If you read Laura's blog, you may already know that she has fallen in love with a not-yet-built townhouse in Missoula.
So far, I like what I've read about the builder, the neighborhood, and the remaining houses available. The overall design of the neighborhood sounds much like my current one -- mixed use, a variety of different types of houses, pedestrian friendly, etc. The advantage is, unlike my current neighborhood, you could actually walk to places like Barnes and Noble (among others). Walking distance to a bookstore...now that is a huge plus!
Ever since we started planning this move I've been looking forward to drastically slashing my car use. Telecommuting is a huge part of that of course -- losing the 50 mile-round-trip drive five days a week is going to free up a fair amount of cash I currently pump into the Civic's gas tank. Being able to walk or bicycle for other errands would also be a huge help, especially since Laura might need to drive to work, leaving me stranded at home. It would be nice to be able to run out for a sandwich at lunch without needing a car.
On the other hand, I also really like the idea of a house with mature trees, which we certainly won't get for many, many years if we build new. Alas, the pros and cons.
Anyway, since I hesitate to buy something I haven't seen, we've planned a very short visit. Laura spent God-knows how much time on her parents' computer (dialup!) and the phone rearranging her flight and arranging a flight for me so that I can fly out there and take a look.
If we do go for it, our housing situation could get very strange in the next few months. If someone buys our house soon, we would end up homeless until the townhouse is done. We'd have to get a short-term rental, or move in with family members--now that is a frightening idea! On the other hand, we could continue to wait and wait for a buyer and end up owning both houses at once. The very thing I have been striving to avoid.