This scenic lakeside cabin outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, had it all for Spencer McCallie.
Except the location, far out of town.
"Gosh, I would drive 45 minutes to get there and then 45 minutes back," he says.
McCallie is part of a growing group of Americans choosing cityscapes over cul-de-sacs.
Heather Gustafson from CMK Realty in Chicago is noticing the trend:
"We're certainly finding that buyers want to be in walking distance to what cities have to offer," she says.
Both empty nesters and new families are driving the demand for urban living.
And that means higher prices.
Historically, Americans bought homes worth about three times their income.
But now the typical new home tops $320,000 - six times the average household income in the United States.
That's partly down to business decisions made by home builders, according to Josh Boak, Associated Press Economics Writer:
"Developers have made a conscious choice to build fewer homes but charge higher prices in order to maintain their profit margins," he says.
That's led to developers breaking ground on terrace house developments like Basecamp River North in Chicago, where units start at half a million dollars.
Despite the price tag, there are people who think the benefits of urban living outweight the cost, says Heather Gustafson from CMK Realty in Chicago:
"Shorter commutes to work. Greater accessibility to restaurants, shopping and to public transportation," she says.
A new poll by the American Planning Association says roughly forty per cent of the country still lives in suburbs, but just seven per cent of those surveyed hope to stay there.
That's because for decades communities were designed in ways many people no longer want to live, according to Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer:
"The problem is we've had sixty years of suburban based construction that is focused on the car, so we have a mismatch in terms of what people want and between what the market is providing," he says.
Back in Tennessee, Spencer McCallie says adjusting to city life has been easy. Backyard strolls replaced by short trips to see local performances.
"It was great fun. And then after that we left with six other people and then ate at one of our favourite restaurants and came home. Would not have done any of that had we lived the 28 miles out," he says.
It's all part of a dramatic shift towards downtown living.