Thursday, February 6, 2014

Land Search: Nothing Yet

So.  (blows dust off of computer)

How have you been?

Me? I've been fine. Surviving the cold winter weather we're currently having. 25F currently. It was a balmy 16F when I walked out the door this morning- so cold that it nearly knocked the wind out of me.

Our little house is such a delight in the winter- it's so small that one little wall heater will heat up our little 680 square feet with no issue. I love living in a small house, some of the time.

As you may know, we were looking to buy some property in southern Washington, somewhere near the Columbia River. Well, the land we were looking at fell through- while the property was beautiful, the seller was kind, the bank was willing, the land itself, as it stood, wouldn't support a septic system- and we weren't willing to spend the money or the time waiting until we could build.

So, we're back to square one.

We still love Casa Crustante- the house itself is wonderful. I have little to fault it for what it has. It's very functional, and personally I think it's adorable- but there are some issues with the situation that we're in that makes it very clear that it's not quite working.

I had no idea I'd be such an avid creator- builder, sewer, baker, gardener. The land, a scant 1/5 acre- just isn't enough for all that I'd like to do. We want a garden that gets sunlight (ours is in the shadow of a beautiful maple tree). We'd like another room or two in the house- the husband needs an office, I would like a craft room. Oh, and the boat building thing. I definitely need a shop- or, at the bare minimum, a garage I can build in. And with the addition of our beautiful Westfalia, that garage is now a necessity.

We contemplated renovating our house so it'd fit our evolving criteria. It doesn't solve the lack-of-land issue. And, as it turns out, we're just not invested in this area. Our neighborhood is decent, but we're adjusting to some suburban culture shock that I wasn't quite prepared for- perhaps one of the biggest hurdles of suburbia is the concept of no property lines. Many people in this neighborhood feel that it is their right to welcome themselves to your property if you're not home- to check out your cars, to invite themselves into your chicken run and then not latch it on their way out (also true story- I deadbolt it closed now), to examine anything or everything that you don't have tied down.

I know people are just being people, and they're just curious. But when you're from 7 acres in the middle of the sticks and descendant of a line of people who are rightfully territorial, I get very, very angry when people assume that I won't mind.

So, we're looking for another modest house with land, or perhaps a piece of land that's perfect for building on. Perhaps in the sticks. Keep your fingers crossed that we'll find something soon!


  1. It's a tough real estate market out there. My daughter & new hubby have been trying to buy a home for over a year now. Every time they find one in their price range it's sold a day or two after it's listed. Anything that doesn't sell immediately is way overpriced. They are very discouraged. Maybe you won't run into that problem since you're looking further out. All us gray-bearded sailor types will miss you two if you move away. We're all looking forward to seeing you finish Rio and come sailing with us. Couldn't you cut down that maple and put up a fence instead? We'll come help!

    1. I hear you on the tough market, Joel! Some of the properties we had queued up to look at were off the market in 5 days- barely enough time to schedule a chance to get down there to check it out. And this is in the sticks! I can't even imagine what it'd be like to try to buy in this area at this time. My heart goes out to your daughter & son-in-law.

      We won't be far! And it'll actually be easier for me to participate in a lot of the stuff on the Olympic Peninsula- no ferry traffic to deal with- and I'd probably end up seeing my family much more because of it. And bonus, we'll be next to my husband's family! We'll be going from feeling completely isolated to actually having some sort of tribe again- so looking forward to that.

      Rio is so close, I think it'll happen this year! I'm so excited for the weather to warm up. Balmy 26F right now. :\

  2. Chin up. That property just wasn't meant to be but I'm sure you'll find something right. One with lots of land for not just chickens but bees, pigs and sheep even! :D I think Casa Crustante brought out the DIY-er/Home Improvement-er in you. :)

    1. It was definitely an important part in my evolution as a builder. I'm happy that we bought it but it's time for us to leave the nest. And suburbia. Holy smokes. We had people doing wheelies in the snow in their 4-wheelers for an hour and a half on Saturday. And last weekend was the whole football brigade- fireworks, hollering, screaming until the wee hours of the morning. This lifestyle does not suit us.

  3. What would you renovate in your house?? Kitchen? :) Bathroom?