Olivia Kibler, a property manager at District-based Crescent Property Management, is 23 years old.
And while many Washington area professionals in her age group are just beginning to think about buying a first home, Kibler already owns a vacation home: a 1,500-square-foot cabin atop Massanutten Mountain near Luray, Va.
The house has two bedrooms, one bathroom and separate living and dining rooms. An addition to the front of the house sports a great room.
She inherited the mountain getaway, along with a home in Mount Pleasant, when her father, Keith Kibler, president and owner of District-based roofing company Skyline Improvements, died after a work-related accident on Oct. 14.
“When my dad bought the mountain house in 1984, it was more of a cabin. And over the years he transformed it into a fully functioning, year-round house and added on to it,” Kibler said. “He grew up in Luray, and it was always one of his dreams to one day have a house on top of the mountain. There are only seven houses up there. The rest is national forest, and nothing else can be built up there now.”
Since inheriting the house last fall, she has stayed there about 10 times and said she will spend some time there this month.
“I love the view up there. And the fact that my dad put so much work into it and put so much of himself into the home. I feel like have a connection to him when I’m up there, Kibler said.
The view, she said, is a panorama of the Shenandoah Valley with Luray in the center of it.
Even though the house belongs to her, Kibler hasn’t been left on her own in maintaining it. An aunt was left money to be spent on the home on Kibler’s behalf.
“My aunt and I are redoing the wraparound deck, making it nicer and bigger so we can sit outside and eat dinner out there,” she said.
Kibler said being responsible for a mountaintop home two hours from Washington is “daunting,” but she has family members that live near the house who provide a support system for her.
“Thanksgiving was my dad’s favorite holiday to host at the house. I have decided to keep his tradition going for his side of the family,” Kibler said.
— Shawn Selby
Wellesley Island, N.Y.
It stands to reason that someone who designs buildings for a living would have a hand in designing his own place.
Darrel Rippeteau of District-based Rippeteau Architects certainly used his considerable knowledge of residential and commercial real estate to create a spacious summer home in the Thousand Islands-Seaway region of New York.
Built over the course of seven years, Rippeteau began working on the house in 1990, when his parents gave him the land on Wellesley Island. It has been in the family since 1957, but remained undeveloped.