I live in Carlisle, MA. 2-acre zoning. La, te dah! We also have an incredible amount of trails, forested land and wetlands area that are commonly owned/have been donated to the town. It is a conservationists dream town. So you would think that all of the land this close to one of the tightest markets in history has been snapped up and developed. And, while the limits of pork chop lots and 'how do we get two acre lots out of THAT parcel?!?' conversations have been happening for a while now, it does not mean that there are not areas for improvement.
On my daily walks, there is one parcel that has come to light and caused a myriad of discussions in my head.
Located at the corner of a main cut through and the only access road to my home, there is what I believe was a farm at one time (only recognized when the winter came and the foliage cover was lost to reveal a grain tower, several out buildings and an 'eight is enough' house and garage) It is an eyesore. From the history I have gathered, this was a property where the owner lived a great life, but when they were gone, there was no one to take it over. So it sits, decaying and occupying a space that could be used for a better use. And while I would love to say it can be 4 new modern houses, each with their own flair, that is not the point of this post.
Rather, it shows that there are areas in life that are overlooked. In this case, it is an unused farm in an area where housing is in short supply and the farm will not be coming back. But on a more personal scale, are there areas in your life where there is a dead parcel? Perhaps you have a third bedroom that is full to the brim with your past hobbies and assorted equipment that followed? Perhaps you have a closet that has your fat, skinny and in between clothes that are dated or will no longer service the new you?
Like the unused farm, these items and spaces are taking up capital in your life that could be used otherwise. They also may be giving you that uneasy feeling that you need to have more. More space, more storage, more building. Instead, what would happen if you sifted through these (and other) areas of your life and found that extra 300 sf you thought you needed to add on, or you just were able to enjoy the space you do have that much more? I know, not what you would think someone who makes a living off of designing more space would say, but I think that is why I originally named this Un/Common Architect. I want to design more space, definitely, but I want it to be space you need, space you truly enjoy, that makes your life more enjoyable or at least more serviceable.
So if you are considering moving up or building out, take stock of what you have, what is superfluous and determine what you really need to do. Then call me. Or call me before, maybe I can help with planning solutions that unlock space without the major capital expense and hassle of a 5 month renovation site!