He recites a list for his shelter that will complete his dream quoting the "building biologist, Todd C. Sheets, Ph.D. "Every home built should be embellished with self-esteem."
- - a respectful distance (within earshot of the falls)
- - products that work for clean air
- - natural light
- - low electromagnetic radiation
- - sustainable, non-polluting materials/products to build with LEED certified Healthy Green Built
"Through the use of such products," he laughs, " a sense of security survives -even that close to a wild and wonderful waterfall. My home will reflect back to me, my own spirit, personality, and sense of place in the world."
Epilogue: Waterfall found! (See JT's photo to right)
THE STORY CONTINUES:
I haven't finished with telling the story of this waterfall adventure...
there is a Part 2 (with a challenging Seller holding on to the Falls) ...
we don't know how it will turn out yet...stay tuned
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