You're on the right track. You need what all radio operators need right now and that's the sunspot cycle to get closer to its peak. That time should be soon.
When we first moved to the Cayman Islands, I put up a dipole to get on the air and work the world from our somewhat rare DX QTH. As hard as I tried, the only QSO I made was with a sailboat passing by the island. This was about 1987 during what is still considered to be the most powerful peak to any sunspot cycle. I quickly replaced the dipole with a 6 element tribander and it was like the switch was flipped on. Signals galore from all over the world.
Nathaniel has a really neat vertical HF antenna that mounts to his 80 series rear bumper. Such an antenna will out perform a dipole and it will be difficult for cranky neighbors to complain about because it's a moving target!
I guess the moral of the story is the old radio one liner, the best antennas are the ones with the most metal you can get as high above ground as you can get it.
Even if you live in a covenant controlled development, there are reasonably priced antennas out there that you may wish to keep an eye out for that will pack a little more punch than a dipole and may go unnoticed by the neighbors.
Watch the DX Summit, too. Watch the solar flux numbers as well as the A and the K indices. One day soon they will begin to climb to the cycle peak.
1966 FJ45 LWB Pickup
1985 BJ74 RHD