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My search for land was primarily performed over the Internet.  Finding land for sale online wasn't as easy as searching for a house for sale.  Land seemed to be the "poor cousin" when it came to the big name real estate sites.  Only Century 21 had a respectable land search capability, and I learned a lot using their site.  To find any real information about available building lots or acreages, I needed to find the small real estate firms or land developers who had gone to the trouble of building their own site, and populating it with maps, photos and prices.

Land Requirements
  • One Acre or more
  • Approx 1:3 slope
  • Facing South downhill
  • View of lake or mountains
  • Not too rocky
  • Limited Covenants

Based on my house design concept, I had certain requirements for the land.  These are listed in the sidebar to the right. After searching across the country online, we finally decided that we needed to get out and visit some of these sites to get a feel for what was available.  Lisa and I decided to make some "Road Trips" to some nearby locations.  We started in Southern Maryland, and then went further a field to places like Lake Gaston in North Carolina, and Shepherdstown in West Virginia. 

One day someone suggested we look into the Deep Creek Lake area in western Maryland.  I found a great real-estate firm (Railey Realty) who's website featured both land and rental properties (interesting combination).  The map showed it to be about 4 hours drive from Annapolis so we planned another overnight trip.

To cut a short story even shorter, we found a neat lot that satisfies all of our requirements, so we put in an offer for it the next day.  We're now happy land owners, busy planning for home ownership.   Here are some details of the lot and location.

Deep Creek lake is located in Garrett County, which is the West-most county in Maryland. Click the map to zoom around.

For general area information,  
check out Deep Creek Mall

(BTW... There is a town just North of us called "Accident".  
Like, did they know I was coming ??

Since the lake altitude is 2400ft (750m), the weather is typically on the cool side.  
The weather for McHenry (nearby) is shown above, and can be compared with Annapolis.

Here is the South view from our lot (Summer above, Winter below).

The area has a neat online magazine called the

Deep Creek Times.

Check them out to read all the local gossip.

They have a web-cam set up that took the photo on the left. Come back later, it's updated several times a day.

The actual position of the lot is:

Latitude 39.532
Longitude -79.342 

Notice that on the large map, the contours are in Meters, but on the inset, they are in Feet.  Our place is at an elevation of 2600ft.  The lake is at 2460ft.  Click the map for a blow-up.

You can also see satellite images of the land at the TerraServer Web Site

Our lot is one acre of land in a development called Rock Lodge Heights.  

The actual street doesn't show up on any maps, but it's called Cherry Heights Lane.  

Our lot is number 19, (street number 124) and is shaded in gray on the development plan at left.

The land slopes down in a general North to South direction.  Being up on a hill, we can see the lake in most West to South directions.

The lot is mostly wooded, and slopes down for most of it's length.  The dimensions are 150 ft x 295 ft, and it's mayor axis heads approximately NE.  

Because of the lot's width, the house can be aligned to have it's longest side facing due South (which faces it directly down-hill), for maximum passive solar heating. This also happens to provide the best view. How convenient!!

This photo shows the dense undergrowth that we first encountered when we saw the lot.  
Certain areas were just plain impenetrable due to the thorns on the various bushes.

© 2000-2018, Phil and Lisa's relaxed lifestyle home.
An exercise in Energy Smart, Not So Big living. -


This site is all about building a cool, energy efficient house, that makes maximum use of earth sheltered design, passive solar heating and cooling, geothermal exchange energy management, and right sizing of the house for it's designated use. The home's placement is on a south-facing hillside in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. This site describes the design process, the technologies used and the expected results. We also have a comprehensive Links Page for anyone who is also interested in designing a similar project.