Apr 072005

Nancy and I are living together in San Rafael, creating a new relationship. I’m 47, separated and getting divorced, working from home full time as a software engineer. Nancy is an interior designer/architect, working in Novato. She has just moved in with me, and we are learning how to live together in a small 2BR house. It’s quite a challenge.

The house market is booming, and we started to look for a place to live together. The houses we are looking at are all very expensive, mostly tract homes, and often needing major work. Nancy has very specific tastes. As we look at properties, I’m learning from her about modern design, the virtues of concrete, metal and glass.

Finally she turned to me and said: “Why don’t we buy land and build a house? I’ve always wanted to do that!” After getting over the shock of such a new idea, I started hunting throughout central Marin. We quickly found that all the build-able sites had long been taken, and all we could find were places that were inaccessible and/or steep.


Here’s an early possibility in Pt. Reyes – damp, very little sunshine, very steep, no utilities, across a creek…and a long drive from our friends & family. The right photo is at the end of a 15-minute drive down dirt roads into the depths of Woodacre. Down hill, overlooking Sir Francis Drake…nice redwoods, but traffic noise is audible, and a hell of a commute. 4-wheel-drive in winter. I don’t think so!

In March, we found our property by searching on the web.  After a visit, we talked about it for a day, then made an offer. The location is great, a mile from downtown Fairfax, just inside the town limits. It has views of oak hill sides, and full underground utilities are available, so we don’t have to build a sewer system or run utilities into remote places. The street is wide and level, and there is open space all around.


We’ve just completed the purchase, and here I am starting a blog. Nancy really likes the house design, and the plans come with the land purchase. We have no idea what we are stepping into, but I’m excited!