The Decision

How does a couple from the city decide to buy property and build a house in the country?

We had been looking for a place in the city (NYC). The housing bubble has popped, and real estate prices in had begun to stablize. This should have been a good time to buy. It was finally a buyer’s market after years of housing prices spiraling through the roof. But I remember finally seeing a place I could potentially afford, a 400 square foot apartment in distant Brooklyn. The price tag $400k.

Maybe it was my years of studying architecture, but I could not see spending the next 30 years paying a mortgage on a small soul-less apartment with no redeemable architectural character. Not to mention no outdoor space.

That’s when it hit me. This is crazy! There has to be another choice. That’s when we started to consider an alternative path. I had always dreamed of a place in the country. A mountain cabin. A view. Maybe a few animals. Luckily, my soon to be fiance had a similar dream.

We drew a 3 hour circle around New York City and started seriously looking for a house that we could buy outright. Every weekend we explored a different area. We even bought a GPS to find our way from one real estate listing to another. We particularly loved the dirt roads. Who would have thought that New York state would have so many dirt roads?

Early in the process I remember the day Jill sent me a link to a property. I think she said “I like this other one, but I have to admit that this one might be the one for you.” It was 50 wooded acres with a small log cabin in Washington County near the town of Cambridge, NY. We did a drive-by the next weekend. We did a walkthough with the realtor the next weekend. We cooled our heals for a few weeks and looked at other opportunities. (We didn’t want to seem to be overly smitten.)

A month later we walked the property with the seller.

A month later we made an offer.

Today we signed the papers.

The Cabin

2 Responses to “The Decision”


  1. 1 Monica Kowal 5-September-2008 at 5:12 pm

    Hey Jill! This is TOTALLY cool! I’m so impressed! The cabin looks great. And 50 ACRES!!! WOW! It’s beautiful! I’m totally with you on the NYC ‘reality.’ Soon you realize that the city is not the end-all, be-all of existence.

    Ryan and I are still kickin’ in New Mexico. We’re running a Venturing crew out of our school — we have 11 kids (boys & girls) and we take them rock climbing, sailing and backpacking and it’s so much fun! It gives us a reprieve from the daily grind of teaching.

    I’m glad ot hear that you’ve “moved out” — so to speak. Congratulations!

    Keep in touch.


  1. 1 The Site « Up Hill House Trackback on 9-November-2010 at 4:11 pm

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