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I bought a forest

I grew up in the exurbs (farther out from the city than suburbs) with plenty of big trees to climb and a lake to swim in. As I grew older, I moved to the suburbs, home to the zero lot line, perfectly manicured lawns and cookie cutter houses. I enjoyed it for a while, keeping up with all of the newest Home and Garden ideas, but lately I've grown weary of it all. I'm tired of the lawn status quo, tired of bickering with the HOA who wants my lawn lush and green, but the county says I can only water twice a week in 100 degree weather, tired of looking at my neighbor's HOA violations. It was a never ending battle and I was always losing.

While I was in my last house, a beautiful, semi-custom two story home that I was able to modify from builder's plans and pick every finish I wanted, I would often joke that you could literally chop the second story off of the house and I would not even miss it. There was a lot I loved about that house, but a lot about taking care of it and the neighbors being so close that I didn't like. I started working on my 5 year plan of finding some private woods and building a modest custom home. I began to search for acreage and in 2019, a beautiful 2 acre plot came across my computer screen. "Available" it said. Not pending, not contingent, but beautifully, wonderfully available.

I bought it almost sight unseen. Almost. Of course I went out to look at it, down a long dirt road that turned into another and another until it dead ended next to the property. The road that branched off perpendicular to that was little more than an ATV track. The forest was so thick I could not even walk it. I had to rely on the property appraiser's data and their overhead aerials in order to really see what I was getting. That's when I realized it had a pond. A pond!!!!

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