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My American Dream

July 6, 2010

If there is anything our relationship is lacking, daydreams aren’t it.  T sent me this article and this house with the proposition  “we should do this”.  A second home in lieu of owning a first?

I really liked the idea.  I’ve never been one to get excited about real estate in L.A. because… isn’t it just so uninspiring here?  Unless your budget is 1 million or more?  I’m not saying there is nowhere good to live within a budget, but you are always compromising something, and you are usually still paying a hefty sum.

In the Midwest, lake cabins are a big thing.  Many families have one, and if not, you have a good friend or relative who does.  (I use the term “cabin” loosely, as they range from actual cabins to all out mansions.)  This is a similar idea.  Somewhere to go on the weekend, to get away from it all, to be with nature, and to relax.  Except there is no “first home”.  During the week, we’d keep a small apartment in L.A.

We are at step zero of research and brainstorming, but from what I can tell, this kind of thing is still quite expensive for what you get.  I don’t know how much a small plot of land costs, but ideally it would be in the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada (mountains > desert) and flat enough for a home.  Pre-fab houses are not cheap either.   Oh, and maintaining an apartment too?  Realistically, this idea is probably a no go.

Still, I do love the idea.  It is the first time home ownership has appealed to me at all.  Green, out in nature, small and tidy, and the clean modern lines.

I’m not convinced of the logistics, and wait, what about living abroad for a year or two?  And if we have two kids, let’s hope they are both of the same sex so we don’t need a 3 bedroom?  But it’s a neat idea.  Clearly it is a few years off and we’ll have plenty of time to think about it.   But this:

This is MY American dream.  For today at least.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2010 9:05 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has looked into buying a vacation home (and is seriously considering it) before buying a primary residence.
    You’ve basically hit what I want right on the head. Those super green pre-fabs are awesome, and you can take them anywhere you want to.
    Good luck.

    • July 6, 2010 8:35 pm

      Well, i wouldn’t go as far as SERIOUSLY considering it. But I’m seriously considering that I may seriously consider it in a couple years when our lives are more stable.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. July 6, 2010 10:31 am

    I think it’s always nice to have a dream. And if this is where you want to spend your weekends away from the city, I’m all for it. Do you think your careers would allow you to get a job eventually by your cabin?


    • July 6, 2010 8:36 pm

      eh, probably not, which is the main thing that makes the idea less feasible. But you never know – I have always found myself happy with more traditional careers, but perhaps if i put the energy into it, I could figure out another way.

  3. July 6, 2010 8:27 pm

    I think that’s pretty much my Australian Dream too. a small perfect off grid house. I’m not sure it’s entirely unachievable. It would be ideal if you didn’t need to commute to work

    • July 6, 2010 8:34 pm

      it isn’t entirely unachievable, but there is only so many dreams that can be attained, and I’m not sure if this one is at the very very top. But it would be so ideal!

      It would be nice not to commute, but I also haven’t been able to convince myself I’d like a life of making some sort of freelancy living that doesn’t require an office. but yes, it would be very ideal. Retirement at 35?

      • July 8, 2010 7:24 pm

        I’m also yet to convince myself that I don’t need to an office and i could live freelance. Though so many of the other PF bloggers seem to have been able to. I would like to maybe not retire but not HAVE to work, ie house paid off, work for me. Ahhh dreams

  4. Bonnie permalink
    July 20, 2010 7:25 am

    A close friend of mine totally wants to do the same thing. Buy her cabin in the woods with a little land and keep renting in the city. Seemed like a weird idea to me at first, but I realized that it works for her, and that some people would rather have their own piece of the country than the city. Nothing wrong with that.

    I freakin’ love the pic of “your house”!

  5. September 11, 2010 8:39 pm

    Not sure if I can sleep in that bedroom all exposed!

    • September 12, 2010 6:56 pm

      Well… we’d have to get curtains I think 🙂

  6. November 22, 2010 6:57 pm

    lovin the solar panels on the first house! but those exposed rooms are way too much exposure without curtains…

  7. Frugal Forties permalink
    March 21, 2011 3:16 pm

    I don’t think it’s a weird idea at all and it’s something I’ve thought of before. I have several friends who inherited lake/country/mountain places from family and keep and use them while still renting in the city. So I guess the concept isn’t that foreign to me.

    For those of us who don’t have relatives leaving us property 🙂 buying a place out in the country – and I mean really out in the mountains or country and not in a resort or vacation area – is much cheaper than buying in town. It would be a nice place to have to get away from it all, to loan or rent to friends/family, and … well .. maybe someday as a place to live full (or most) of the time.

    I certainly have looked into buying both land and houses/cabins before. My current financial state makes it a no-go at the present, but it’s something I’d consider seriously if the opportunity came up at a future date.

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