Del Woods and his wife, Barbara Ferer, moved to the Georgia mountains for the quiet.
Woods loved the environment and wanted his home to reflect that: an engineered, earth-sheltered dome home built on their little plot of land in Morganton, GA. Listed for a shade under $300,000, the eco-friendly home has been on the market for a couple of years and the price has been cut four times.
The couple stayed in the 5-acre property's four-bedroom guesthouse for three-and-a-half years while building the dome home, doing most of the hard work themselves. Woods added his own touches during construction: a greenhouse, a RainSoft water system and private well, and a small patio with a landscaped garden.
But most of all, he made sure his home was quiet.
"Sometimes I'll look out and I can see the rain pelting the home, but I don't hear it," Ferer says. "My husband was very much into the use of sound and light and healing, and one of the components of that is to have a quiet place."
Digging into the ground provided some soundproofing, but the couple took additional measures during construction to increase the silence. Exterior walls were built with the soundproof and fireproof autoclaved aerated concrete blocks, then covered in burlap and four inches of blown gunite.
Woods died in December after a long illness, and Ferer is ready to move on from under the dome. A few projects were left unfinished, ready for the next owner to take on. The home is partly converted to solar power, and the radiant heating system needs to be set up -- although Ferer says you'll probably never need it.
"We stay pretty comfortable," she says.
Ferer and her Realtor, Dan Easton of Three Springs Realty, have struggled to sell the home at the asking price of $299,888. Despite Easton's EcoBroker and green designations, eco-friendly homes are rare in Georgia and no potential buyers have been able to secure traditional financing.
"It's so unique for our area," Easton says. "There's nothing to compare it to."
While they're exploring other options, including seller financing, the best-case scenario would mean a buyer with cash in hand.
Ferer says the property is ideal as a retreat center, with both the dome home and nearby house as lodging and session space. Wilscot Creek runs through the property, a "beautiful little rushing creek," Ferer says. "We have a patio out back that people can go out and sit on and beautiful landscaping."
Buyers can purchase either the entire 5-acre property, including the four-bedroom board-and-batten house (it's currently rented out for $800 per month) where Ferer and Woods stayed during construction of the dome home, or just the 3 acres that contain the dome home. The two residences are separated by a plot of fruit trees.
Either way, there's room for a pasture for farm animals and plenty of wooded acreage to explore.
"This morning I was sitting on the second story, in my bedroom, and looking out into the trees. Looking into nature," Ferer says. "I love living here, but it's getting too much to handle."
Still, she'll miss the quiet.
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