A New Home

A paper map of the city of Saint Louis and surrounding suburbs.

Maybe it was the smell of cigarettes in the hallway. Maybe it was the natural gas bill that charges me $22.00 USD for the “privilege” of using their climate change creating fuel each month–before I actually use any product. A typical summer bill is $10 for actual fuel and taxes and $22.00 for access. Then the winter bill shoots up as the apartment has single pane windows and there is no financial incentive for the landlord to replace them.

All that just burns my hide…and we don’t need THAT contributing to climate change.

I have decided to create a Zero energy building home as a sanctuary space for me and my disabled son, and also to demonstrate that it is not necessary to be rich to do so.

I have been poking around my current neighborhood, looking for a property that will fit my needs: either a empty lot that I can move a manufactured zero energy home like this to, or a older home that needs total rehab, so I can gut it and create the energy efficient space I desire. Since my son does not drive, we need to be close to public transportation.

Then, through a friend, I met the awesome architects at Virescentdesign.com link to Instagram photos, who specialize in sustainable architecture! When I described the project that I wanted to create, they were as excited as I am. They also were realistic about my budget, saying, “It is not impossible, but we will have to be creative.” Creative? Humans at their best!

They gave me some tools to work with. The Saint Louis Land Reutilization Development link which is a government body designed to help re-own abandoned properties in Saint Louis and the Walk Score which allows people in USA, Canada and Australia to evaluate the walkability of property that they are interested in.

All these online tools…. and still the old analog me felt a need to get a paper tool to map out what I am planning. Turns out that is harder to do than when I was a child. Back in the 1960’s every gas station had maps of the local area, state and national maps. But now we all have that on our phones. It did find a paper map of Saint Louis (see photo above) at a local bookstore.

I have been using a combination of the online tools and the paper tools to identify neighborhoods that I think might be good homes for me and my son. I have focused on the Metrolink electric train, as that is his transportation to school. But, he may be up to a short bus ride to the train, and if not, I can give him a hybrid car ride to the train station.

I  got in my car today and used my GPS to drive to 25 separate properties that might be the start of our new home. I could rule many of them out by driving by. Others seem more appealing when I view the “walkability” of the neighborhood.

I’m a little bit tired and a lot excited.

More later.



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