Janet and Hermann "Buck" Moyse III were out of town when a house in their desired neighborhood became available. But that didn't stop them.
"We bought it without seeing it," Buck Moyse said.
The couple had been shopping Jamestowne Court, a gated development of townhouses near Essen Lane and Jefferson Highway. And properties there sell fast.
So, they sent real estate agent Quita Cutrer and interior designer Joel Fazende as their scouts.
The Moyses have no regrets.
In June 2017, the couple finalized the deal and began a four-month renovation by contractor Daryl May that included all new windows, new hardwood floors and a complete rehab of the kitchen and master bath.
Other projects included raising the height of the doors, converting the original study to a closet, widening the stairway, adding two windows to a long hall and creating a door from the garage to the courtyard.
The great potential of the large courtyard was one of the selling points for Janet Moyse.
Dr. Clay and Augusta Waggenspack had built the house in 1995 and filled the courtyard with beds and pots navigated by paver pathways. But the area had become so full that it was almost impossible to get around the plants.
The Moyses hired landscape designer Hampton Landry, who removed everything thing from the courtyard except a miniature Japanese maple. In went a slate patio, new pathways and three major beds of permanent plantings interspersed with annuals.
"We had no problem getting rid of the stuff from the yard," Buck Moyse said. "People wanted the plants Dr. Waggenspack had."
The Moyses brought with them from their old home a brick fountain and installed it on the common wall that runs along the side of the courtyard. To create a backdrop for the fountain, they painted the wall white. "That way you could see it," Janet Moyse said.
Among the treasures in the courtyard are two statues of little boys that belonged to Buck Moyse's parents, the late Rocky and Hermann Moyse Jr.
"They bought them in Santa Fe because they reminded them of their grandsons, our sons David and Aaron," Janet Moyse said.
When it came to furnishing their new home, Janet Moyse had most of her upholstered pieces recovered but didn't have to buy anything.
"Joel and Janet made what we had fit," Buck Moyse said.
Over four decades of marriage, the couple had collected antique furniture, accessories and art including many pieces Janet Moyse purchased for herself while buying for the antiques and gift business she operated until her first grandchild was born six years ago.
The living room is done in calming neutral tones with two sofas, a marble fireplace on the front wall and windows overlooking the courtyard.
The separate dining room is very traditional, with a large dining table, an antique sideboard and another table that can be used for serving.
The big kitchen has white cabinets, a crystal chandelier, stainless steel appliances, marble counters and a large center island with seating. There is also a small seating area with a view of the courtyard through a wall of windows and a display of botanical prints of apples and pears.
With help from architect Sutton Miley, the Moyses reconfigured the back of the house to convert a bedroom and a study into a larger master bathroom, a master closet and a new study.
In his office, Buck Moyse works at the desk that belonged to his father, who used it in his office at City National Bank, when it was on Third Street. The study is filled with family memorabilia including the Distinguished Service Cross citation his grandfather, Hermann Moyse, earned in World War I.
Upstairs are two bedrooms and one bathroom.
"From the upstairs, it's a wonderful view of the treetops and gardens," Janet Moyse said.
One of the greatest joys the couple has with their new home is their favorite neighbor, Buck Moyse's aunt, Betty Moyse Simmons, who lives directly across Jamestowne's center walkway. Their homes actually face each other.
When the Moyses married 43 years ago, they moved to the Garden District next door to Betty and her late husband, Joe Simmons.
"Betty said we have come full circle," Janet Moyse said. "Now, 43 years later, we are no more than a few steps from Betty."