For almost 20 years our home was a small condo in the costal San Diego. We loved there, our kids grew up there. However, with time life style changes, priorities change and most importantly community and neighbors have changed (and not to the good side). COVID was sort of the last drop and we have started looking for more room, less neighbors and no HOA. Here it means in land, far in land. It would not work pre COVID, but with my wife and kids telecommuting to work and school and me in the lab every other day we got some flexibility.
Even then it was not easy. I guess the same thought occurred to a few more people, and with less houses on the market due to COVID it was combat house hunting all the way. For a few months all houses coming up at reasonable prices were snatched in the first few days with bidding wars. You should have seeing the prices they have bid up to, completely crazy!
We were really down and frustrated, but with some thinking out of the box and some luck we did managed to buy a house. Realtors have this thing where they can see new listings 24 hours before they hit all real estate websites. So, we made above the list price offer 8 minutes after it was prelisted (at 7 am in the morning) and the sellers have accepted it an hour later. They were in a rush to sell and move to Tennessee. We saw the house for the first time next day.
It was build in 60s, in stages, and as result has lots of character, which we love. It sits on the hill and no matter where you go inside or outside you have to walk stairs, lots of stairs. Built-in cardio! It got solar which delivers more power than we use, orchard with oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, tangerines (basically, all citruses you can think off), grapes and avocados and garden to grow veggies. AND, lots of space to store and deploy telescopes.
Now, what I did not get are the dark skies. On a positive side they are a bit darker (Bortle
6) and I got way more clear view in particular south. Also the climate is dryer and more predictable than on the coast. I expect more clear nights with less humidity.
Here are the views form our porch and dining room window.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric; AltairAstro: Positive lock prism.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 2106 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1635, S110: 77). Doubles: 1385, Comets: 18, Asteroids: 95