Locating paradise

Finding the right property to build your own personal paradise takes patience, elbow grease, and realistic expectations of what you can handle both financially and physically. I started my journey thinking I needed 50-plus acres to build Shangri-la. I had a long list of other parameters. Close to good schools, entertainment, shopping and work. The price of land is directly related to its proximity to those desirable amenities. So that parcel five miles from town costs exponentially more than the rural 100-acre parcel hidden in the backwoods off the beaten path.

My search for the right parcel, in the right town, took a year and a half, untold miles traveled between three states, and an eventual acreage-versus-cost reality check. When I finally lowered my expectations—and my search parameters from 50-acre parcels to under 20—the Universe rewarded me with the perfect parcel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs I drove onto the property for the first time, a handful of wild turkeys flew off across a small pond and into the woods. With one-third forested in hardwoods and the remaining in cleared pasture, the land was just what I had in mind for building a farmstead. What advice can I give about finding your own paradise? Only that you’ll know it when you see it, and you can likely get by with less acreage than you think.

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