“On The Road Again”… to ISBU Housing Success.

6 Sep

A good friend just sent me an email, accompanied by many photos…

No, it’s not an online dating calamity. 😉

He and his wife strapped themselves into their RV with their three kids, and headed out to “points unknown”, simply in search of “a place to go”… and they weren’t in any real hurry about it.

They drove from Savannah GA, all the way to British Columbia (certainly not in search of decent, frosty, cold beverages… I mean, have you ever tasted Canadian beer? Bleeeah! ) 😉

… and then they traveled down the length of Hwy 101 along the West Coast of America, taking in as much of the Pacific Ocean as they possibly could.

Sounds exhilarating huh?

I mean, who doesn’t want to be trapped inside a huge rolling fiberglass monstrosity with three screaming (and mostly bored) kids, while your wife points out each turn-off you missed?

Well, evidently these guys know something that the rest of us don’t, because they had a terrific time. Even the kids took a turn at the computer, to tell ‘ole Uncle Ronin what a great time they had.

Okay, so the highlight of the trip for the six year old son was the recently washed up dolphin on the craggy beach in Northern California, complete with hundreds of crabs processing it.

The point is that they took some quality time with their family, and turned it into a “fact-finding mission” as they started their trek towards finding the perfect spot to drop a few ISBUs and build a nice, remote, sustainable home.

Along the way, they tell me that they literally saw thousands of “for sale” signs posted on acreage, and a LOT of  “incomplete housing” that was seemingly abandoned mid-build, slowly being reclaimed by weeds, debris, and graffiti artists.

As they traveled over 10,000 miles of highway, byway, and scenic road, they were constantly reminded that the country is having a rough go of it. From The Newport Pier, to Route 66, and then all the way to Florida… they were treated to row after row of boarded up buildings, abandoned and foreclosed homes, and properties whose fences hadn’t been mended in recent history.

They said it was like watching an old friend die, after a while.

As they traveled, they asked questions. They found many properties that could be had for “the outstanding tax liabilities.”

They actually found “$1000 dollar houses”.

Sure, they’d need work, but the grim part was that even at a thousand bucks, they were in advanced states of disrepair and usually places where you’d need to bring a job with you.

After a while, rather than using Triple A (AAA) Highway maps, they just started using Google, by clicking on the “available real estate” tab, to aid them in aiming the RV.

The listings, which seemed to go on forever, amazed them, and constantly took them down the roads less traveled, to places that you’d never see, by asking an MLS Realtor for some insight.

So, here’s a thought for the day;

Go to Google Maps.

Click on the Real Estate tab, and then establish a 50-60 mile route, in a direction that you don’t usually drive.  Turn on your GPS and start entering coordinates. Look for properties on old county roads and located off the beaten track.

And then just spend a Saturday in the car, driving around.

You might just find “that perfect place”, a place that you didn’t even know existed… close enough to you to allow you to pursue your dream of building your own ISBU home.

Addendum: September 8th, 2010:

Ronin  Wishes All Our Jewish Readers L’shanah Tovah

Rosh Hashanah starts Wednesday evening, September 8, 2010,and continue through Friday night, September 10, 2010.

This is a time of introspection and spiritual stock-taking, when Jews are called upon to examine their past actions and relationships, both with our fellow man and with G-d, with a view to their future improvement.

In a broader sense, Rosh Hashanah marks the anniversary of the creation of mankind. It comprises the first two days of the period known as the Ten Days of Repentance, during which G-d sits in judgment on the entire world and inscribes the fate of all life.

In Hebrew, the word Rosh means “head”. Just as the head sends signals to the rest of the body, Rosh Hashanah sets the tone for the rest of the year.

During this time of introspection, hope and renewal, I wish you and your families a year filled with happiness, good health, peace, and prosperity.

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2 Responses to ““On The Road Again”… to ISBU Housing Success.”

  1. ted yrizarry September 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    So I just read where the pres. is planning to introduce a 50 BILLION dollar spending bill to boost the economy by improving our roads, railways, and runways.!?!? I have to utter a huge WTF!???! So we are a country that has gone from world superpower and economic giant to one that is bordering on bankrupcy and his glorious idea is to spend MORE of our money on useless shovel projects??

    Lets see…

    Unemplyoment…all time high.

    National defecit…all time high.

    Using what math do these two facts add up to the idea that awarding large contracts to independant corporations using illegeal labor while providing shoddy end product for what is essentually not an upper tier issue is going to make our nation better?? How is it going to all go down? Hmm…

    I see several years of “planning”…A varitable plague of lobbiest groups all viaing for their special interest schemes. Followed by perhaps a few actual projects which will benefit virtually no one but the corporate boards and foreign investors. And lets not forget the near certainty that the program will run past time, over budget, and not meet any future potential needs.

    So I have an idea. Instead of blowing this 50 billion bucks on something that promotes more driving and there by further dependency on fossil fuel…lets try something a little different?

    How about we apply that money towards solar or wind farms? We can establish a school to teach people standing in the unemployment line waiting for a free check to help them survive to install and manage these farms. Hey…that would take a chunk out of energy costs AND unemployment…all at once! Can’t have that!

    I mean it seems kinda silly that we would repair and enlarge our transportation ways if, at the present rate, nobody could afford to drive on them. Nobody could aford to fly anywhere. And nobody can buy goods and materials to have shipped via railcar! Not to mention that nobody could afford a new, california emmissions friendly vehicle anyways.

    I’m a little miffed…Here I sit, front row on the Iraq downward spiral waiting for the chance to leave. Knowing that once we are realistically and truly out of here that the country will rapidly de-evolve into a cesspool of infighting and economic woe that we, the US taxpayers, will likely prop up for generations to come…Foregoing our own, economically injured and border security wounded Countries immediate needs. All so some pollotician illegeally holding office can attempt to save face and bolster his floundering career.

    The madness has GOT to STOP!
    I am happy that your friend has had the opertunity to make a trip of a lifetime with his family Alex. I sadly feel that the days of long road trips for scenic reasons are heading towards the direction of the history books. When folks can’t afford to pay their bills or feed their families…what hope is there of a frivolous adventure. And while we may have shiney new ribbons of roadway in the distant future…will it be little more than a blacktop connecting the graveyards of our once great cities, farms, and roadside attractions?

  2. Meghan Lee September 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Great post and also, a depressing post. I checked out Google maps real estate. I am finding all kinds of great listings. It’s a shame how many are foreclosures. I might have to check out some of these listings when I come back to the States in April.

    Thanks for the land search tip.

    I’ll bet those kids will remember that long RV trip for many years to come.

    ~Meghan~

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