In the late 1990s, my husband Steve and I spent a year planning the construction of a writing cabin for me in a remote corner of our Montana land, where we live. While all I wanted was a modest cabin, the project quickly became complicated and expensive. This prompted us to consider other options. We checked out real estate listings and found decaying cabins jostled cheek by jowl next to similar cabins on third-of-an-acre scraps of land, priced well into the six figures. That wasn’t what we wanted or could afford.