Monday, May 07, 2007

A new idea for finding Shangri-la

The hut in this painting is looking pretty darned good about now.

After two months of house hunting, we sometimes find ourselves fantasizing about selling everything and moving to a remote little hide-away somewhere. A simple, little cabin in the hills or a hut on a private beach is sounding better every day. I mean, why the heck do we need all this stuff anyway?

Honestly, I think house hunting is about to get the best of us. We keep hoping to stumble onto another Mullin house (the one we lost to another bidder) and frankly, that's going to be hard to do.
In the last two weeks we've looked at two houses we like. One in Wimberley, a wonderful, laid back community with an artsy fartsy energy that we both really like. That place is at the top of our price range and will still need some work to make a studio in the garage, update the kitchen and tone down some of the teal paint. It's also on a smaller lot than we have now but the entire backyard is enclosed with a tall privacy fence. We lived in Wimberley for seven months before we bought this place and we really liked it.
The other house is a little less money and has almost the same square footage but it's on a bigger lot than we have now. It's out in an older, well maintained country neighborhood near Marble Falls, just 10 miles from here. The house reeks of smoke and cat litter boxes but is still quite nice. It would take some new paint and carpet and the studio building there would also have to be insulated and air conditioned. It's an older ranch style home, rock and wood, with nice patios and gardens and very tall pine trees on two sides.
Its a hard call. We love the Wimberley area but we also like the country environment.
I'm seriously thinking of just putting everything in storage for the summer and renting a cabin on a lake or in the trees somewhere - no remodeling, no nesting in, just flitting around from one place to another every month until we find our own Shangri-la. We could stay on a lake in Texas in June, maybe something in the mountains of New Mexico in July and Wyoming in August. Then come back here in September. Of course, with gas prices continuing to skyrocket, it would take all our down payment money to do that much traveling but it would sure be fun.
Maybe we'll realign our priorities and decide all we really need is a little cabin with high speed Internet, a few things to make it look homey and the plasma TV.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

House hunting is for the birds

How cool is this? We forgot to bring this hat in off the porch and a passing swallow or wren decided it looked like a good place to start a family. This picture is from a couple of years ago but it still makes me smile.
In a way, it reminds me of our own hunt for a new home. On Monday, we got a contract on this house; a fine young couple with four little ones from Cedar Park. It's contingient on them selling their home so we probably have a good two months before we have to move. It's a good thing too since A) I just had pretty major surgery and can't lift anything over ten pounds for another four weeks and B) we haven't found a new home yet.
We've looked at quite a few, fromWimberley to Bandera to Brownwood and back to Marble Falls. The one in Marble Falls is in the lead at the moment. It's only about 20 years old - which is young compared to what we usually look at - and has been somewhat abused. It's the product of a divorce settlement and once the split took place, it was left to fin for itself. There are broken windows, curling laminate floors, funky stuff on the ceilings, some brutal black and blue paint and zero landscaping. The reason it's in the lead is because there's a wonderful fishing pond in the front field plus it's just around the corner from a good friend of mine. Did I mention that it needs a LOT of work!
We're still lurking around the real estate sites hoping the perfect place leaps off the page at us soon. We've seen several that were just perfect - but either not in our price range or not in the right location. Oh well, something will come along just in the knick of time - or we'll get warmer on the Marble Falls place.
It's raining again today. We've had one wonderful rainy spring and the vegetation (including our yard) is lush and green and beautiful. I can't remember when the wildflowers were this beautiful. The lakes and ponds and streams and creeks are filling up again and it's glorious.
I just love spring.