Until a few weeks ago, the idea of finding a home for Chris, and I, was finding a house that had all the characteristics we wanted, while still fitting into our somewhat small budget. This was not an easy venture.
I have always had a vivid imagination. And even more so when it has come to house hunting. I have the ability to walk into a garbage-filled, falling-down shack, take away all the clutter piling up against the walls, clean off the mess and grime, tear down extra walls and raise the ceilings, apply a few favorable coats of warm color, add some rustic but classy hardwood floors, and throw together a perfectly decorated room, decked out in beautiful, yet tasteful furniture. After all of that, I can see ourselves going about our daily lives happily in the space.
Chris has similar abilities, though he has the very important skill that I tend to lack, of reeling us both back to reality. After conjuring these images, his logical mind immediately figures out the cost to achieve these daydreams.
Our similar imaginations, have given us the gift of discovering our deep desire to live in a yurt. Chris was able to see a property for sale online, start the imagination game, and build a life on a piece of overgrown brush. When he took me to go see this patch of dirt in person, we walked away with both our eyes dazzled.
We loved this property, but knew that building a house just wasn’t in the current budget. So, we let our imaginations loose. After picturing several alternatives, we landed on yurts. Neither one of us had ever known much about them, let alone been inside one. But because of our very visual minds, we were able to discover just exactly what we have been looking for all along.
With our new dreams of purchasing a plot of land and building a yurt, our imaginations aren’t so dangerous. The only real outcome for using an imagination on a stick-built house, in our budget, is a money pit. When finding a piece of land, an imagination is a must.
Site work is the main thing where we have to keep our extravagant minds at bay. If whole mountains, forests, or rivers have to be moved in order for us to make it work, we know it will be a little out of our budget. Other than that, we can let our minds run wild because we need to. We have to be able to mentally picture where every portion of our home can be built. If we aren’t able to visualize where it can all fit, it just can’t work. This whole project relies on our imagination.
That first piece of land was so lovely, that we met with our realtor about scooping it up before anyone else did. Yet before we went through the troubles of putting an offer together, we had our land use guy go into the town hall to find out if a yurt would even be a possibility there. He was pretty much laughed at.
They have no interest in having anything that looks different than the typical raised ranch or colonial residing in their town. So after a couple of tears (from myself), we let that patch of dirt go.
If it weren’t for that property, however, we would never have discovered our path of living in a yurt. That town and land was gone, but our dream was still very much alive.
After discovering that at least two yurts exist in a neighboring town, the same town where we currently live, we felt a little safer looking seriously at land in the area. If this town already has yurts, they clearly are not offended by their appearance.
After looking at ten different properties, we have so far narrowed it down to two, while still keeping our eyes peeled for any new additions.
The first property we liked is 1.5 acres for a very low price. Because of the minimal cost, if we were to pick this lot, we could be on our way to building a yurt as early as Spring! It is completely private, while also being walking distance to a local restaurant, and only five to ten miles away from our respective jobs. It has a driveway, and is pretty much entirely cleared in the main living space, meaning little to no site work would be
required. Interestingly, the listing stated “clear your way to a view”. The listing also showed that valid perc and deep testing has been done. Between the initial price, the driveway and site work, and the finished tests, this property would save us thousands.
We walked away from that property, really liking it. It was perfect on paper, maybe not tremendously spacious, but fit into every other aspect of our criteria.
We spent the rest of the day looking at many other properties, but none compared. Bad locations, thickly wooded, high tension power lines, and swamp lands, were just a few of the things we ran into. At the end of the day, we liked the first one the best.
But did I picture our life there? I’m not sure. As soon as we entered the clearing, I let my imagination run, just like I used to do when house hunting. I let it clear away the overgrown brush, level out the land, build the yurt, plant gardens, etc. My imagination saw the layout, the commute, the private and peaceful mornings, even walking to the local restaurant and grabbing a drink. But did I picture IT? Did I picture, us, living there, and being happy there? I just don’t know.
Chris discovered another property later on. We had originally missed it because it wasn’t in our price range. Why would we go see a property that wasn’t in our price range? It was 20 acres for a very low price, in a great area, and from the look of the pictures online, it seemed to have beautiful views, and a lovely forest. It was too good of an opportunity to at least not look.
We pulled up to the property, liking it’s location, being again only five to ten miles from our respective jobs, parked, and started walking. There was a driveway that intersected a large rock structure, making the entrance unique, earthy, and very private. We followed the driveway and continued to discover little level areas to the right that would be perfect for
building. To the left, there were steep slopes, trees, and beyond the trees, million dollar views. We followed the road until it led us to a large clearing that took my breath away. Then I saw it. I saw it all.
I pictured driving home, pulling into our driveway through a rock formation almost like two, safe giants, guarding our entrance. I followed the driveway a little ways through the woods until finally, the trees parted, revealing our round home nestled in a round clearing. I brought groceries up the stone pathway towards the main entrance of our yurt, smoke billowing out of the chimney. I entered our home and was hit with the warmth of the wood stove, warming my cheeks, and the smell of the charring logs. I settled in, fixed a cup of tea, and sat on the couch by the window with my husband and our cat curled on our laps, where we enjoyed the views of the forest, gardens, and rolling mountains beyond. I pictured our life.
When we walked back to the car, I saw the cost of this beautiful vision. This land was the future. This land was the dream. The first land versus the second one was like buying a starter home, versus buying a dream home where you live, always, until you grow old.
Truthfully, we know virtually nothing about the second property. We still have a lot of research to do before it is really an option. But if it turns out to be exactly what we think it is, and turns out to be a good investment, then we may buy it. If we buy it, then we will have to wait, probably several years at the very least to finally build our yurt due to the extra cost. But will it be worth the wait? Well, that’s for our imaginations to decide.
Whether this property is where we will build our yurt and our life, or whether we are just one step closer to finding that property, I’ve learned something along the way. The first property logically fit, it even aesthetically fit. It had almost everything we were looking for. Yet when we walked around, my imagination didn’t run away on its own. I was able to utilize my visual brain to layout the space and see how everything would nicely fit, but that’s it. With the second property, as soon as I saw the clearing, it was as if a movie began playing in my mind’s eye and I had no power to stop it. Is this property THE one? I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is that whichever land we do choose, we need to trust our wild imaginations.