The Long House and its 3.1 acre leasehold is a beautiful homestead for someone interested in joining Bear Creek and having a smaller acreage homestead with a gorgeous finished natural building to call home. This home was lovingly built by past residents using all natural building techniques– it has strawbale walls, earthen plastered walls, hardwood floors and ceiling, passive solar design, wood heat, and rainwater catchment for its current water source. The roof is steel and insulation in the floor and ceiling is cellulose. The whole house is built on piers made of rot resistant osage orange wood with a crawl space underneath. The house is unique in that it was built almost entirely by hand, with hand tools and the love of many craftspeople and volunteers.
In front of the Long House are a variety of young fruit trees shading southern sun exposure to the house (along with a shallow overhang) as well as a medium-sized home garden. There are several trees around the house that have been planted about ten years ago and are now medium sized–persimmon, redbud, elderberry and more. The Long House backs up to a diverse deciduous forest that can supply ample firewood and other wild edibles from the acre of woods or so adjoining it. Those woods are joined to six acres of BCCLT Commons woods which can be accessed with community approval for further resources. Native grassland surround the other three sides of the Long House (with the garden to the south of the house), well suited for grazing animals. To the east are two more leaseholds, J and K which has the Honey House on it. A future internal access road will run along the west border of Leasehold I, and will form the boundary between the next leasehold, G. One nice aspect to Leasehold I is that it is removed enough and uphill enough from the road (Frontier Lane) that it is not visible from the road, but still close to a future parking area and internal access road. It also enjoys beautiful vistas to the east and west (the sunsets area amazing!)
Currently, the Long House is connected to the public water grid for drinking/bathing water, and it has additional rain water catchment cubes for three-season, gravity-fed water use. It also currently has a small solar array on the roof of the house for electricity which can be removed or purchased additionally. Heat for the house is provided by cast iron stove and by the passive solar design.
The Long House was originally built to have two separate adjoining dwellings, with separate front doors. One side comprises one-third of the building (the west side of house), and one side makes up the other two-thirds of the building (accessed by the front, south-facing door). These two sides could easily be joined by an opening in the interior dividing wall to make one larger space, or could remain separate, is two adjoining homes or a rental space is desired. The dimensions of the exterior of the building are 16 ft. x 47 ft. The interior dimensions of the shorter side of the building are 12 ft. x 15 ft., and the interior of the larger side of the building are 12 ft. x 29ft.
The larger side of the building is fully finished inside, with a bathroom area (6 ft. x 6 ft.) which is divided off of the main living space by a staircase upstairs. The kitchen area has a custom built counter with sink (8.5 ft. long), and upper cabinets made out of local oak wood. The south facing window bay is 11 ft. long and has a bench seat underneath, made out of a single wide piece of oak. The space inside is light and airy, full of natural materials–earthen plastered walls, oak floor, oak ceiling overheard. The second story of both sides has a shorter than average ceiling (7 ft.) at its highest point, which slopes downward, making for a cozy feeling. The Longer side has built in shelving and closet area, a storage area sectioned off along the back wall (north wall), and a smaller bedroom on the other side of the stair case (7.5 ft.x 13 ft.)
The short side of the Long House has a partially finished interior. It is currently being insulated in roof and ceiling and getting its finish flooring (and ceiling) installed. It has a second door that opens to the back (north side).
The north facing side of the Long House has a screened in sleeping area (11 ft. x 7.5 ft.) and open air porch with steps down to the woods and small outhouse to the north. The sleeping area is a wonderful way to catch cool breezes on summer nights, or could function as a screened-in eating area. The north porch adjoining the short side of the Long House is unfinished currently, but could be easily be built with the addition of joists and deck boards.
The Long House is accompanied by 3.1 acres of land. The house was appraised at $58,500 and the land is valued at a rate that amortizes slowly to match land value inflation in the area. The current price per acre is $2,000, making this leasehold $65,000. Solar system price and details are available upon request, but are additional. This leasehold would make a beautiful home for anyone excited to have a mostly finished natural home with a small amount of land, and close community neighbors nearby.
Bear Creek’s membership process is described in more detail in the “About Us” section of the website. Once a member purchases the leasehold, they own all infrastructure and improvements made to the leasehold, while the land itself is leased from the Land Trust with a 99-year (or lifetime) lease.