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  • Jeremiah Deborde

A chance conversation

One Sunday evening last July, my wife and I were talking to my brother and his wife about how their neighbor's house was up for sale. My sister-in-law made a joke about how our pastor should try to purchase it. That comment peaked my interest and started us on our adventure that eventually would become Passel Hills Farm.


On the way home that same evening, I asked my wife what she thought about moving next door to my brother. To my surprise, she was very enthusiastic about moving to the country. What is ironic is that I had almost not even asked her since I believed she would say no. Well, I was off to the races. I asked my brother to contact his neighbor and see if he was indeed willing to sale. The landowner was hesitant at first but came around when the family angle was brought up.


My wife and I, like many in 2020, had thought about selling our house but had no idea as to where we would move to or if we could even afford it. Upon doing some research, I was pleased to discover the property had over 15 acres with access to Smith Mountain Lake. The wife and I were excited on our way to view the house. We hesitantly walked around to see if it had issues with water in the basement, etc. Our excitement grew as we realized that though the house was small, it was well built.


The land had been leased to a local cattle farmer who had about 20 head on this lot and the adjacent lot. The fencing and barns had been neglected. The landscaping and the areas surrounding the several barns were severely overgrown. We were excited about the potential it offered and the proximity to my brother. My wife and father would come to regret what came next.


We purchased our house in Roanoke with the intent to update it and eventually sell it. I had done some small upgrades over the previous several years with many projects still not finished. I was overwhelmed to say the least on the amount of work that I thought was required. However, I met with a relator and set a goal of being ready to place the house on the market in 6 weeks. The relator looked around the house as I listed off all I was seeking to accomplish in 6 weeks . I could tell she did not believe me. And thus, at the end of August 2020, we were off to the races to finish flipping a house, sell it and move by the end of October. That, my friends, was an adventure in itself and a story for another time.

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