That is the question.
House hunting update: This is a nice one. We viewed it last night, and it's the first one I'm really excited about. It's three acres, but seems bigger. Beautifully landscaped, with a stream running through the back yard and a little wooden bridge over to the other side. AND, back in the woods there is a whole separate cottage, like a playhouse for grownups, that would make a fabulous writer's retreat. There's plenty of flat land on the other side of the stream for hubby's woodworking shop. There are four bedrooms, hardwood floors, a big formal dining room, and a kitchen big enough to rollerskate in, all newly updated.
Here's a view of the back deck.
Now for the bad news: The neighborhood is run-down, and the place is only two blocks off a brand new four lane highway. The traffic noise is awful, and it will only get worse once the highway is connected to another major road. There is a crawl space instead of a basement, with a sump pump full of water that never stops pumping. A constant stream of water goes from there through a buried pipe out to the stream. That can't be good. Fully an acre is in flower beds, and another is in lawn, which would take an awful lot of time to maintain. There's only one full bath. And it's at absolute upper limit of our price range.
I never thought this process would be so hard. We're waiting for a disclosure document about water issues. But even if that turns out OK, can I learn to ignore the noise? This one has so much going for it. But... again, I just don't know.