Special Section: Pleasures and Pitfalls

Returning to the land—finding a second home somewhere away from it all—can be a happy or a harrowing experience.

Much depends on the honesty of the developer and on the care with which prospective buyers seek out and purchase their property. Here is an example of each experience:

HAPPY. Jack and Liz Cooper were so tired of constant rain in Corvallis, Ore., that they were ready to buy almost any property that was dry. They finally settled on an arid, dusty stretch in central Oregon that had been dubbed Sunriver by the enterprising developer. But...

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