Introducing The Campbell Compound

Every morning on my way to work I listen to a country radio show called the Bobby Bones Show.  One of my favorite segments is their “Oh Happy Day” segment where they sing the praises of the good in their lives like a church choir.  Sometimes it’s a big thing (i.e. Lunchbox’s new marriage) and sometimes it’s small (i.e. Lunchbox played soccer) but they still sing “Oh Happy Day” with ridiculous enthusiasm and gusto.  This past week I’ve been singing along to my own “Oh Happy Day” tune for we now have the internet again (six months of no internet at home is rough and subsequently put a damper on my blogging) AND more importantly we closed on our new (old) home.

Unlocking The Door To Our New Country Home

I let Colby do the honors of the inaugural door opening after closing since I got to do it at our first home back in Maine.  We love our new home, we truly do.  I don’t think a day goes by where we don’t profess our undying love to our new home, promise to love her till we die, and legitimately feel honored to call her ours.

Our Vermont Country Home Circa 1781

I owe you a full house tour and we’ll get to it…all 40+ photos and counting of our new digs.  But today, I thought I should start from the beginning and tell you the story of how she came to be ours.  We mentioned a few weeks ago how I had been living in Vermont sans Colby until we sold our Maine house (that story can be found here).  Keep going back to October when I was interviewing for my current job in VT and I was already scanning the real estate listings.  Crazy?  Yes.  But I couldn’t think about moving to a place that didn’t have really great housing options.  I love real estate, houses, and decorating.  Even as a little girl I dreamed of my someday home (not my wedding), ripped out pages of shelter magazines as a preteen, decorated Barbie’s dream home, and obsessively painted and re-arranged furniture in my high school room.  Anyway, I came across this house, the one we would eventually buy, but it was a bit higher than we wanted to pay.  Colby and I did a drive-by just before my interview and immediately fell in love with it and made a claim that “if this is meant to be, I will get this job and this house will still be on the market and come down in price we could afford”.

Vermont Country Home Before Living Room

Sneak peek of the living room.  So months go by and we slowly watch the price drop on the house.  Colby watching from Maine and me watching from Vermont.  The house had been on the market for nearly three years before we took a look at it but it only recently started to price drop.  In the meantime, we finished getting our house in Maine ready for sale, listed it, and went under contract in under four days.  By this point, I was starting to get the itch which could have just been paint fume withdrawals.  I missed home ownership, legitimately missed the house projects, and REALLY missed having a husband to go home to every night.

Vermont Country Home Before Blue Bedroom

Sneak peek of our new bedroom.  I promised Colby I wouldn’t start house hunting until we could do it together, after we closed on the sale of our Maine house and after Colby joined me in Vermont.  But I couldn’t help it.  No sooner were we under contract and I was contacting real estate agents and starting to set up appointments.  I looked at one house in another town.  It was cheap.  Super cheap.  But it needed work.  A ton of work.  The amount of work that we wouldn’t be able to live there while working on it, but it was a pretty good option in a real estate market that was super inflated.

The packing and moving got the better of us.  Two weeks went by since I looked at the fixer and our whole life was packed up in a storage unit.  While temporarily living in the apartment above Colby’s grandmother’s house, we decided to go house hunting together.  Colby had been in town for no more than three days when I set up an appointment to go see the fixer as well as the pricier “dream country home”.

Vermont Country Home Before Kitchen

Sneak peek of our kitchen.  The night before our house-hunting appointments we started to get super excited about the dream country home.  Its price had dropped yet again to a point we were very comfortable with just 24 hours before our showing.  Meant to be?  Perhaps.  I kept asking Colby, the level-headed voice of reason in our relationship if we loved it in person as much as we loved it in photos, could we put an offer in?  Mind you, the house was built in 1781 so there were obvious concerns (plumbing, electrical, structural integrity, foundation) but I was already in.  Colby’s persistent response, “We’ll see”.

Vermont Country Home Before Guest Bedroom

Sneak peek of a bedroom.  We toured it and subsequently drooled over the wide pine floors (some of which were nearly two feet wide), original woodwork, flag pole in the front yard, old slate roof, acreage, multiple outbuildings, and the dutch door in the kitchen.

Vermont Country Home Before Kitchen

The house was oozing with charm and history but the moment of truth came when we checked out the basement.  When a house is built in the 1700s you expect everything to be built on fieldstone, crooked, falling in, etc.  But we were happily greeted with a spectacular poured concrete basement that had to have been part of the home’s remodel in the 70s.  All the electrical and plumbing systems had been updated as well.

Vermont Country Home Before Entry

Sneak peek of the double front entry doors.  Solid wood too.  They just don’t build them like this anymore.  We walked outside with our real estate agent, I gave Colby the sad puppy look and he responded, “Well….I can’t say no.”  We chatted and decided to put an offer in on the house.  This was the one.  Our dream home.  Our forever home.  The home we would grow old in and raise kids in and host the annual family Thanksgiving with 40-ish people.  We didn’t even go look at the fixer.  This was it.  In the end, I only looked at two houses and this was the only house Colby toured but it was just too perfect for us to risk it slipping away.

Vermont Country Home Before Dining Room

The offer was accepted and about forty days later we closed on this beauty.  I’m a huge believer that things happen for a reason.  That someone is watching out for us.  I truly believe that this home was meant to be ours.  We were chosen to continue its restoration and pick up where the old owners left off.  In the one week that we’ve been living here I don’t think a day has gone by where we don’t feel so honored to call this place home.  She needs some work (just wait until you see the bathrooms!) but we’re so excited to tackle the projects and really make Tara the Campbell Compound sparkle!  I keep calling it the Campbell Compound for a reason.  The property truly is a compound.  It has a whole bunch of outbuildings scattered over 3.7 acres (it used to be a sheep farm) including two substantial outbuildings with power.  And the house is nearly twice the size of our old home.  She’s a compound alright, plus I like alliteration.

Psst…Stay tuned for the full house tour and floor plan coming up in the next post.


  1. You had me at pine plank floors and Dutch door! That is a gorgeous compound! I can’t wait to see the rest of it and how you bring her back to glory. YAY! Welcome home!

  2. The Dutch Door !!!!! I am SOOOO FREAKIN JEALOUS!! 🙂 And happy for you of course! I can’t wait to see all the projects!

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