I love looking at real estate. There is something immensely exciting about driving around town, checking out the “For Sale” signs and asking “Wow, what would it be like to live there?” Thanks to the Internet, I can even sit around in my pajamas and cruise the Bloomington listings.
It seems like there are hundreds of houses for sale right now and yet all the searching has not helped me figure out what my dream home looks like. In the end, it boils down to two simple options.
1. Buy a house in the country where we can grow our own food and live close to the land
2. Buy a house in the city where we can live car-free and share resources more easily
They both have their appeals. I’d love to have a big garden and a few fruit trees and some chickens. I might be able to do that in the city but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t also have my own stream and a little bit of forest and maybe a goat. Of course, living out in the country on a big piece of land would leave me isolated from my neighbors and dependent on my car to go grocery shopping or visit friends. How self-sufficient could I be out in the country and how enjoyable would it be? Living in the city, I’d have stores and friends close by and could arrange to bicycle or walk most places I wanted but it would be more crowded and less natural. I probably couldn’t put in a composting toilet (although Will isn’t too excited about the idea anyway).
I’ve spent some time searching for that happy medium, a small house on a bit of acreage that’s still bikeable from downtown. I haven’t found it yet and we probably can’t afford to buy a house just yet anyway so for next year, we’re looking for the perfect downtown spot. It will be the grand experiment to see if I really will put that bike to good use and get my feet used to pounding the pavement. I sure hope I’m up for it. And maybe with the right landlord we can smuggle in a couple of chickens.