Sometimes I can sit for hours and lose myself in lust-from-afar over the houses listed on http://www.historicproperties.com. After I find something there, I always try to go to the original listing agency's site because they're the ones who will have the good picture, the details, the bigger pictures, the closeups of the woodwork, all that yummy detail that an old house freak like me just thrives on - all the joy of a porn site without any of the pop-ups, spy-ware, or computer viruses. I find myself going into mapquest to see just where the house is located, investigating what I an about little towns tucked away in the middle of nowhere in NC and VA and OH. I pull V over to look at cute little well-preserved craftsman-style cottages: "Look, honey, only $75k - when we retire [in 15-20 years] we can look for something like this anywhere we want. We can sell this house, buy a new one that's smaller, in good shape, with a bedroom on the first floor, tucked into a cute little town with a low cost of living that's perfect for the beginning years of our retirement."
Of course, many of the houses end up being in deteriorating towns that have quickly rising crime problems. Or they're in states that have passed laws that say that we're not allowed to even write out medical powers-of-attorney for each other in case one of us falls off a ladder and cracks our skull open and can't authorize our own surgery, or create wills that acknowledge that we both own the sofa and the dogs, because such paperwork would *gasp* give us rights just like we were MARRIED or something. Some houses just need a little too much TLC. Many wouldn't be remotely practical for two 60-something's searching for a place to hang out for the next 20 years. And some are just so far back in Boonieville that certain criteria important to retirees such as access to decent medical care simply couldn't be met without a private helicopter on-call for us.
But still I lust. For the moment at least, it's like regular porn-industry porn (or ::ahem:: so I've heard): I don't care that it's not realistic. I don't care if the pictures have been retouched. I don't care that it's no place that I could ever actually live. Just the chance to spend some time looking at those wood floors and fireplaces and original woodwork is all the fix I need to get off... the computer for a while and go read a book. ::hee::