What should I be thinking about as I search for the perfect house/cabin? City Mouse considers becoming Country Mouse.
I live in a small town in a scenic area of the US. It's cold and snowy in the winter, warm (but rarely hot) and heavenly in the short summers. I have a good job in town and plan to stay with it for at least the next 5-7 years. I currently live in a little apartment and have been casually thinking about purchasing a home.
Home sales in town are sloooooooooooooooow. There are houses that have been on the market for over a year - I've been in these houses, they're reasonably priced and in good condition. The market is just slow, the town is not growing, and I am skittish about buying a house in town that would be a total pain in the ass to sell in the future.
However, the real estate market is much more interesting once I get out of town and into the surrounding area. Cabin real estate is hopping: people are selling/abandoning their "second homes" all over the place. After thinking long and hard about it, I think that I would enjoy living full-time in a house/cabin just outside of town. If I leave the area after 5-7 years, then I will have a cabin in the woods that I can rent out to friends/visit myself instead of trying to sell a house in town. I am meeting with my realtor today to talk about it.
I say house/cabin because a cabin with an outhouse, outdoor shower and no-frills kitchen may be fine for a week or two, but I want something that has more in the way of creature comforts than that. No shacks for me, thanks. One way in which I am willing to be flexible is in size: I am more than okay living in a small space. In fact, I prefer it. I have had Tumbleweed Tiny Houses' Bodega
bookmarked on my computer for years...I daydream about having a house about that big. I have considered building my own tiny house/cabin, but that brings up mortgage murkiness that I'd rather not deal with unless there are no other options.
I have never lived in a cabin before. I have lived in small towns, but always in town. I grew up in a large city and although I am into outdoorsy stuff (hiking, camping, etc), I still prefer to have things like plumbing and heat in my home. I'm not sure what sorts of things to be on the lookout for as I look at house/cabins - particularly as I look at cabins as a primary, four-season residence for myself. I do not plan on living more than 15 miles out of town, but that would put me squarely in THE COUNTRY in this part of the world. (bears, moose, hunters, etc). I think that I am up for it, but I wouldn't mind some advice.
Do any of you live in the country? What did you look for when you inspected houses for purchase? What do you wish you'd asked or looked for? Are you a former city dweller that moved to the woods? What did you love? What did you hate? Any advice for this City Mouse on becoming a Country Mouse would be most appreciated.