Monday, January 5, 2009

Why I miss Washington County, Maryland

Tree and yard

Over the holidays, I went with my wife to see her family in Funkstown, a small town on the Antietam Creek in Washington County, Maryland. Washington County has, I believe, the most beautiful farm landscapes in the country. The following are a sample of what I saw in Funkstown, late one afternoon.

Old barn

Old Window, Main Street

Behind Main Street

Front porch

Main Street

Yard on Main Street

Chestnut Street

Brick house, painted red

Concrete block garage

Stone bridge and farmhouse

This last one is from the next day. While the Antietam may be famous for Burnside's Bridge, there are more than two dozen other stone arch bridges in the county, most of them multiple arches. This one is just a short distance outside Funkstown.


Jason said...

That looks like the kind of place where snow is a pleasant novelty, if it every falls at all. Ah, to live in that kind of place. Does Funkstown have a small liberal arts college in desperate need of faculty members?

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Jason, it does snow, now and then, in the winter - take this farmhouse, for example - but not as much as it does where you or I live.

Alas, there is no small liberal arts college. Real estate there is disgustingly expensive - for the cost of my house in Cleveland, I could buy a much less interesting house a half its size in Funkstown. Also, I'd have to commute two hours into Washington, DC, to have a salary even with what I have now.

My fantasy is that when gasoline gets really really expensive, people won't be willing to commute two hours by car into the city for jobs. This should coincide nicely with my retirement, in 27 years, at which point we'll be able to afford this farm, which today would probably cost $2 million.

Corey said...

The country around Hagerstown is beautiful. Seeing as it is 2 hours from DC, I'm suprised prices are still that high.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Corey, I was surprised by the prices people were willing to pay (or at least ask) in that area, too.

In 2007, when we were looking for a farmhouse with a bit of land, we were able to find one place that met our criteria and that fit in our budget, almost. It was a c. 1820 stone farmhouse, not particularly large or with particularly interesting lines, near Huyett. It was on 12 acres, overlooking a trailer park. The house didn't appear to have been lived in in over a decade, and the barn had fallen down. I was sure that the asking price, a quarter million dollars, was too high, but it sold, at asking price, a week later. The cheapest house in Funkstown, at the time, was $170K.

Perhaps this seems reasonable, in comparison to Baltimore real estate prices, but to this midwesterner's eyes, it's too much to stomach.

Ryan said...

I loved your National Road blog, and I also enjoy reading about the restoration process in Shaker Heights. Good luck!