We hit the 30,000 mile mark while house hunting. We happened to hit it right after making what we think might be a break through in our search. We had been aiming to buy an existing house now and build a ‘dream house’ in a few years. We discovered something that caused us to move on to Plan C though. There is a part of Goodyear in the far south of the city that is a master planned community in the desert proper. Driving up into the cactus covered mountains to get there, we realized that whenever we saw grassy lawns and northern trees, it kind of annoyed us. I think I am a bit allergic to grass and several northern trees, so this was not just an issue of taste. We also realized that, conversely, we always liked it when older houses had mature desert plants, especially local ones and I do not not appear to have a cactus allergy:
Basically, we strongly preferred neighborhoods that chose to desertscape rather than trying to make things look like Maine or Minnesota. The local landscape is part of what we came here for. This desert is beautiful. There is nothing wrong with the lawns of the rest of the country, but if we wanted one, we’d be in one of the many places that does them better than here.
This community in Goodyear, Estrella, is actually built at the foot of the Estrella mountains. Saguaro cactuses appear to like living on a bit of a hill, so it’s covered in them. If we moved here, grass would be at a minimum compared to other places inhabited by fellow humans and cactuses and other desert plants at a maximum:
Living in Estrella would also help in our goal to bike more. We originally wanted somewhere flat to make biking easier, but we have been getting bored of the places we can bike in Chandler easily. Estrella has 42 miles of bike trails running through and around the mountains. I would imagine it would be a lot harder to get bored of that.
It is definitely lacking the kind of proximity to shops and other commercial venues we have now. It has a Safeway, a medical facility and a few other odds and ends, but Trader Joe’s would be a bit of a drive, as would Target, but thinking about it, we realized being able to live and exercise in a beautiful place that encourages things like biking and hiking by its very nature is likely more valuable and health affirming than being near lots of restaurants and shops.
The good news about our revised plan is that we still have many options as this is a rapidly expanding community. They want to build about twice as much as already exists and have already bought up the land to do so:
All this also means everything we looked at before it is out of the running. I am glad we saw all those houses though. We saw something like 50 houses and I feel it gave us a very solid idea of what we want in a house.
Here’s the video. Note that this took place April 14th, so any comments on the weather made sense then 🙂