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.


Nate Owens said...

Miz. D....

You are quite the blogger... I'm really enjoying the log you are keeping and I'm rooting for your dream house. But, when you talk about simplyfing, I hear you loud and clear.

I yearn for the days of yesteryear when we rented... of course there is the investment thing (which I think is widely overstated) and then the rasty neighbors... but as you point out, you can have those when you buy... then you are stuck with them.

The best thing about renting is the ability (with relative ease) of walking away. We have rented a nice house here and there and they were low maintenance (small yard that I hired mowed). I love living out in the country where we are now, but frankly I bit off more than I can chew... too many irons in the fire and not much porch time.

Personally I don't like islands or beaches... guess I'm a die-hard mountain man. However the older I get, warm weather sure is appealing.

Nate Owens said...

Part two...

The hangup to renting is the critters. Now we have 6 dogs and 3 cats (indoor and who knows how many under the house). We have rented with as many as 3 cats and a dog.... but I think we're beyond the limits of sanity now. Carol and I are both pushovers for cold noses, wet tongues and fast waggers. They are our younguns.

Very sad to hear you lost your Fester... Maybe I'm weird, but I'm convinced that the Bible hints that we will see them again - - read about "all of creation groaning until the redemption" in Romans...

Nate Owens said...

Own or rent - part 3:

In our area it seems that real estate values (at least a mile or 2 away) are escalating. It is really horsey country... talking "equestrian" (expensive word for hoss), polo, jumpers, and horse flesh selling for up to $1 mil +. That ain't Alpo! Not sure my junkyard is in that league, but sometimes the idea of selling, renting and pocketing the difference for roaming money seems like a nice thing (if it would even be possible).... like you said... "freedom"

MIke & Dusti Scovel said...

Hey Nate - good to see you here.

Renting has crossed my mind a lot but we have the same issues you have. Dogs - just two now and two cats plus with both of us being self employed, we really need every deduction out there and the mortgage interest is a healthy one.

Just traveling around would be okay and if we were researching new material for paintings or writing, we could write off most of that expense. But, there again, are the animals. One of our current dogs would go with us not the cats or Maggie, the border collie. And plus, don't forget my hairy legged chickens. We have five of those wondering around the place.

I don't think I'd want to live on the beach but I'd love to just stay at a beach house for a couple of weeks, just to experience the lifestyle. I know I wouldn't want to live in a downtown area but I'd love to experience loft living for about a month. Having porchtime on an open deck high above the city lights. But my most favorite fantasy is to travel the small burbs of the South; finding temporary quarters in tiny towns and taking a couple of months to meet and interview the people whose people have lived there forever. Then write about them.

And one of these days, I'm going to do just that.