GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Sarah and Austin McCombie sometimes feel as if they’re leading a double life.

On the one side is the life they chose several years ago as professional musicians. They are a folk music duo – Chatham Rabbits – that successfully tours the country.

“Austin and I have still been touring and traveling and touring constantly, we’re gone, like, 60% of the year because, first and foremost, we’re full-time touring musicians and songwriters,” says Sarah.

But a little more than a year ago, they became homeowners – well, they already had a home in Chatham County (hence their musical name) but they also became the owners of a majority of the land on which a structure sits that the Osborne’s (Sarah’s family) has always called, simply, “The old house.”

Old, it is.  Records show it’s the oldest continually-standing home in Guilford County, dating back to 1753.

Sarah’s paternal grandfather owned much of the land around it until he died, late last year.

“It was, it was just a really tough time for our family and knowing that that generation had passed on and there were all those stories and things that he knew and we just never maybe thought to ask him or, like, places on the land that we weren’t aware of like where tobacco barns were and now it feels like that is gone because he’s gone,” Sarah says.

The land on which the homes sits has a full farm with cows, chickens, a turkey named Cornbread and, of course, ‘The old house.’ It also has a barn which Sarah and Austin have turned into a music venue so they can do some of their performances at home.

“We have been working super, super hard to getting this barn completely redone,” Sarah says. “This is a barn that my great grandfather – his name was David Osborne – he built this, probably about 80 years ago and it had really fallen into disrepair just over the years, normal wear-and-tear.  And my great grandfather was not really a contractor, our contractor said maybe he didn’t really own a level because it was a little disheveled so we had to do a lot of work with the beams and restructuring it but it’s very, very sturdy; very, very perfect for what we need it for which is barn concerts and also we have cows out here.”

Imagine, though, taking on that major rehabilitation project while you’re away from the property, 250 days a year.

“There have been so, so many roadblocks just from supply chain issues, financial decisions that we have to weigh against our business, like, how much do we put into our tour bus? How much do we put into purchasing vinyl of our album vs. hiring someone to raise the house and move it,” says Sarah.

 Yes, they not only need to upgrade the 270-year-old home to make it livable … they need to move it about 6 or 10 feet to accommodate both septic work and leave room for both the roadway and possible home expansion.

 And they do this all while they continue to be a successful music duo.

“We have to switch our brains from playing shows for people, interacting with fans, playing our music then switch gears to like, what sort of pesticide do we need to be looking at for this area, where do we need to weed eat, what animals need to go to the vet.”  “We have a lot of help but it’s, it’s definitely just constantly a juggle between using the left and the right side of your brain,” says Sarah.

 It’s tough work – and a life Sarah and Austin wouldn’t trade for anything.

See the latest on This Old Piedmont House in this edition of The Buckley Report.