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Having gotten dumped on a short sale house in Carson City, Nevada, last week it was time to start looking again for a new potential house. Our criteria have been sharpened somewhat by the experience and we now know we want a place within a half mile of a supermarket and a good library or bookstore. We also want a reasonably new and largish house with an acre of space if possible and all for an unreasonably low price. It doesn’t sound like too much, but those are independent factors, and so combining them limits us to very few potential houses. Of course, it must have a good cable and internet connection but those are available most places now. Also, but not quite essential, is a Western United States location, which isn’t very demanding either.

Finding a good supermarket is straightforward and they are common enough, but they are usually located near population centers, and so that comes into direct conflict with an acre of land. I suspect there are few if any homes in the immediate Berkeley area sitting on an acre, and if there are they would probably be extremely expensive. Good libraries and bookstores also come with the same conflict built-in against substantial acreage.

A newer house is desirable because it will probably have the more modern essentials already built in, like reliable electrical wiring and good plumbing and hopefully good insulation and dual pane windows, but these more modern types of homes are usually in a housing tract. I don’t want to live in a tract for all sorts of reasons, but being squeezed is a major one as I have grown increasingly claustrophobic about social pressures. It pains me to walk past a school yard and see the modern kids all fenced in and being rigorously controlled by adults. They may have lost their freedom, but I still am fighting to maintain mine.

I have found a house that matches all my needs but it’s another short sale. :(

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