Of All the Places we Could Have Chosen…

At this point we’ve covered a lot of things. We can totally blame two different sisters for starting us down this road. We know that ultimately karma led us to our land and cannot dispute in a way that we are doing exactly what the powers that be above us intended to. But in the same vein…how did we know know? Let’s go down this road a little bit.

If you remember we were originally focusing a lot of our attention on the western side of Wyoming.  Western Wyoming is absolutely stunning and is an outdoor enthusiast paradise.  Mountains, streams, rivers, National Forests, National Parks.  But there were some major downsides for us as well regarding the location compared to Prickly Peak.  One of the primary reasons why we went ahead with getting the peak was that we would be able utilize the land effective nearly immediately compared to paying taxes on the land for thirty years.  If we bought on the western side of the state, we would be roughly six to seven hours from our home and we would have to dedicate vacation time to do anything on whatever property we ended up on.  We really would own land…that would just sit…until we retired; and we are young enough where we probably have roughly twenty-five to thirty more years of working to do.  

By purchasing the Peak, we can go out there anytime we want.  Want to take the puppies out to run and play?  Thirteen-minute drive.  Want to go develop a mini campground / party area to play while we develop the land? Let’s go after work and we can have dinner up there.  We really need to start fencing out the cattle; well there was a lot of reasons that we didn’t get to that last year that we’ll discuss later but we can go up there this spring before it gets too hot.  

Another huge perk of buying land that is local is that after we save our pennies again as we blew our savings getting the land and another item yet to be discussed, teaser for later muwahaha, but we’ve named it Carol Baskin, we can build our forever home essentially now-ish.  We’ll be able to work on it while we’re young, do labor ourselves to help defer costs, and still commute to work.  

But Kate!  You are moving farther away from where you work!  It has to take SOOOOO much longer, it will be a greater cost burden for the extra fiscal and time lost from the extra distance.  

Sister who bought Pancake Flats had the same questions if you recall.  We genuinely had the same concerns and here is the empirical research we have done.  Both the Dogfather and I have timed how long it takes for us to get to our respective jobs from our home and driven from Prickly Peak to our jobs.  To ensure the differences in situations from jobs, errand type locations and generic going into town, because we actually are kinda already living out of town in a bedroom community of Casper, Wyoming, we also timed how long it takes for us to get from town back to current home and compare it to the Peak in multiple ways.  While the mileage is about five miles farther from where we currently live, the net time difference is about zero to seven minutes in good driving conditions; about five to fifteen minutes in poorer road conditions.  

One of those reasons for the low difference is that we made sure our lot is on the county road.  By being on the County road, we don’t have copious amounts of dirt roads to traverse to get to the county road to get back into town.

That time difference is negligible to us for the value and quality of life added by living and being out at the Peak compared to our current home.  Now don’t get me wrong; We really like our current home, and it serves us incredibly well, but after living in it for about ten years, there are definite things we would change, and almost ironically, we need more room (to be explained later in the Rotating Homeless Shelter episode, hahaha!)

Fiscally, it made more sense also to buy the Prickly Peak and here is why.  The development that we are part of prides themselves on low cost per acre land and it’s true.  It is more cost effective buying our land in the development than if we bought outside the development.  Granted, there is definitely also land there that we would not pay the low price for.  The cost to value ratio was skewed to a point that wouldn’t be there for us.  That being said, by having some of the less desirable land so low, even our prized land was priced really well based on comparables.

For a point of comparison: some of the lots that we had been looking for on the opposite side of the state, while greener, same price would have only gotten us 3-7 acres and in a much more populated area.  These lots sometimes did have some public utilities, sometimes they did not and my favorite lot over in the Narrows was about twice what we paid for our fifty-five acres of land.  

But the fiscal side of things doesn’t stop there, and it ties into some of the steps and reasons mentioned above.  If we can work on developing Prickly Peak in our free time and build our forever, self-sufficient home now and achieve the goal of being able to move in, in the next three to five years then by the time we retire, we will not have only been living in our dream home for let’s say twenty years, but we also won’t have to pay the prices to have a retirement home constructed in those twenty-five to thirty years.  Now I’ll be the first to admit and hear what you are thinking, but if you wait, then you can use the proceeds of your home to pay for the one you can build when you retire.

And you 100% would be right and have a valid point…But we are both technically millennials, a geriatric millennial myself thank you very much and why should we wait when we can work towards our goals and get potentially two more decades of enjoyment out of the land. 

There are other reasons based more on the fact that we are in central Wyoming currently and right off Interstate 25 now and will be only five miles off of Interstate 25 eventually.  One of the bigger ones is that Casper is the second largest city in the state of Wyoming.  As such, there are retail locations, medical facilities, and leisure options that only large cities *can afford.

*Disclaimer-Nothing in Wyoming is really a big city. Based on the link below, the population of the entire state of Wyoming from the 2020 census is 576,851.  

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/WY

Casper, Wyoming population of 59,038 and that is the big city….We have two Wal-Marts, a mall that’s about to go under, a Home Depot and a Sam’s Club.  

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/caspercitywyoming

Casper also is a hub for High School Sports as numerous events are held in Casper due to the central location.  This is important to me personally as I officiate volleyball and from Casper, most places I’ll travel are within two hours.  Don’t bother asking how many miles, I don’t know and if you are from Wyoming you agree-Mileages don’t matter, we measure distance in time instead.

Finally, Casper is also an outdoor enthusiast paradise.  We have a ski facility for slope skiing and a biathlon course.  I’ve heard than the slope skiing isn’t the best, but when you have need and want that fix, you’ve got one in town on Casper Mountain.  There is an archery course on the mountain that is really well maintained and the coup de grace, the North Platte River System.  We have world class fishing and boating along Miracle Mile, Pathfinder and Alcova Reservoirs and the North Platte River all either in town or a meager hour away.   

For all of the reasons here, Prickly Peak is the absolutely best place for us to live our best lives and we can’t wait to start the journey as soon as we possibly can!

Bye All Y’alls

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