Monday, November 02, 2009

Where The Sun Don't Shine

I have finally come to the conclusion that Roger and I are hopelessly and irrevocably insane. Why else would we consider making an offer on a house that we have rejected at least six times in the past five months? On the other hand, we've gone back to look at this place six times in five months, so something keeps calling us back. Oh right, isn't that some twisted definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?
We have this thing about light and southern exposure. We especially think about it now, in our rental in the dark woods (see above photo ). We think a house should be built with an architectural consideration of the four directions and the four seasons. We have driven our real estate agents crazy with this obsession. We say, "The house really doesn't matter. It's all about the land." They show us houses that really don't matter, but we still reject them one by one. Oh, we tell them, orientation does matter. It may not in sexual preferences, but it sure as heck does when the winter light is only something to be seen in the sun-drenched meadows across the canyon or street. We don't want to be staring longingly out some window at mesmerizing golden light, while shivering in a moody dark room. We talked to an architect the other day. He agreed that most houses are simply not built with any notion of the sun. The underlying assumption is that it's oriented correctly if the front door faces the street. What ever direction that might be.

So, why do we keep going back to this house? Because the 10 acres of land it's on provide a great buffer to the rest of the crazy world. It's completely livable with plenty of space and big windows. There is a fantastic and huge garden space that has already been used to do organic biodynamic gardening. It has two 1500 gallon cement holding tanks underground for water. But there are issues: The main part of the house is an older manufactured home. The stick built addition cuts out all sunlight to that part of the house. The trees that block much of the morning winter sunlight are on the neighbor's property.
I added a compass to the roof of the house to give you an idea of where things are happening, and labeled each section. But we keep coming back here to check the light. We go in the morning. We go later in the day. We've gone in summer. We've gone back in fall. We've walked around and listened to the birds in the trees. We've had toast there (oh yes, we brought tea and toast one morning) while sitting on the back steps. It is utterly serene and peaceful.

So we finally finally finally decided to make an offer. Guess what? Someone else had the same idea, a day before we did. We'll keep you posted.

Roger sez:

we have looked at a lot of houses and properties. some with our agent, many more just doing a drive-by on our own. nothing on the market now intrigues us anything like this place does. it is in an area of high end houses, not that that is important to us in itself, but in the real world it means that roads are plowed in the winter, and electricity and phone are fixed rapidly if interrupted. it is fairly close to town. it is ten acres, mostly of forest, to insulate us from (ugh) other people. we like neighbors and count ourselves to be good neighbors. we don't want fences to be the separation that works, we want trees and distance.

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