Audrey and Ted Raycroft are Quechee, Vermont homeowners who, for most of the year, reside in Sherborn, Massachusetts, as do the co-owners of their Quechee home, Suzanne and Adam Craig. When Raycroft began looking for a house, she did not set out intending to share with a friend; that happened by a little twist of Vermont fate. As time goes by, however, she has found it is a wonderful way to have a second home and, often, increases the fun of trips to Vermont.
There is an extended network of families and individuals from Sherborn, who own homes in and around the Quechee area. These fellow friends and families are the reason why the Raycrofts and Craigs, as well as their kids were already very familiar with the area, having visited many times.
Raycroft, a realtor in Sherborn, and Ted, a software salesman, had been talking about places to purchase a second home. As a family, they spent a lot of time on Cape Cod and considered buying there, but, as Raycroft says, “the Cape is very one dimensional for us. And it’s great, I love an ocean fix, I love a beach fix, I love being on water;” however, she pointed out, “once the beach season is over, there is little left to do.”
Quechee, on the other hand, “is more three dimensional so to say, because it’s more of a year-round destination for us, as opposed to the Cape. We all like the outdoors in winter, but one of my favorite times in Vermont is the summer too,” she says before listing off a wide variety of activities in the area her family enjoys. The Quechee Club amenities such as golf and tennis are important to their family, as is the ability to go fly-fishing and hiking. The freedom of Vermont summers is enjoyable, especially for their kids, although Raycroft explains, “now that my kids are older, they are into the bridge jumping thing. It makes me so nervous!”
One thing in particular that makes Quechee special in her mind is the location. A lot of people they know who own homes in Vermont live a good distance off the interstate, driving 45 minutes or an hour. She loves the fact that you can just drive right up the highway and hop off and you are in Quechee.
“I love the proximity to Woodstock and resources there. I love the proximity to Hanover, especially when we are there in the winter and can catch hockey games, at Dartmouth, and the little town of Hanover is obviously very charming and gives you all the restaurant-type amenities. It’s great because you have so much available while you are there,” she says.
The house the Raycrofts eventually purchased with the Craigs is one that they first looked at themselves. Raycroft had been looking at several houses with her agent Derek Cosentino, when she fell in love with a house that was going to be, in the end, too expensive when she included the things that needed to be done. So she passed and kept looking. Nothing caught her attention, most of the houses they were looking at were on wooded lots, and she wanted views and mountains, she wanted to be able to see Vermont.
Then, while visiting a mutual friend for a girls’ weekend, they were standing in the window looking out, she realized she could see the beautiful house for sale, and asked her friend about the road below. Realizing how close they were, Raycroft texted Cosentino, asking if they could get in for a look in the next two hours. The eight women went for a walk, and four of them peeled off from the group to go look at the house, among the four was Suzanne Craig.
The house was a farmstead lot, so there was a smaller building lot that came with it. After seeing the property, Craig offered to buy the smaller lot from Raycroft if she bought the house, but Raycroft pointed out that if she did that, Craig would be outside of what she wanted to spend too. So instead, Raycroft suggested they buy it together. Neither of them had ever thought of doing so before, either with each other or with another family, but feel that it has worked out great.
“You never feel like you aren’t using it enough, everything is a 50/50 arrangement of course. We are literally just below the cornfield belonging to the house of the mother of our other mutual friend,” she says.
Instead of doing what many in this situation might do and completely split the time at the house, the two families often stay at the house at the same time. They’ve even taken to vacationing elsewhere together!
The best, though, is always the benefits the kids get. “I love that they are making their little memories there, being with their families in the house.”