So that was our answer until about 6 months ago. Now we are starting to drill down to what that means. First and foremost... the #1 (and 2 and 3) most important item regarding real estate: location, location, location. We used to talk about moving up to SW Missouri, hubbys extended family has lived there for decades and my sister lives somewhat nearby as well. The land is beautiful, we like the area, family is nearby, but... the tech industry is basically non-existent in SW Missouri and both hubby and I are in very technical fields (he's electrical and I'm mechanical engineers). We also learned this year that we really don't like winter. Just a span of 4 sub-freezing days here in Texas and one nasty wintry drive back from Missouri convinced us that we are really not cut out for the cold (yes, we are big sissy's being scared by a mere 17 degree day and 8 inches of wintery precip). It has slowly been revealed to us that we like Texas. North East Texas to be exact.
So location... I'm bounding this up by saying east of 75, north of I20 and within the bounds of the great state of Texas. Still a huge area, yes, but we like to keep our options open. We love the land there, close family is nearby, and we have both lived our lives here in Texas and really like it. It also keeps our options a bit more open for a gradual transition (as in start with a weekend place)
How much? (see how clever that is? it means two things: how much land and how much money, sort of different, but totally the same question--yikes, I kill myself sometimes with the cleverness.) Living on a plot of land that is 75x125 feet, even an acre seems like a huge span, but I know we'll need more. Hubby put his bound on it by saying a minimum of 20 acres (now when I go back through emails, he has also said a minimum of 100 acres, 40 acres, 80 acres...) so perhaps we have not defined this so well yet. The upper bounds are limited only by finances--the second meaning of 'how much'. We are currently debt free, but to save up cash for the 200-300k we'll need to buy what we want will take years, and we are impatient. If we are able to sell our current house, we'll be a good part of the way there, but to do that something would need to change on our job front. Not likely.
Now the fun and beautiful details:
Pond or live water stream
Good soil for planting
Lack of chemicals in surrounding land
Not on a major road
All-weather road leading to property
Surrounding land not going to be developed