Downtown Statesville property owner, gone resident, realizes the value in being part of a community!
"It’s 1:00 am and as usual, I’m awake. I do my best writing in the quiet of night, even if sirens break the silence. The first responders rush through the stoplights at East Broad and Center and I say a prayer, reminding myself how blessed I am. The noises of Downtown Statesville have become a familiar lullaby. I walk to the window and admire the Christmas lights shining on wet pavement. The traffic lights keep changing even though there are no cars on the streets. It’s in this stillness where I am at peace, and I am grateful to finally be home.
It seems like yesterday when my husband and I purchased our first investment property in Downtown Statesville. It was my first visit and I knew immediately we were in a true southern town. Originally from West Virginia, I felt right at home and thought the people who lived here lucky. My husband and I lived in a neighborhood in Davidson, and although it is a lovely place, we never seemed to fit in. Every time we would come to Statesville, we were amazed at how fast it was growing. Our tenants were beyond wonderful, especially Brandon & Cindy Sutton at Groucho’s. We loved the small town feeling combined with five-star restaurants and specialty boutiques. It was exciting to see more bakeries, a wine bistro and new breweries. We celebrated my 52nd birthday with dinner at Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill and stopped in at Red Buffalo Brewing Co. before dinner. Joe Bondi, the owner of Red Buffalo, came over and spoke to us for quite a while. The warm greeting once again reinforced our desire to be part of the community. We began to say, “when we move to Statesville” rather than “if we move to Statesville.
There was only one problem. Kevin worked in Charlotte and long hours made the commute to Davidson almost unbearable. We knew he would need to find work closer before we started looking for a house in Statesville. My philosophy has always been “everything in God’s time” and we have never been disappointed. In June 2019, Kevin found a great job in Mooresville. We were ready to make our move!
There is a saying, “life happens while you are busy making other plans.” This could not be truer. While spending weekends showing the apartment above Groucho’s, we were searching for our “perfect house” within walking distance to town. The thought of walking to town for dinner or meeting friends for a drink was appealing for many reasons. In addition, because I grew up in a small southern town, I realized the value in being part of a community.
We followed “Downtown Statesville” Facebook and Marin Tomlin was always helpful in finding good tenants for our two apartments. By coincidence our two bedroom, 800 sq.ft. apartment was vacant, and we spent two weekends showing the beautiful space the previous owner, Donna McMillen created. Donna has been such a good friend in helping us from the day we bought the building. She was quick to help us with resources needed to keep the building running as she left it. We have found a true friend.
Looking back, it seems so obvious. One Saturday evening in June we were having dinner after a long day showing the walk-up while searching for a house of our own. Then it hit me. “Why don’t we move into our apartment? It’s the best place in town!” Kevin laughed, nearly spilling his drink while nodding “yeah, duh”! It was the moment when all the stress went away. We knew where our new home was.
It’s hard to believe we have been “residents” of Statesville for three months. We were here through Halloween, Pumpkin Fest, BalloonFest as well as all the Christmas events. We pretended to commentate the Christmas parade from our upstairs. Kevin was walking our two dogs one evening and rushed upstairs to tell me “there are people dressed like Scrooge walking around town!” I didn’t bother to explain the characters were straight out of “A Christmas Carol”.
I think more than anything else, Kevin and I are amazed at how much the community loves their town. You can feel the enthusiasm and pride in every event. Wherever we go, we feel welcomed. Although it’s never possible to predict the future, I can bet we will be here for a long time. I will continue to look out the window in the middle of the night. I will continue to feel a sense of peace and happiness difficult to explain. I am happy because we are where we are supposed to be, and that place is home."
Francie has spent her career as a licensed psychotherapist. She is a freelance writer and has written for newspapers (Charlotte Observer), magazines, and published in professional journals. She is currently a wife, mother and grandmother. She and her husband, Kevin enjoy spending time at their tiny cabin in Elkin, NC., visiting grandchildren and playing with their two dogs, Gypsy and Bella. They live at 101 E. Broad Street, Statesville NC.
Francie celebrates her birthday after dinner at Red Buffalo Brewing Co.
WELCOME HOME Francie & Kevin!