April 2007


The Mrs. and I, not yet even 30, have a strong obsession with retirement – specifically with building / renovating a house to our own desires. We’ve moved around so much in the past that we haven’t found the justification to spend the time, effort, and money on major remodels of any house we’ve owned. It just hasn’t been worth it. So instead, we surf the internet looking for land we could build on, but probably won’t buy. We buy books and magazines for architectural / layout / just-plain-neat ideas.

In general we’ll cycle through a low and high period of ‘Dream House’ contemplation every 3-4 months. Every cycle we refine, just a little bit, what features we want and what details we’re willing to sacrifice in order to keep the cost ‘reasonable’. We’re not looking for a 5,000 sqft house with Cape Cod beach front and a helo pad, but as a ‘forever home’ we aren’t exactly going economical in all aspects.

The basic idea is a house in the Northwest with ready access to infrastructure like major airports and Home Depot, preferably Portland. Approximate size of the house is 1,800 to 2,000 sqft. We got those numbers based on the space our current hobbies require and anticipating future growth to those hobbies once we retire (i.e. we MUST have a dedicated library). We’re fans of the Not So Big House concept, but aren’t going to take ‘smaller is better’ to the extreme.  An open floor plan is highly desired.

Just last week while reading the most recent Better Homes and Gardens magazine, we saw an article on a bungalow that sparked a new peak in the Dream Home frenzy. The bungalow was based on a plan created by The Bungalow Company – the name aptly describes what they do. After surfing their site for a while we determined that a) we’re big Arts and Crafts bungalow / cottage fans, and b) we found a plan that matches 80% of what we’ve talked about previously: The Manzanita (Option 1).

It’s bigger than we really want and obviously set up for a household of 4+ (by the time we retire ours will be 2), but we’re sure it can be massaged as necessary. The interior pictures are good – although their photographer needs to figure out how to adjust for windows in every shot so we can see more of the kitchen.

Our favorite details are 1) the laundry upstairs where the bedrooms are, 2) the wall cut-out in the stairs so people descending can see the fireplace in the living room, and 3) the nook in the kitchen that opens into the entry and living room – it looks like a perfect place for grandkids to work on a puzzle / play cards while dinner is being cooked.

So much fun to dream and plan. 🙂

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Via Instapundit, I learned today that Serenity was voted best Sci-Fi movie by readers of SFX magazine.  It beat out Star Wars (2), Blade Runner (3), and the Matrix (5).  SFX readers are the core of the hard-core sci-fi fans, so I’m not real surprised Serenity took the top spot.  It’s an outstanding movie and I highly recommend the TV series Firefly which is what Serenity is based on.  If you haven’t seen either, I can’t recommend them enough.