The past year in the cabin

We moved into the cabin about 11 months ago. It seemed small after our house, and dirty, and crumbling.

It was all of those things. It still is.

We all love watching the deer herd that comes through our yard.
We all love watching the deer herd that comes through our yard.

What we didn’t know when we moved in was that we’d have hers of mule deer coming through our yard (very cool), or that we’d be living with a bunch of mice (not so cool). I didn’t expect my pillow to freeze to the wall, to find a snake in my bedroom, or to have to pry mice out of Fred’s mouth at 3am. Living here has been a challenge, and essentially feels like a never-ending camping trip; some parts of it are really cool (location, wildlife that stays outside, mountain views), while other parts just plain suck (leaky pipes, wildlife that comes inside, landlady who doesn’t want to fix anything).

We’re ready for a change.

fred and mouse
Fred actually loves living here–lots of things to chew on.
This guy not only invited himself in, but pooped on the floor.
This guy not only invited himself in, but pooped on the floor.

We’ve looked high and low for a decent rental, but have come up empty. Units often don’t allow more than one person, or if they allow two, they don’t allow pets. If they do allow pets, they’re in poor condition like the cabin we’re in now. Employee housing is a joke, as it only comes up rarely, and we make too much money to qualify for anything that’s been available so far (we don’t really make that much, but I guess we make more than ski instructors).

There was a nice cabin we fell in love with. Right in old town Basalt, and super-cute. It had a high price tag, but it also had potential for renting out the basement which would offset the mortgage considerably. Unfortunately, due to some poor planning in the past, the driveway partially fell onto the neighbor’s property. And that neighbor made it clear she was the neighbor from hell. We met her, and she was quick to tell us how if we ever parked more than two cars on the driveway, she could legally, and would, jackhammer up the portion of the driveway that fell on her property so that we could never park on there again.

Which means we’d have to pour a new driveway, and tear out the other neighbor’s landscaping which was on OUR property. And apparently, although we never met him, that neighbor was a jerk and would make life as hard as he could for us if we destroyed his garden.

And you might be saying, “Just have your tenant park in the street,” but that’s a problem too, because you’re not supposed to park on the street and the neighbors would complain and/or have that car towed.

Basically, we’d be surrounded by assholes who would be looking for any and every opportunity to complain about us to the city (probably fight us about having a rental in the basement), take us to court, or just be obnoxious. When we added that to the renovations we’d want/need to do (rental unit: $10k, new roof: $20k+, build garage and re-pour driveway: $40k+) it just seemed like a nightmare.

Which was REALLY disappointing, because we loved the house and the proximity to town.

We’re looking into other options now, and have some ideas, but there’s a lot to consider. I do know I’m not looking forward to another winter of freezing-cold temperatures inside the cabin.