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The town of Davidson s largest private home is up for sale.

But few people have ever actually seen the building, which is listed for $6,499,000. Tucked away on 31 acres off Avinger Lane, the white, Colonial-style house is surrounded on all sides by untouched forest, just the way the owners like it.

We re hidden away from prying eyes, which we like, said Nason Fishback, the home s owner. But we welcome neighbors ... fishing, strolling around.

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Fishback, a retiree who said he amassed a small fortune through stock investing, designed and built the house in 1989, nine years after his family moved to the area with their four children. Fishback and his wife, Margie Fishback, decided to move to Davidson from South Dakota when their oldest son enrolled at Davidson College in 1980.

However, moving to North Carolina s warmer climate meant that Fishback had to leave behind their custom mansion in South Dakota, he said. After several years of renting a house on South Thompson Street in Davidson, the Fishbacks decided that they missed the mansion so much that they would try to re-create it.

Leading up to 1989, we thought and thought and thought, said Fishback. And we decided, wouldn t this be nice.

The Fishbacks began construction on their home in 1989 and completed it by 1992. They designed the building after old, Southern plantation homes like that of Orton Plantation, an antebellum plantation home built in 1735 outside Wilmington, and the West Virginia governor s mansion. They also pulled many design features from the South Dakota house.

It s a similar style to our South Dakota house ... the mirrors, yellow walls, marble floors. It s what I want to call re-Colonial style, Fishback said.

The 9,615-square-foot house now stands three stories tall, including a full basement, with five bedrooms in the house and an additional two in the guesthouse, which is attached by a covered walkway. It sits on 31 acres of sweeping lawn and secluded woods, and includes private tennis courts, a pond and miles of walking trails. The preserved land is a haven for wildlife, and Fishback said he frequently sees animals like deer and gophers.

We don t leave debris around. ... We try to keep it looking natural, Fishback said. Fishback does all the mowing and gardening himself, and enjoys driving around the property in his golf cart.

However, after 20 years of enjoying the secluded property, Fishback has decided it is time to prepare for the day he may not be able to maintain the property any longer.

I thought we d better sell it while I m still here, Fishback said. I m 81, and I m not going to be here always.

The Fishback s realtor, Kathryn Stevens Burdick of Burdick Properties, said that Fishback has reasonable expectations for the sale of his house, despite his attachment to the property.

It makes for a very unique and special property. I think Mr. Fishback s complete heart and soul is in this property, Burdick said. But I think he s being realistic with his estate. ... He is a planner, and he just wants to tie up those ends.

Burdick added that some of the property s most interested buyers may be developers looking to split up the land and build new homes.

It s valued for the size of the land, she said. But that (development) would not be Mr. Fishback s first choice.

In fact, Fishback is looking for a very particular kind of buyer. Ideally, the Fishbacks hope to sell the house to someone looking to invest in the property, but who will let the family continue to call the house home until they can no longer live there.

We d really like to find someone who ll let us continue living here and buy it to invest, and we d pay them rent, Fishback. Otherwise I guess we ll look for somewhere else to live.

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