*** Entry deadline extended to Sept. 21, 2016! ***
Yes - that's right! You could write a 200 word essay and win a 58(+/-) acre farm/estate with a lovely horse barn and fenced pastureland!
Oh... and a house.
Well... really it's a circa 1905, 6,000 square foot Georgian mansion.
Oh... and $100,000 to cover taxes and what ever else might need covering after winning a prize like this! The estate is estimated at $1.5 million, but it can be yours for 200 words and an entry fee!
Oh, Scarlet... come out to the veranda on this fine day!
Welcome to Newstead on the James
I don't profess to know what you dream of, but let me describe my dream farm to you.
Let's start with the grand foyer. But don't let me hear you call it a "foyerrrr!" No. Something as grand as this deserves a French accent. It's a foi ā, my dear! And it's grand... much like the piano that currently resides in it. (Piano not included. You need to bring your own.)
"Dudes! Check out the awesome pocket doors. Hold up now! Y'all better brush off your jeans before you sit in that sofa!"
Parlors are cool and all, but you know what's even cooler in my book?
The freakin' LIBRARY across the foi ā from the parlor! OMG, right?!?! I can almost smell the books now!
And while I could very easily get stuck in the library for hours on end, it would be remiss of me to leave you hanging about the rest of this amazing place... so... on to the formal dining room!
Set up for a quiet family dinner on the left, or a festive event on the right. WOW!
Now for me, a dining room is a wonderful place to entertain, but I'm a kitchen kind of girl! But the kitchen? Yeah... this house has a "Keep!" Can you imagine sitting in the keep, cup of coffee in one hand, warming yourself by a crackling fire on a chilly fall day?
How on earth would one figure out how to divide indoor time between this beautiful keep and the library??
The house also has a second, modern kitchen upstairs, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, an English basement (it has windows) and an attic space.
Oh - and check out this upstairs sitting room with a door out to a second story balcony!
And if you enjoy sitting in front of a crackling fireplace in the colder months, Newstead has 12... yes TWELVE fireplaces!
Now I know a lot of you reading this are saying, "Enough of the house! Show me the FARM parts!"
This beautiful barn has stalls for horses (or what ever other kinds of critters one might wish to house in it). The current owner has hair sheep and Morgan horses. To my understanding, the winner will have the option to buy the sizable herd of Katahdin sheep.
Who's up for a game of croquet on the lawn?
We all know the old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, it is!"
But in this case, it IS true! The farm's owner, Carol Carper has spoken extensively with her financial gurus to figure out just how to set this up so that she will be reimbursed for the sale price of the farm and the winner will have enough to cover taxes and associated expenses.
AND... when run properly, this farm can be completely SELF SUFFICIENT! Yes - managing the sheep, etc can cover the upkeep for this place. Currently Carol hosts weddings and rents rooms at the mansion now and then, but feasibly one could be creative and find a plethora of other ways to keep the funds coming in if they are not willing to do the wedding or Bed & Breakfast thing.
Heck... the estate is conveniently located between Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia. If one wanted, one could have a day job just to help cover necessities and come home to this beautiful estate each evening.
Me? I'll be out there farming!
And just think how many chickens you could have on 58 acres! Wow, right?
So - why am I posting about this phenomenal opportunity? I am trying to spread the word because in order for ANYONE to win it, at least 7,000 entries must be received.
Yes - of course I would love to win, but what is meant to be will be. Perhaps YOU will be the lucky winner (and you'll invite me to come up for a weekend because you heard about it from me). Perhaps you and another family will go in together to try to win - it is a 6,000 square foot house, you know! Perhaps you and a group of friends will try to win.
At any rate, SOMEONE should win this house, and 1 in 7,000 odds are far better than any lottery I know of!
The entry fee of $233.00 will help Carol recoup her costs and also provide the extra $100K for the winner to use toward taxes.
And now for a whole bunch of links, because you SHOULD enter this contest!
Hardest part for me? Saying what I want to say in only 200 words!
Now - GO forth, share this story like crazy with everyone you know and write an amazing essay about why YOU want to run Newstead on the James!
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If someone told you that you could have their $1.5 million house and farm just by telling them how badly you wanted it, would you believe them? If that someone were Carol Carper, you should.
Carper, 70, opened an essay contest recently in search of the person most passionate about taking over Newstead on the James, her Central Virginia farm and home of the last 21 years.
“It sounded like the perfect way to make someone’s dream come true,” Carper says of the contest.” The value of the property does not have to be a bar for someone who is younger to take over this place. It would be thrilling for me to hand over the keys to some enthusiastic, capable younger people who might otherwise not have this opportunity.”
Newstead spans 58 acres, much of it open pastures. There are four structures on the property: a cinderblock barn with a tack room and eight animal stalls, a quonset-hut style shed with a garage and four additional stalls, a small cabin, and a 6,000-square-foot 18th-century brick house, all valued at $1.5 million.
“Back when I was looking for a property, I made a list of all I wanted. I found Newstead and it was like there was an angel on my shoulder. It’s like the house said to me, ‘Where have you been all my life?’” says Carper. “Everything comes to an end, though. Farming is a lot of work, and I’m getting older.”
So what’s it going to take to win the deed to this million-dollar-plus farm? Not much: in fact, no more than 200 words and a $233 entry fee. Entrants must explain why they would like to own and operate Newstead, and Carper will pick her top twenty favorite essays. Three judges otherwise uninvolved in Newstead will then pick a winner.
“The entry fee might seem strange, but 233 is a Fibonacci number. The galaxy is made up of Fibonacci numbers, and so are seashells. Some people think they have powers. I figured it would be good luck,” says Carper.
For the winner, it certainly would be. If the goal of 7,000 entries is met, Carper doesn’t lose anything on her house and the winner gets to walk away with an additional $100,000 in cash.
The four-legged residents of the farm are also up for grabs, though taking them on is not required. “I can’t be sure yet if the winner will want them,” says Carper. Still, when describing her flock of Katahdin (meat) sheep, and the beauty and demeanor of her black Morgan horses, she beams. “The sheep are a fabulous source of income. And from Northern New York to Florida, and Long Island to California, there are horses I bred.”
The contest ends on September 21, 2016. The entry form and official rules can be accessed here, along with FAQS and additional photographs of the property and sheep.
If all goes as planned, what’s in store for Carper after she passes the torch on to the next owner?
“I want to move to a retirement community where I have access to symphony and ballet,” she says. “I want to be close to yoga and tai chi. Maybe I’ll go back to university and study things I don’t yet know!”
Correction: The original article incorrectly referred to a quonset-hut as a concert-hut.