Published: Apr 01, 2012 08:00 AM
Modified: Mar 30, 2012 03:55 PM
Meet the Neighbours house
Couple enjoys historic district living in a non-historic home
Jerry: We usually tell people we live in downtown Hillsborough in the historic district, but were not in a historic home. It was built in 1971. Its a traditional brick ranch house, but it has a couple of additions including this sunroom that give it a different feel.Julia: There was just one owner before us, and he was very conscientious about the building of the main house. Its really well built.Jerry: Its clear it was custom built by Ralph Neighbours.Julia: Its kind of interesting because even now when weve been in the house as many years as we have, we can tell people, Oh, its the Neighbours old house.Jerry: The style that the original part of the house was built in can be fairly closed, especially when we moved in. There was a lot of dark paneling, so some of the rooms felt really small. But this sunroom is larger than any other room, and it has a lot of windows so it gets a lot of light. And it has four skylights. It feels really different than just stuck in 1971.Julia: Living in a historic district, you might think that a historic house is cooler, but I really like our house. Why We Chose Our HomeJulia: We looked at other houses. Three of them were historic houses, and then we looked at this house. This house was at the bottom of the list. Jerry had an epiphany one night. He said, I know which one is the perfect house for us. He said, Its got the sunroom. Its got a great yard that goes back to the creek. Its got a garage, which the historic houses dont have. So I said OK, and we came back. And its been a very good fit for us. Its just a well-built house.Jerry: It doesnt have a lot of the old-house maintenance problems.Julia: We had sort of outgrown the house where we were, so we were trying to decide whether we wanted to move further into the country to get more property or whether we wanted to move into town.Jerry: Moving into town was something I hadnt really considered before, but once I opened up to the idea I felt it was the right move to make. I really did wake up in the middle of the night thinking this was the right house. Being a block from the main street makes living in town work. I really like the location. With the exception of me going to my office in Morrisville, we walk pretty much everywhere. I think moving into town has changed us some at least our lifestyle. Were more sociable.Julia: A lot more sociable. Its almost like a college town, a very vibrant town.AdvantagesJulia: The town has become more vibrant with lots of things happening, so it makes it an appealing place to live. On the weekends, we really dont drive our cars. If you want to go out to eat, there are some really great places within walking distance. If you want to go to the post office, its just right down the street. The farmers market is right around the corner, Weaver Street Market, art galleries. Theres Last Fridays.Jerry: Our church is down the street.Julia: We actually pass two other churches to get to our church. The mayor lives practically through our back yard. The library is a block away. You can go to the bank. I can walk to school, so I can walk to work. And now weve got Gold Park and Turnip Patch Park. Jerry goes to Gold Park and plays soccer on Saturday mornings.Jerry: This part of North Carolina is a good place because its close to a lot of resources. You can take advantage of whats going on in Durham and Raleigh and still live in a small town. Julia: I never feel bad if Jerry says, I want to go to the [Wooden] Nickel and I dont want to go. Invariably, he always runs into somebody he knows. DisadvantagesJerry: Well, if you dont want anybody knowing what youre doing, this is not a very good place to live.Julia: Its not that people are nosy.Jerry: Everybody knows each other.Julia: Its hard to go anywhere without seeing someone you know.Jerry: Hard to push your brother into the bushes without Julia: Yeah, thats right. Calvin and Baird were walking to a church youth group meeting and evidently they must have had a disagreement. By the time they got home, we had already heard about it. I dont know. Theres not really any disadvantage to living in Hillsborough. I really like it. I love seeing my students around town. Actually, theres one disadvantage of living here: the ants. We have a terrible problem with ants. Jerry: There are small ants that invade every house in the historic area.Julia: They go after everything the shampoo, the toothpaste. Its the most bizarre thing.Our CommunityJerry: We know all our neighbors. Its a drop-in community in many ways.Julia: You see people out on their porch and you drop in. I think we learned very fast that you need to have juice and cookies and wine and cheese straws. Its definitely a very spontaneous kind of feeling with people, very spontaneous gatherings. I think the first winter we were here there was a lot of snow and we have a very nice hill in the back, so there were lots of kids and lots of parents in the back. I think the neighborhood is very diverse in terms of the age of people who live here. Jerry: There are a lot of people who are civically engaged. Julia: Its an eclectic mix of people who live here. It may not be diverse in the standpoint of a lot of different nationalities represented, but there are a lot of different types of people around Hillsborough from someone whos a farmer, to someone who is a professor at a university to lots of artists and writers. How We Made Our House a HomeJulia: We made some small changes to the house. We painted. We took some carpet out and replaced it with hardwood flooring. We took out the pink roses wallpaper [in the kitchen].Jerry: We did some updating of finishes.Julia: Jerry put some ceramic tile in the bathroom.Jerry: We moved some cabinets in the kitchen, refinished the walls.Julia: Jerrys really handy with that.Jerry: Being an engineer, doing lots of things with my hands, having lots of projects around, building and rebuilding a feature makes it more mine, I guess.We might like to feature your neighborhood. To suggest your home or another, contact Catherine Wright at email@example.com.
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