Look of the Week: House Hunting in Nevada City

Last week we popped up to Nevada City to do a little house hunting. It’s an adorable, historical town, several hours from the SF bay Area. No one commutes to Silicon Valley from here but the prices are still not what I would call low.

I fell head over heels for this cedar home high on a ridge, with stunning views looking west. It was amazing and rang lots of bells for us.

Wearing- pants || blouse similar || wrap similar || shoes || fishnet socks || handbag similar

Look of the Week: house hunting

Style for women over 50

The views went on forever and were breathtaking. The only sound we could hear were birds and a babbling brook, down the hill below.

House Hunting: Style over 50

Sadly, it was at the end of a long gravel road, with very few neighbors. Isolated is not what I’m looking for. I want to live in a community. We headed back to town to meet a realtor for a tour of what’s on the market. The answer was not much. Inventory is low so the options were slim.


style for women over 50

The weather wasn’t cold but it wasn’t warm either so I wore my ruana that came on and off throughout the day.

nevada city, CA
Nevada City is filled with charming shops and restaurants.


We looked at this “fixer-upper” which sat on a wonderful lot, in a great neighborhood, walking distance to town. This one, however, wasn’t really a fixer-upper… it was more a scrape off and start from scratch. That’s more than we care to do at this stage in our lives.


Nevada City fixer upper

fixer upper in Nevada City

This old stove was amazing. Although the house was vacant, the old muffin tins and cooking sheets were still in the oven.

After a quick refueling at Java John’s, we headed home with lots to talk about.


House Hunting

It was a long day, with very little to show for it but we did learn how much decluttering we have to do before we can put our own house on the market.

Thanks for reading and have a great week. I will be decluttering closets and cupboards.

This post contains affiliate links which generate income for AWSL. Please see my complete disclosure statement here.




  1. I totally get where you’re at and the desire to move out of the crowded city. James and I found nirvana, but six years after he died, it was no longer the place for me by myself. Now I’m back in the big city and thrilled to be here. Right in the middle of everything! Looking is half the fun, so enjoy! xoxox, Brenda

    1. You new place looks fabulous, Brenda. I’ve loved following your adventures! XO

  2. We love Chico! City of trees, a great hospital, beautiful university & quaint downtown.

    1. My son recommended Chico! On our list to checkout. Thank you for the recommendation

      1. You’re welcome. We love it here, and are so lucky that three out of our four kids also call it their home. The other is in Rocklin, so not too far away. We’ve been here since the late 80s so are very connected and there’s lots to keep us busy. Message me if you need any information.

      2. Thanks so much, Cyndi!! I will :)xo

  3. Wendy in York says:

    We visited Nevada City some twenty five years ago on a fly drive holiday & loved it . US cities are very interesting but we were more taken with the historic little towns with their friendly people . Thanks for bringing back memories .

    1. My pleasure. I adore small towns and their friendly people.

  4. Lillian Plummer says:

    Interesting phase of your life, enjoying house hunting with you.xx

    1. It is interesting…glad to have you along, Lillian!xo

  5. When my grandma passed away we were decluttering her house and my grandpa decided rather than sell stuff for pennies on the dollar that he and my mom would box up the stuff and give it to kids, grandkids, friends’ kids etc who were going to either be getting their own places or going away to college. It was a lot of stuff the young ones would need and saved them tons of money getting started on their own.

    1. That’s a great idea. They did that with my Granny’s things when she passed away too.

  6. Oh could n’t live with that blue stove !!!

  7. Cheryl Johnson says:

    Upon retirement a few years ago we moved 2600 miles from Seattle to Franklin TN, a historical Civil War town, outside of Nashville. One thing to think about if you really are retiring is to get out of your regular environment…otherwise, we slip back into our comfort zone of working again. I’ve also noticed that some people here repeatedly put retirement off for “another six months” & continue working. Also, what happens if you stay where you are is that people will offer you work for “just a few weeks” and you will be back at it. We are really enjoying the change and laid back lifestyle here. Our dream home is back in Seattle and we downsized a lot here. Life got easier & better! It’s a new adventure!

    1. That makes total sense! We want a new adventure and a fresh location. We’d like to be closer to natural beauty but the most important criteria is lifestyle. Relaxed, stimulating and active come to mind.

    1. There are so many people retiring to other countries. France, Italy, Mexico and Canada. Our options are wide!!

  8. marlene alves says:

    Jennifer, my sister&brother-in-law moved to Auburn 20 years ago from Los Gatos after his retirement. They are in a lovely neighborhood on a high hill with good neighbors AND views east of the Sierras. They take day trips to Nevada City for walking & lunches, etc.
    As I have been in my onestory home for 3.5 years (after moving from a multistory midcentury modern.) Preparing my home for sale took almost a year of decluttering & detail work, the final push I hired help with the packing & preparing. Goal was to have it on the market by April 1, 2013..exactly 45 years from the day we moved in.
    After searching for a new home for over 5 years in a certain section of town, I happened on one (model home not yet ready for sale) in an area I had not considered. It took me 10 minutes to decided: THIS IS THE ONE!
    Had my house on the market in 4 days; two offers in the first 4 hours; sold…(did a rent back for a few months from new owners) until the day my new home was ready for me.

    P.S. Your son’s wisdom is right-on target…stay close to excellent medical services; as well, as other important services, including entertainment, culture, shopping, transportation, etc.

    Found this perfect home (

    1. Oh Marlene, that sounds like it was meant to be for you! I’m sort of hoping the right place will jump out and present itself to us too. I want to be sure if it does, I remember all the necessary criteria and ensure the new place has them.
      We briefly looked at Auburn, but the inventory was very, very low.

      1. marlene alves says:

        Jennifer, am sure you’re aware of the issue of property taxes; it was critical for me to keep my Prop 13 level taxes. Moving within the same city allowed me to do that IF my new purchase was at or below what I sold for after deducting certain BASE costs. (Original price of purchase plus certain improvements, etc…formula is easy to check). Very few areas allow for a senior to transfer their original property tax status to the new. Online research can tell you which counties do. Again, many forget to consider this when making a choice and it can be critical as property taxes are a major ongoing expense as we know.
        P.S. Also, thankfully I had set aside a sufficient amount of cash to prepare for & make the move; even across town the $$ can add up. Ah, yes, REALITIES!

      2. You’re right! I know we can do that within our county but not out of state. Taxes are the elephant in the room. Both property tax and income tax. Social security and pensions are taxed most places so that impacts cash flow. So much to consider!! Ouch.

  9. Jill McNichol says:

    Loved seeing the houses. One thing for all to remember is when you retire when one of you dies will the survivor be happy in the retirement place? This is grim I know but is very important. We retired to the country and not long after my husband died. I am O.K. where we moved but in retrospect it probably was not the best option.

    1. That’s a very important point, Jill. I’m so sorry for your loss but glad to know you’re ok where you are. I would not want to be alone and isolated. Thanks for sharing that concern with us!!

  10. You’ll want quick access to a good hospital, as you get older. Small, quaint towns are adorable to visit but….
    We bought a one story house not knowing what the future might bring. It’s perfect for those sore joints. Isn’t life kind to us?
    Happy house hunting, Jennifer!

    1. My son keeps reminding me to pay attention to medical access. Oh joy! We do want a one story…my knees and hips are already creaking. Planning for the future is fun, but also eye opening.

  11. I love house hunting, and I will look forward to your adventures. That first house has some of the feel of ours, but the isolation would make me crazy, too. I’m sure you will, but consider the utilities. We lived here for 7 years before we had a solid internet connection…the satellites aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! And the gravel road will dust your whole house. We had a concrete pad at our garage and sidewalks around our house, but the road was a dusty (or alternatively muddy) mess. SUCH a relief to have it paved.

    1. I would be in big trouble without solid internet, Laurel, so that’s definitely a concern! I hadn’t thought of the dust, but it would be a nightmare:)

  12. Have you considered Arizona? I know I didn’t but we love it. Living in a 55 and over development is like camp for adults. There are some beautiful places here.

    1. I love that description, camp for adults. We haven’t seriously thought of Arizona because we both love the ocean and trees. But, we’ve definitely not ruled it out. I want to look at everything…until something clicks and we know it’s right for us. What part of Arizona? Can you share the name of your community?

      1. The Flagstaff area of AZ is cool, with some seasonal change and is green, Filled with beautiful trees and nature, it seemed like the ideal place to retire as we drove through on our way home to Southern CA from Abq., NM Lots of benefits for us “seniors” in AZ too. You might want to give it a “peek”.

      2. I’m delighted to hear its green! I pictured it brown and dusty. Thanks, Lisa! It’s now on our list to check out.

      3. I recently met the Director of Working Wardrobes at a Breast Cancer event, who invited me to visit their corporate offices in Irvine, CA. I was SO impressed with their facility, and so touched by their noble purpose. I found it to be the ideal place to donate all of the clothing that my husband and I are purging from our closets as we prepare to retire and re-locate. You may want to see if there is one in your area!

      4. Thank you, Lisa! That sounds like an awesome place to donate. I’ll see if we have one near us. xo

  13. I love the first house too, but not the isolation. And although that stove is adorable, the house is not! Just a thought, and it may be none of my beeswax, but we earnestly looked and found a house where all the living space is on one level. It has a finished lower story, which we bought with aging parents in mind, but it is absolutely not necessary space for us. Knees, hips, and feet don’t get better with age. And our next house will not even have the lower story!

    1. A one story is definitely our preference. My husband needs a knee replacement and I’ll need a hip one day soon. That first house keeps haunting my thoughts, then I think of the lack of neighbors and nix it again.

  14. Please post on how you’re decluttering, especially your closet. I rearranged mine for the umpteenth time yesterday. It’s still difficult to know what to part with. Consignment shops are so picky I’ve decided to give away rather than sell for a pittance. Good luck on your house hunting. Exciting!

    1. I haven’t gotten to my closet yet but will share when I do. I don’t bother with consignment shops, I would rather donate and help someone in need. When I do start it will be with whittling down multiples of the nearly same item. Who needs 6 pair of black skinny pants??

  15. Looks like a charming little town. I’m always drawn toward peace and quiet and seemingly endless vistas – and the pull toward solitary confinement – but only for a bit. Then I want the pulse of people and options for culture, etc. The hunt will pay off – and although tiring – kind of a fun adventure in itself, don’t you think?

    1. It is a fun adventure that we’re enjoying. You’re right, I do love solitude but just for so long, then I need people.

  16. Deborah Svenson says:

    My my son’s in laws live in Nevada City on Broad street. They bought an 1870s house and did a major remodeling. They love living there. We’ve visited during the Victorian Christmas and it is beautiful.

    1. Small world! We looked at a house in Broad Street last summer. It’s an adorable town.

  17. How fun, Jennifer! I just followed another blogger on a house hunt and it’s enjoyable. Can’t wait for your next installment. Happy decluttering!

    1. It is fun but time consuming! I filled several large trash bags just yesterday. So much more to do.

  18. I love the look of the town. A part of me would love to move to a smaller town. I know you will find something…and it is fun to look.

    1. I love the feel of this town. It reminds me of my youth back east.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *