A Storied Setting

The sites that can be viewed from this home at The Cliffs Valley span from Travelers Rest to Tryon


For Kristin Kagen, the process of carving out her family’s dream home at The Cliffs Valley wasn’t unlike a long, punishing hike that leads to a breathtaking view: difficult at times, yet undeniably rewarding.

“This is a property unlike anything else. It’s spectacular,” says Kagen, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows that stretch around the home to offer a 180-degree view. “I see the sun rise from my master bedroom, and from my kitchen window and the family room, I watch the sun set. From here, you can see Caesar’s Head and Paris Mountain, from Greenville to Travelers Rest.” She notes that at the high elevation above the clouds, you’re just as likely to see a helicopter pass by below as you are bears wandering across the driveway.

The journey to this point, however, brought a 180-degree shift in perspective. “I love building, I love the design process—and at the same time, I hate it,” laughs Kagen. “We hit rock, of course, being on a mountain, and rock hammers are very expensive. This was a difficult house to build, and there were times where I felt worn down by the process. But then I would go stand out on the deck, and all of that would just melt away. I’d say, ‘this is why you’re doing this.’ The view calms me down, it’s so beautiful.”

For Kagen and her husband, moving to The Cliffs was truly a homecoming. After raising their family in Savannah, Georgia, and spending time in Dallas, Texas, the duo decided to move closer to friends in the Upstate and Kristin’s parents in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The couple worked with Cliffs Realty’s Ashleigh Connel to find the perfect homesite—and stunning vista. In fact, the couple’s daughter once looked out from the great room windows, “and she said, ‘I feel like I’m a Bond villain,’” says Kagen. “Everyone seems to be blown away by the view.”

One of the most delightful surprises thus far for Kagen has been just how many visitors to their home have a story of their own to share. “People that have come by tell me, ‘When I was a kid, I would come up here and play in the woods.’ Our UPS driver told me he used to sit right here and eat his lunch. Things like that. And my response was, ‘Well, you still can.’ So, it’s been interesting listening to what people think or remember about the homesite. I had never looked at it that way; that it meant something to other people. Which is really kind of cool.”

From day to night, something on the horizon draws your attention—and makes the home infinitely easy to enjoy. “We have a gym in the back, and there’s a group of birds I like to watch from the window. They fly a little lower than the house, about six or seven of them, just gliding through the sky. It’s one of the most peaceful things to watch,” reflects Kagen. “But my favorite part [of being in the home] is in the evening. On a clear night, it looks like there are a million people out there, because there are lights you wouldn’t expect. You’d think Travelers Rest is a little town, but you can see all the way through Greer and down to Greenville and even Tryon at one angle. You’re sitting up on this perch, basically, watching all of these lights glitter and glow. It never gets old.”


This story was featured in Cliffs Living magazine. To see more stories like this one and learn more about The Cliffs, subscribe here.

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