As by way of example, we have this little gem:
After our discussion Deanna announced that they'd be better off if they sold off the two vacant lots and just kept the house. Gads, how could she even think of such a thing!? Consider your loss of privacy - (and you could put down a lot of track there!) I mean, keeping the lots could be a good retirement safety for them when they are older.
that explains why he was terrified that April might talk Mike into buying the Tiny Train House and selling off the land where his model train layout is meant to go. John, you see, likes very much the idea of having a wide space between himself and the horrible, horrible outside world. The reason is as simple as life and as depressing as realizing that he's never going to see what a pathetic douchenozzle he is. That's because he yearns for an alcove in which he reigns supreme and in which no dissenting voice can torment him with the horrible idea that he's part of a community and cannot roll over everyone at random.
Being a solipsistic jerk isn't, of course, the only reason that John would love to build a moat around his home. Being part of a community exposes him to the terrible idea that his self-concept is somewhat inflated. In a larger, more densely-populated area or in a traditional small town, he wouldn't be able to pose as the figure of gravitas he does now; instead, he'd have to face the fact that he's thought of as "that clueless old buffoon who threw his kid under the bus so he could play with trains like he's the biggest, dumbest, meanest brat kid ever" and that would be awful.