Truest friendship at its finest! While my closest pals and I are busy hunting for the trendiest kicks at a mega sale, other inseparable buddies are planning their dream retirement in enchanting eco-villages.
These four eco-conscious couples have been friends for over two decades and recently made a joint decision to secure their future together. They picked a serene spot by the Llano River in Austin, Texas, to establish a cozy community where they can enjoy their golden years. They enlisted the expertise of architect Matt Garcia, based in San Antonio, to design four eco-friendly cabins, a shared space, a guest room, and a communal kitchen.
At the Llano Exit Strategy, as they named their settlement, each cabin came to approximately $40,000. The interiors were crafted using cost-effective light-colored plywood. The cabins were cleverly arranged side by side, ensuring everyone has a splendid, unobstructed view of the breathtaking surroundings. Thanks to the reflective, corrugated steel walls and specially insulated windows, the cabins stay pleasantly cool even during scorching summers. Each room boasts multiple windows to provide ample natural light and ventilation.
Forever getaway spot
Considering the region's water scarcity, the roofs were designed with a slant to maximize rainwater collection. The butterfly-style roofs can capture an impressive 50,000 gallons of rainwater, storing it in large barrels with underground pipes to keep the area well-watered.
"This is a magical place, but it's arid," said future resident Fred Zipp. "We're doing what we can to reserve as much water as possible for the native trees and grasses. Fortunately, they're beautiful."
Each cozy cabin occupies a generous 400 square feet of space, featuring a comfy queen-size bed, a snug couch, a reading table with a chair, a compact bathroom, multiple bookshelves, and a porch that offers breathtaking mountain views.
The settlement also boasts a spacious 1,500-square-foot common area where the couples can come together to unwind and socialize. Additionally, there's a charming guest bedroom furnished with bunk beds, an inviting octagonal wooden table to accommodate all eight residents, and a sprawling pine porch.
Embracing the spirit of joyful communal living, they share a well-appointed kitchen area equipped with top-of-the-line appliances and stylish furniture to ensure maximum comfort. A sleek black granite countertop, flanked by fully-stocked wine racks and stools, serves as a centerpiece. It separates the kitchen from the common area. The well-equipped kitchen includes a spacious clear-glass refrigerator and a stainless steel commercial-style stove.
A Fantasy Come True
"It's like a Disney movie out here… We have hares, bobcats, deer, and all kinds of birds," said Fred's wife Jodi Zipp. "As we spend more and more time here, we find more and more."
The group of eight friends has dedicated considerable effort to bring their dream of a cozy community to fruition. While there are still some finishing touches left, they are determined to have everything in place before their much-anticipated retirement. With the serene Llano River in Austin as their backdrop, they are creating a haven that will cater to all their needs and desires.