When we first decided to move to the Eagle River area, I thought we'd be able to find a house with a great yard; I thought it would be cheaper than the one we had bought in Seattle four years earlier. I was wrong. In Seattle we owned a 3 bedroom house on a 9000 sq ft lot. Don't get me wrong about Seattle, it is an expensive place to live, but we happened to live in a not-so-desirable part of the city where it was mildly affordable. For the same price here you can get a small house (it won't be very nice), but you can't get a yard that big. What we found is that any place on a nice piece of property was out of our price range. That and there just weren't many houses for sale in our price range. Or at all.
I am very happy that we were able to afford something here though, even if it's not what I first imagined. A two bedroom condo might not be the best place for us to have backyard BBQ's or to live in the long-term, but when I pull onto Riverside Drive on a clear day and I see this view, none of that matters.
We may not be able to have everything, but what we do have is front-door access to one of the largest state parks in the country.