When we first moved here, our kids were young, and the neighborhood was new. There were a lot of young couples, and our kids all played together. Now, the kids are grown, and a lot of of our friends have moved. The houses are older and tired. Maybe that's why I hate them. They remind me of my own creeping mortality.
Broken fences, moss on roofs, unkempt landscaping, crappy "hooptie" cars. It just feels run-down and tired. We don't have an HOA and I'm okay with that. I'll take individual freedom (warts and all) over forced conformity all day long. Even if it is ugly to look at.
Still, I can't wait to get out now. Our kids are still living with us, for a few more years. I could probably retire early, but I sure as shit ain't leaving work to spend more time here. So I've been planning our escape. At least in my head, and some on paper.
My idea is to buy 5 to 10 acres just west of here, toward the coast. It's kind-of like "flyover" country, people on their way to the beach just drive right through the coastal hills and forests. Small towns with gas stations to service the tourists. Low-density and quiet. Yes.
Some parcels I've looked at have streams. One had a shared lake, but that came with covenants and restrictions (stuff that!). A few are bordered on working forest land: The Perfect Neighbors. Big-arse trucks kicking up dust moving logs... but only during the day. At night, blissful peace with a sky full of stars. No light pollution.
Oh, there will be problems. The deer will try to eat my garden, and coyotes will try to steal our cats. Site prep will be costly: From leveling, septic, well and running power lines (trenching). At least permitting should be do-able. My research indicates that this county is pretty lazzie faire. My knida folks.
I want to keep construction costs down, so I've been looking at non-traditional homes. I think we'll stay away from the standard "modular" pre-fab homes. My wife had a bad experience with them growing up (I could convince her they're better now, but one must pick their battles). I seriously want to construct a shipping container home. Not quite tiny-home sized, but downsizing for sure. Four 40 foot boxes should be adequate. We could utilize a lot of outdoor space for living (deck, patio and atrium). A couple of outbuildings for infrequently used stuff (two 20' containers). Solar panels would provide some self-sufficiency, but I would want a large propane tank as well. A wood stove would make sense (since it's in a forest), but honestly it would be redundant.
I know Amazon offers some pre-built structures as well. Looks good on paper, until you add-up the cost of all the upgrades to make them livable.
I basically just want to spend the rest of my life living like Henry David Thoreau. With or without the pond. Walk the property, philosophize and hum along to the nearby chainsaws. Seriously, I like that sound. It's the hum of honest work using renewable resources.
And it's important to like and respect your neighbors. Which is a lot easier when you have 5 to 10 acres of buffer space between you.