The story behind Grace Manor:
“When we lived in Florida, Scott helped take care of a 94 year old blind neighbor who insisted on living alone as long as she could. After we moved he would call her every week for long talks and describe the house and area to her in great detail. His words were her eyes. When describing how wonderful this place is, she told him it needed a name and suggested Grace Manor. Since we both felt that it is only by the grace of God that we live here, and Grace Lake is located just north of us, it fit perfectly.” – Karen, Our Seller
The feeling of calmness, grace and beauty just wowed me. We knew it needed a lot of work, but could tell it was a diamond in the rough. It was obvious that this was heritage homestead, something to be enjoyed generation after generation. I met one of the neighbors on our first showing and that pretty much sealed the deal. Absolutely the best neighbors ever, I could never have found a better neighborhood than this. This estate lacked nothing, just needed a facelift.
Here’s what we did to elevate the condition of the property to meet heritage of its elegance:
- Replaced the majority of chandeliers, recessed lights, sconces, and light fixtures with high end models. Dimmers were added to numerous fixtures.
- Replaced all downstairs plumbing fixtures and upstairs shower fixtures with Delta lifetime warranty fixtures.
- Replaced all the carpet.
- Refinished downstairs wood floors.
- Replaced numerous ceiling fans, screen doors, push button locks, etc.
- Replaced old style thermostats with Ecobee wifi thermostats. Can control via an App, manual or voice command (Alexa).
- High end 85% UV film was applied to west and south facing windows along with front door to protect antique rugs and furniture.
- There has been extensive drainage added around the house and garage, including numerous French drains, guttering and regrading.
- Landscape around the house has been completely replaced with hearty, low maintenance plants. Numerous damaged and dead trees were removed from pasture and yard, and extensive tree trimming has been done.
- The pool deck has been resurfaced using Sharkgrip to prevent slippage.
- The outdoor lanai and kitchen were completely remodeled and opened up to pool area.
- Custom and paint matched plantation shutters were installed in downstairs front windows.
- Additional exterior window shutters were added for aesthetic reasons.
- Exterior security lights, motion sensor lights and landscape lighting have been added. Remote controlled barn lights added.
- DogWatch containment system was installed.
- Additional ceiling and pipe insulation has been added.
- 6 pallets of shade tolerant Geozoysia were installed under trees where normal grass will not grow.
- The irrigation system has been re-run; spigots removed, replaced and added in numerous locations.
- The covered area near the barn has been remodeled and reconfigured. It is now has a loafing area and a 12 X 12 concrete floored wash rack for the horses.
Here’s a breakdown of our average utility costs:
- Electric (garage is on separate meter because prior owner used as office)
- House: Average monthly = 199.11. Highest summer $250.00, highest winter247.00
- Garage/barn/well/wash rack/irrigation: Average monthly = $43.07. High summer $50.00.
- Fairhope Utilities: Average monthly = $48.75. Summer high $58.64
- Total average utility cost per month: $290.93
When I think about what I will miss most about life here, these things come to mind:
The property is perfect for a family of all ages. The downstairs master bath is handicapped accessible. My horses will never have it so good again. And, it makes me cry to think about leaving these neighbors, they are so wonderful. Just really good, kind, honest, giving people. I don’t expect to ever find a neighborhood where everyone is like that again. And, the general area is so beautiful. The people are so nice, still have manners and are courteous. I will miss the seafood terribly, and the beauty of the beach, Fairhope pier, and seeing the USS Alabama and Mobile all lit up at night. No one does Mardi Gras like south Alabama, that will be a total loss. In general, I will miss the warm and cordial residents of this beautiful area.
If you’re wondering why in the world I would part with such an amazing property, I assure you the decision was made for me:
Unfortunately I have a genetic defect on my MST1R chromosome that makes my lungs susceptible to a non-communicable bacteria which thrives in humid climates. I have to move to an arid, desert climate. It distresses me to leave such a wonderful place for a sandbox, but is necessary for my health.