Dreaming of Lots of Land

Summer is here and I’m already dreaming. Dreaming of lots of land. I’ve been dreaming about it for several months actually. I am just sort of over the master-planned communities, the HOA fees, and living right on top of our neighbors. I liked this idea at some point, but that was about 6 years ago when we moved here and before any kids. And well, people change, and we all know how taste can change too.

Now, living in a master-planned neighborhood has its perks too, like a swimming pool you can use, a few parks, and if you’re lucky a fitness facility. We don’t have the fitness part though. Then you get the perks of having your neighbors watch out for your home when you are gone also or notify you if they see anything suspicious. Our neighborhood isn’t really the block party type, and everyone really just kind of stays to themselves. And that’s totally fine too since we tend to be homebodies. :)

We are however in a neighborhood where you wouldn’t let your kids go out in the front yard to play, basically because there isn’t any room. And it’s right by the street. Um, no thank you. And we aren’t in a place where you can send them in the backyard to “run free” because again, there isn’t any space to do so. I know the world is a different place now than when we were kids and rode our bikes outside everywhere. You just can’t do that now because of all of the crazies.

I don’t want to get letters from our HOA telling us to move our trashcans or that we need to ask permission to paint our front door and get them to approve the color, or ask for approval before adding anything to your backyard, even a little shed. They sent a letter to my Dad that he needs to remove his solar lights that are up and down his sidewalk and are the nice kind and look really pretty at night! I mean seriously. That’s silly.

I just want some land. And some trees. We don’t have that here. We’d basically have to move to another state to get what I’m looking for and that’s not happening, but, I know there has to be land somewhere out in the country just waiting to have a house built on it. We are already out in the country a little bit.

And I don’t want to be too remote from civilization or Target, so there has to be some treasure tucked away out here. :)

I love this house that I found on the internet.

Beautiful Tennessee Home with Land | www.decorchick.com

Those trees back behind the home? What a view.

I also love this little street.

Pretty Street with Trees | www.decorchick.com

Can you tell I’m really missing the trees?

This house in North Carolina is cute too.

North Carolina Home | www.decorchick.com

I’m convinced everything in North Carolina is pretty though.

I even like these lots too.



We are actually heading to Alabama soon and can’t wait. I love love love Alabama and the homes and land there. They aren’t right on top of each other. Why does Texas think that is the best thing to do anyway?

And no, we aren’t moving any time soon. I’m just dreaming. Really. And this also isn’t a gripe post about our home itself…you all know I love our home and would be sad to leave it. I wish we could pick it up and transplant it on 4 or 5 acres. But I’ll settle for an acre. Haha

I’d love to hear about where you all live. Do you have a big lot? Are you in a master-planned community? Love it or hate it? And by the way, I don’t think all master-planned communities are like ours built right on top of each other. I would be down with another one (if the HOA wasn’t so strict), if the properties were much larger. And had trees. :)

So tell me about where you all live!



pssst: If you’re wondering, the current Young Living promotion where you receive a $50 visa gift card is still available!

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  1. Hi Emily! We live in a master planned community, and have ambivalent feelings also. I love that it is so convenient, but dislike that the yards are so small and there’s very little privacy. At this point in our lives, we just don’t have the time to keep up with a large lot, but it never hurts to dream! :)

  2. We don’t live in a master planned community but in an older part of a city neighborhood and in a corner lot. Our neighbors are literally 10 feet from our kitchen window when they are in their driveway, which is almost all the time! I’ve never known anyone who liked to run gas powered lawn gear during our son’s nap hours as much as those neighbors. I think the last straw was when they started jackhammering up their driveway a few weeks ago at 8:15 on a Saturday mornjng!
    We were in the process of buying another home to use as a rental property but it has a much nicer lot, quiet neighbors, isn’t a through street, AND is right in front of an elementary school’s backyard. We’re moving within the next few months in spite of me being 6 months pregnant already. I can’t wait!

  3. I hear you. I’ve lived in mostly suburbia with the neighbors, etc, but nothing that had a HOA. That in itself would drive me crazy because they can go overboard as your father has found out. However, now we live more in the country, while still having neighbors close by. We, as well as the closest neighbors all have 1 acre plots so we have nice space. Most have trees, but ours doesn’t. We have two small weeping, flowering types in the front yard. We’ve lived here just 3.5 years. My hubby loves the no tree situation because the last house we had around 50 and it got crazy in the fall. I don’t care. I need some trees! I have big plans for our backyard: pergola, outside dining, firepit w/pathway to it, gardens (both flower and vegetable, and trees! I really do love being more in the country. No traffic, etc, plus we are about 10-15 minutes from most needed stores. Win win.

  4. I live in the country right outside of city limits. We have 2.5 acres and neighbors on either side. I thought living out of city limits would be great but we have issues with the neighbors dogs in our yard. The only draw back is the amount of time you spend mowing and all of the critters coming into to the yard like deer, wild hogs and coyotes. We had a riding lawnmower and it took 4 hours to mow the yard. Now we have a zero turn 60″ deck and it takes a little over an hour but comes with a hefty price tag. Most people don’t think about the time spent on yard maintenance.

  5. We live in North Alabama, about 20-25 mins in any direction to a larger town, love it! We live on twenty seven acres, but have an additional 20, 30 and 80 acre pieces of land that join our property that we own .We can sometimes hear our neighbors, but can only see the corner of the roof of one in the distance.but still close enough if we needed them. We farm and have cattle ,goats and had chickens. Wouldn’t trade it for any amount of conveinence! Love the trees and scenery, clear open skies and the smells. But I can still connect to civilization ( Target,Ross,Kirklands, restaraunts and such in about 20 mins.) Keep dreaming, sometimes they come true!

  6. We live way out in the country….like middle of nowhere country in southeast Utah. It’s a farming and mining community. We have 2.5 acres, a fruit orchard with apples, pears, apricots, cherries, and plums, and lots of open green grass too. We LOVE it, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We live just 3 houses down from my mom and I am comfortable letting my 4 year old go to grandmas herself (of course, I can see her the whole way there and can watch her go in the front door.). My kids roam the yard and neighborhood and are happy in the sun and dirt. We know everyone in town, but are limited to a hometown grocer and other small businesses. We have a walmart 45 miles away, but let’s face it, If I’m driving that distance, I just head all the way to the city where you have every shopping option available (that 120 miles though!) I do lots of online shopping! Our house is an old 1940s house, but I’m already saving to build my dream house on the lot. We raise honeybees, chickens, pigs, plus our kitties to keep the mice away and our good ol dog. Life in the country is bliss.

  7. I live in Texas in a sweet little historic neighborhood. LOVE my house, but hate the fact that our houses are so close together. But we have a one-car drive like all of these historic homes had back then. Most neighborhoods in my town are not like that, though. My parents house (where I spent most of my childhood and early adult life, is about 15 minutes from me and they live on 6 acres and watch the sun set in the evenings from their back patio. Sometimes, I’d like to be out like they are, but I sure have gotten spoiled to being 5 minutes from everything I need. :)

  8. We have 2.5 acres 5 minutes from town. I. could. never. go. back. to. developments. Yes, it’s a lot of mowing, but it’s my quiet time with a 2yr. old on my lap. We fenced the whole backyard, so the kids can run free and I can see nearly everything from the kitchen. Neighbors are close enough if you need them, but not intruding on your space. We never go to the park…because our backyard is like one…I love it!

  9. We are currently renting in a gated community. My husband wanted to downsize from our last house (2900 sqft was too much for us back then), but now, with our boys getting older (one is approaching tween status), we are most definitely outgrowing the 1501 sq ft we are currently in.

    Pros: Tons of kids in the hood. Our 3 boys run around both neighborhoods (two gateds connected by a pocket park) with a bunch of friends, play soccer and football at the park, and have epic water wars in the street with kids AND parents. We do have lots of trees, but barely enough room for a (non-functioning) spa in the backyard. I’m constantly heading to my mom’s house so the boys can swim.

    I’d LOVE to have 5 acres or so, up in the foothills (which are only 15 minutes from us now). Properties up there are few and far between, but I hold out hope! Of course, the Man could be transferred to the capital for work at any time, but at least there’s a river and it’s got the most trees per capita of any city in the US…

  10. I live in paradise – truly I do! We bought our house 24 yrs ago – the only home we’ve ever owned. It was at the end of the recession in the late 80’s & a great time to buy a house. We bought 3 & 3/4 acres on a little lake with a gorgeous rose hedge along the front & full grown oaks, hickory, redbud, dogwood,… all around us, plus a beautiful open yard. Ten yrs later we paid off the mortgage & bought the 2.2 wooded empty lot next to us giving us a point of land out into the lake & just under 5 acres. We’ve made trails through our woods. I’ve made gardens all around our yard & make sure I have a flower bed view from every window – even the bathrooms & laundry room. I’ve lived in the country all my life except for the few years when I was in college. I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else!

  11. Patrice H. says:

    We live in Central Texas in a HOA neighborhood and we are ready to move. The HOA does not do their job at ALL!! We were the first to move into the community of 117 homes. Almost all homes are built now and hubby and I are wishing we would have just kept on renting until we found a home with more land we currently have 6 bedrooms and .57 acre which is enough for a nice size pool but we are wanting more land and no hoa. I miss a lot of trees and the true country life! So we may have to relocate if hubby decides to take a job in Austin..and we are hoping to live on the out skirts of it as right now we live closer to Fort Hood. This time though, we are going to take our time and just rent again once we sell the current one.

  12. We are originally from Alabama (ROLL TIDE) and are thrilled you love it there. So do we. We have lived in BAMA (in a neighborhood and on 7 acres), Florida, Texas and now are in Washington state near Seattle. We are in an unincorporated part of the county and have a lot that is a little over an acre. We love it. We would never want an HOA neighborhood. I get a real thrill when I see a coyote in my yard and go into orbit when a bobcat shows up. Yes, I’m weird. We really don’t don’t want to go back to a regular neighborhood. The planned communities here have houses stacked on houses. I would go nuts.

  13. I was raised in a big metropolitan city, then I met my husband too be & I have lived in the country ever since. The last 20 years we have lived in Wyoming, beautiful mountains & wide open spaces but I’m ready to go back to the green grass of home. No subdivisions for me! Jen Y’s comment is exactly where I would like to be, I love the water & the country, she truly has the best. I’m all for you Emily, make your move…& do it while your young, its much easier.. but My suggestion not to live more than an hour from cultural & shopping. I live over two now & don’t like that.

  14. I completely agree with you. But we live in the Bay Area, and to us, this is crazy talk. Good luck to you, hope you get what you want!

  15. We live on 35 acres about 10 miles out of the city limits. I hope I never, ever have to live in a sub division again. We have lived here for 30 years and I wouldn’t change anything. I love, love, love the privacy and the multitude of wildlife that we see every day. Our piece of paradise!

  16. We live in a Perry Homes community midway between San Antonio and Austin and though we like the location and are having fun making our new ‘builder grade’ home feel more like our own, we really don’t like our HOA. Sounds very similar to yours. My husband is a country boy and would love to live in the country but we couldn’t find an affordable lot in the school district we wanted our kids to attend. Unfortunately, we must now wait until Perry finished building our neighborhood before we can sell and hope to make any money off of it since the builder is offering so many incentives to new home builders. Our home and it’s location is what we need for now but like you, we have a dream that in a few years we will be on more land … where, as my good ol’ boy husband says, “the neighbors can’t hear when you fart in your backyard” … haha :)

  17. Thanks for the nice things you said about my state- yeah I’m a Bama girl, born and raised.. We built our dream house a few years ago on the corner of 100+ acres that my Grandfather purchased and farmed in the 1950’s and was later passed down to my Father. I love that my children are growing up on the same land that both my Father and I played on growing up. Of course we are about 20 minutes away from big retailers, have a gravel road, and currently have three acres to mow and maintain but I wouldn’t trade it for the city on most days :). I love your blog and hope you have a wonderful trip to Alabama.

  18. I grew up in a city 10 minutes outside of Boston, so having neighbors right on top of me isn’t a huge deal. When I moved an hour west of Boston to a property with an acre of land, no neighbors on either side or behind my house (I had woods behind that house) the only neighbors were across the street. The house was a 2 yr old colonial (not my style) it was ok, I liked having the land, didn’t like spending the money on landscapers to mow the grass (I hate mowing lawns lol). The neighborhood itself I didn’t love, a lot of the neighbors kept to themselves they didn’t want to get to know you, I never hung out with any neighbors in that development etc. Where I grew up we all knew each other and watched out for each other. Had BBQ’s together etc. I sold the colonial and moved to another development in the same city. This development has the dreaded HOA (I will never buy in an HOA community again). I can’t stand having to pay fees for the little we get back from it, if it were up to me I’d turn the streets over to the city so we could end the HOA. I also don’t like having to ask the HOA permission to do things on my property. I love my house that I have now, Love my neighbors, we hang out all the time, watch out for each other etc. I wish I had a bigger back yard so I could fence it in for my dog but there are trade offs I suppose. In a perfect world I’d have a couple of acre’s that I could afford to pay someone to tend to the land, grow my own veggies, have a few more dogs, neighbors who are friends, I’d move to a climate with nicer winters (I have never liked the winter or snow and we got a ton of it lol) and no HOA! I hope someday you get the land you are dreaming about!

  19. I live in a planned community. Our home has a fairly large lot, and the neighborhood is about 14 years old so some of the trees are getting bigger now. We have massive trees, and are so lucky for that. We can see our neighbors yards from ours, but the houses were strategically placed where we cannot see into houses unless it is pitch black outside and they have all their lights on. I love the feeling of knowing and seeing your neighbors, most homes don’t have fences and the kids run through yards to get to their friends houses. My neighbors walk and cut lilacs off of our bush that is all over our fence. I grew up in a community feel and adore this. I do wish our land was a little bigger. My husband would like a separate garage for working on his car, and re doing furniture. I am not sure how old your community is. Our HOA was strict when it first got established I guess, but now as long as you don’t let your grass get crazy long they don’t complain. I think it might help we love in a small town in general 12,000 people so there is a small town feel to all neighborhoods in my town. I would love more land but love even more my kids have so many friends within walking distance, some of their yards we can see from ours so there is a great benefit to raising kids in places like this. When I am old and grouchy I might hate it and be the one to complain but for now and my young family it works great.

  20. Kim Glasgow says:

    I love my house, lot and for the most part, my subdivision, but I HATE the HOA. We built our house 16 years ago and had first pick of lots, so we got a large one without the up charge of a bigger lot. Our neighbors on either side are a little close, but the ones in the back are a nice distance. Thankfully, my street and neighborhood is quite safe and all the kids play outside all the time. If I had my dream house, it would be on a couple hundred acres or so in the Texas hill country. Round Rock (where we live) is very close to Burnet and Liberty Hill and we have family that has acreage out there – we love it. My dream is to have a nice ranch-style house (no stairs), raise longhorns and have some horses -oh how I miss my horses!

  21. It depends on the day when it comes to loving where I live. I’m in the Houston burbs in a master planned community. I like the convenience to stores, that the kids schools are in walking distance, and the neighborhood is safe enough for my boys to roam it with their friends. But, I would love to go outside and enjoy my pool without feeling like the neighbors are watching me out their windows. I just can’t bring myself to move the kids to a different school that wouldn’t be as good or away from their friends. Tonight we walked to a local restaurant and I was thinking I love where I live being able to do this. Lol, I’m so fickle!

  22. We lived in HOA type communities and became disillusioned with them telling us what we could and could not do. We now live in the mountains of southwestern Virginia on three acres and have a garden and do whatever we want to our home and yard. You simply have to be prepared to take care of a much larger piece of property, i.e.: landscape, lawn mowing, tree trimming, etc. Oh, and you also have to invest in a large riding mower. It’s much quieter living this way, but you totally give up great places to shop when you live rurally. LOL Thank goodness for the internet!

  23. No HOAs for us in our 1950’s house on a hill. We have 1/3 acre but it’s mostly hillside with some terracing and it’s not the “farm” I’d love to have, alas. We love that no one can tell us what to do but the other side is that the neighbor’s yard is sort of a wreck, so there is a tradeoff for sure. Hubby often says “when we retire we should move out of state because it’s cheaper” but northern California is where I grew up and the weather can’t be beat, so we’ll stay put and if we hit the lotto maybe buy a little piece of property we can build on and have a mini farm, until then I dream.