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TrotTrotPumpkn
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:17 PM
I said I had stopped looking for farms. I lied. I found a place that is IDEALLY located. However, there are only 4 acres of pasture. I would need to turn some of that into an outdoor ring as well. I plan on a sacrifice paddock off the barn and feeding hay. I just don't want to look at a cesspool all summer long.

Mainly for two-three horses.

Should I wait for more land? I'm ok on the house (it is the opposite of charming--built in the late 70's--basically a rectangle). It has some pros (totally updated, new roof, windows, furnace, walkout, custom cabinets, etc.) and it has some cons (built wayyy too close to the road, but it is a quiet road, smaller than my current house, small bedrooms).

There is an existing (ugly) 30 x 56 foot shed with no overhang and no natural light. It is set up very oddly (two super long super narrow stalls and then a 30x30 storage area). But it is in good shape.

It isn't my dream property, but it is very affordable (even with putting in flooring, fencing, etc.). I can ride a bike to work--it is just outside of town (but not in the direction they will/are developing). Or I can wait...

EquusMagnificus
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:19 PM
Sure you can.

We have 5 acres, 4 horses for now and we'll have more. With proper management, it can work just fine!

Just be prepared to provide hay year-round.

ladybugred
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:30 PM
If it wasn't so close to work, would you still want it?

Sounds like the answer is no. I would wait. Prices will continue to drop, more inventory will be coming on to the market in the next couple of months. The perfect place will pop up.

Good luck

LBR

wsmoak
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:32 PM
You don't like the house, you don't like the barn, you don't like the size of the property... remind me, why are you considering this place again??

coloredhorse
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:37 PM
The answer to the actual question asked is yes, you can do fine with small acreage. Plan to have a dry lot that is used frequently; turnout on grass pastures will be a treat (with frequency of treating depending on how many horses, weather, ground conditions, etc.). You will spend more on hay. But it is imminently doable, if not the ideal of acres of lush pasture that most of us have in our minds.

But I have to echo other posters who question why you are considering this property that seems to have little to recommend it to you. What DO you like about the property? What DON'T you like? Longer list wins.

EquineImagined
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:37 PM
I would agree, you CAN make do with the acerage but if you can afford to hold out until you find something you're more happy (house/facility/land wise) with and do not have to invest a lot of time giving it a facelift, why rush?

JB
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:39 PM
Don't settle for 4 acres for 2-3 horses when the rest of the property isn't tripping your trigger.

Keep looking :)

TrotTrotPumpkn
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:42 PM
Good thoughts!

I just REALLY like the location...and the price! Would save a fortune on commuting (cuts out 30 miles a day between hubby and I).

But I do sound like I'm settling too much don't I?

I feel this pressure because I believe interest rates are going to keep climbing. But I've waited years, so what is a bit more.

AnotherRound
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:50 PM
Here's your answer

"make-do"
"settling"
land and ammenities not up to par for your likes or needs

You really oughtn't purchase a place because its close to work and priced well; that's more of a reason to rent.

When the right place comes around, and it will, you'll know it. And meanwhile, don't lie to COTH! We can hear you slowing down in front of "for sale by owner" signs, how the gravel crunches under the tires when you come to a stop, how the car door slams so you can walk up to the sign and write down the number. Heck, we can see your beady eyes shifting right and left, left and right, as you tool down the state highway - how they lock on the roof of a barn from a distance, we know you choose to go the rural route rather than by the turnpike so you can scout out places!

Because that's what we would do too!

EquineImagined
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:50 PM
Just remember, what you're saving in commuting, you'll be spending in hay!

TrotTrotPumpkn
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:54 PM
And meanwhile, don't lie to COTH! We can hear you slowing down in front of "for sale by owner" signs, how the gravel crunches under the tires when you come to a stop, how the car door slams so you can walk up to the sign and write down the number. Heck, we can see your beady eyes shifting right and left, left and right, as you tool down the state highway - how they lock on the roof of a barn from a distance, we know you choose to go the rural route rather than by the turnpike so you can scout out places!

Because that's what we would do too!

LOL! [[clapping]]

Melissa.Van Doren
Dec. 30, 2010, 01:04 PM
I lived in NE Indiana for 5 years and had three horses on an eight acre field. They had nearly 24/7 access to it (only kept in for the worst winter crud, and then only overnight) and they wrecked most of that ground quite efficiently each winter. Fortunately, it was big enough that plenty of grass came back each spring/summer (they didn't eat anything but pasture for June-October). There's no way I would have gone with less than four acres... the clay in that area doesn't drain well and so the ground is particularly susceptible to the damage of hooves. It also holds a ton of water for a looong time... if you don't want standing swampland, you either have to be really lucky and have great natural contours to the land (which we did) or do a lot of preventive excavating. And of course the clay means DEEP footprints once the ground is soggy, so forget about riding on an outdoor unless you have it engineered with a really excellent (and expensive!) base for good drainage.

I had a 50x100' paddock attached to the barn (with a contiguous run out to the field). The first winter, because my ex was concerned about cost, we left it in grass. It wasn't long before it was a complete mud pit (even with the horses just passing through and hanging out there a bit). The next summer, we had it excavated and topped with crusher run and fine gravel.

Since you don't really like a lot else about the property, I'd say hold out for something with a lot more room, especially if the land is flat.

sadlmakr
Dec. 30, 2010, 01:08 PM
You did not say how many horses you have.
If you have 2 it is not a bad set up.
And remember paint covers a multitude of sins..
You willl need to cross fence and section off the acres to rotate the pastures. How is the drainage? Is the land prone to flooding?
An arena can be made to use comfortably. While 60 X 100 would be good I have used smaller.
Sit down and write the pro, and cons of it and discuss it with your signifigant other.
Don't settle for something that does not fill your needs.
Larger land means higher property taxes.
If everything is good but the barn, then it can be replaced. But if the house is in need of major repairs, think twice.
JMHO
sadlmakr

Go Fish
Dec. 30, 2010, 01:12 PM
Unless you build your own place, nothing will ever be perfect. Don't dismiss the commute issue. It's HUGE. When you have your own place, it's upkeep will suck your time dry. Removing a lengthy commute from the picture for both you and your DH is nothing to sneeze at.

That being said, and in response to your question, I would want about 10 acres for 3 horses, particularly if you live in an area with a less than ideal climate. 4 acres for 3 horses will mean no grass...

judybigredpony
Dec. 30, 2010, 01:42 PM
Just remember, what you're saving in commuting, you'll be spending in hay!

That may well be....But to truly sustain horses on pasture your talking 5 acres per horse.
I have 30 acres and we need round bales all winter and not every spring/summer gives you lovely ideal grass growing weather.

I'm not so much a downer on the place without seeing it and the perimeter lay-out.

Plan the location of your ring and its size (bigger isn't always better) carefully, we use ours as a T/O in bad weather while we muck to give horses a leg stretch and a buck. They haven't ruined the footing and yes I do have to pick it up afterwards.
One of my small sacraficial T/Os has a stone dust base and I use it as a free school/ round pen even though its square. I pick it up and we drag it to keep it level. Plus since its in no climb wire and has a solid lower gate panel we can park the dogs in there if we need them out of the way for short periods.

Fence the whole permiter or the whole front and gate driveway. You can always plant Butterfly bushes or Cypress across front for noise block and privacey.

Re configuring the stalls while you put in flooring is do able. Maybe small runs off stalls while your doing it so they have 24/7 acess.
Nows you chance to get those GFI outlets for water buckets by each stall and the lighting you like best!! A new tackroom with heated floor..so practical and effective for winter work, lots of built in open deep shelves for blankets.

Using you pasture space wisely and keeping it picked up and carefully mowed can be very rewarding. In dry weather I have sectioned off and put a sprinkler up so we could move horses to fresh grass and keep it viable..(have a good deep well)
Try doing good soild perimeter fencing w/ one strand of Solar electric along top and then doing moveable electric interior fencing so you can save or open up pasture as weather needs require.

The money you save on gas n commute time as well as buy price could get you some home renovations or possibly that 1 dreamroom you live in the most. Making buying the less than ideal home more accepting. Of course splurging on some window treatments fresh paint and bedroom linens will help make more welcoming to you personally.

They are predicting home prices to keep falling and interest to rise??? so who knows....thre is always a silver lining sometimes you have to dig for it.

Bigger property means bigger farm equipment, more fuel and time spent mowing, less time to enjoy your ponies.

Our next place will be about 5 acres max and room for 2 horses......:)

mvp
Dec. 30, 2010, 02:13 PM
I'd almost rather rent and board than own a horse place with too little land.

Even after you change the barn, accept the house and enjoy your bank statement and commute....

You will spend every day looking at dry lot or mud.

You will also spend a fortune (both time and money) on manure removal and reseeding. That will never go away, so you'll know what you'll be doing after you get home from work "early."

IFG
Dec. 30, 2010, 02:29 PM
I will be the odd person out. I have a small ranch house (that I never thought that I would live in), and although we own 5 acres, only 2 are usable (the rest is swamp). We live really close to work and town, which is awesome. I have only one horse here. I could do one or two more. Sometimes, compromising for a shorter commute is worth it. I feed hay. Horse is out 24/7 with access to his barn. Footing is always good, because we hired a contractor with that goal in mind.

coloredcowhorse
Dec. 30, 2010, 02:43 PM
I currently have 40 acres with a highway through the middle, two homes (both older mobiles but very livable) and 22 head of horses plus two that my renter has. NO grass in the fields so feed hay year round....the lack of grass is due to the area (desert) and lack of irrigation rights (costs about $5K per acre to purchase and then you have to have irrigation system/equipment AND pay yearly fee...cheaper to feed hay) but the horses do have lots of room for running/playing. Will be building paddocks this spring (each about 65x100 feet) with one to two horses per paddock....and planting some of the desert areas with dryland pasture mixes that don't need irrigation...will provide SOME grasses for occasional grazing.

My old cutting trainer had 8 acres in central Ore, one 5 acre pasture (irrigated) on which cattle were grazed part time as were horses on occasion. Between his own horses, his landlady's horses in training with him, client horses in training/prep for sales and a few breeding horses he had 40+ head...biggest problem was getting rid of bedding/manure. Had good sized indoor/outdoor arena, large round pen (100 ft diameter), double wide mobile home, hay storage barn, mare motel with pens, 10 or 12 stall barn with tack room/washroom, hot walker. It was very organized!!

2DogsFarm
Dec. 30, 2010, 03:00 PM
My farmette is 5ac total with probably 2 of those for house & lawns.

2 horses do very well on the remaining 3ac that contains the barn w/attached 60X120 indoor & 2 pastures.
Both pastures are accessible through the sacrifice area that surrounds the barn.
Horses are out 24/7 with free access to stalls.

My pastures are not lush, but grow enough grass that I usually have to mow at least twice during the growing season to keep the weeds down & the roughs cut back.

I do feed hay year-round, but considerably less hay in the Summer.
250 50-55# square bales was a year's supply for my 2 horses. Should go farther now that I have one horse & 1 pony.

My house is a characterless raised brick ranch but the interior had possibilities when I looked at it (including an open floorplan for kitchen/LR).
I joined 2 small BR to create a Master Suite. One ofthese BR had a powder room bath - toilet & sink - that I expanded to include a large shower stall by doing away with a small closet.
It is now quite a comfortable place for me.
& I am 10 minutes from work.

If you can make your life easier by doing away with a commute then I'd take a good, hard 2nd look at this place.

fordtraktor
Dec. 30, 2010, 03:02 PM
I think that amount would be fine for 2-3 horses if planned correctly. And there is a LOT to be said for a good commute.

Personally I would set it up so that you would have a lovely all-weather area with perfect drainage attached to the barn, that was big enough to ride in -- 100 by 200ish. Then keep it perfectly picked and maintained. Then open the rest into rotatable pastures. Spend good money on the "sacrifice paddock/ring" area to get it really nice -- total crushed stone or sand, with hay feeding confined to one area, preferably covered, so they don't trash the footing with hay pieces. You can shut the other ponies in their stalls and ride any time, which is super-nice. IF you keep hay raked out of the sand, it stays really nice and perfect for a personal use place.

I have a separate small "ring" that was preexisting on my small farm, but if I were building from scratch and watching pennies, that is how I would do it to maximize value and get a 2 for 1 on space. I follow a similar practice near my barn to control mud and it works great to keep the footing good all winter. I'm in northern Indiana so have some of the same weather challenges you would have.

I am a fixer -- I don't mind taking on places that need some work to be what I need, but LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. If the price leaves you some funds to make it what you want and you are handy/like fixing it up, then I would give it some thought. I love a good project.

I got lucky with my current house and love it but my previous one was a box in the city with no charm. Good landscaping and some new paint/redecorating made it totally adorable and we sold it during the worst of the housing crash in a single day. We bought it during the height of the bubble when everything else was selling in one open house with bidding wars, and it had been on the market for months -- it was that charmless before. You can do a lot with boxes! HGTV could be your new best friend!

Janet
Dec. 30, 2010, 03:28 PM
.But to truly sustain horses on pasture your talking 5 acres per horse.

Tha depends entirely on where you are. Around here, the county soil and water says that two acres per horse will sustain them from April to October. In other areas you might need 20 acres per horse.

Janet
Dec. 30, 2010, 03:30 PM
I kept 4 horses on 5 acres for years. Lots of cross fencing, lots of rotating, lots of hay. But it worked. And when I was a kid, we had 4 horses on 4 acres without much cross fencing.

katarine
Dec. 30, 2010, 04:37 PM
I drive 37 miles each way to work. We have 32 acres. Only about 5 or 6 of it is what you'd call pasture. And that is nowhere near enough to support 4 horses and a donkey. Not on our soil type/terrain. So we feed a lot of hay, and I drive a long way to work ;) Because the overall picture of where we live includes a ton of privacy, dirt roads and trails to ride, and an entirely private 2 acre swimming hole/sinkhole that is a pretty unusual perk.

my point is we really only have '5 acres' in pasture. And we do just fine. Yes, it's a mostly dirt lot, and sure it'd be nice to have big lush rolling hills- if I want to keep 'em bush hogged and muzzles on the horses. If you can keep up w/ manure mgmt and good all weather footing, you'll really enjoy that you can get home quicker.

KarenC
Dec. 30, 2010, 05:32 PM
At this point in my life, I've realized how important a good location is. I would sacrifice a LOT if it was a location I loved. You can improve the buildings, you can even improve the land, but you cannot, ever, move a lovely property closer to your ideal location.

That being said, my "ideal" location is not based on one thing - like my current job. It needs to be ideal if you want to change jobs in the future. For me, being close to high end, organic grocery stores, great restaurants, a good school district (for resale value - I don't have kids), just close enough but not too close to family...these are things that make a location ideal.

It all depends on your priorities.

EquusMagnificus
Dec. 30, 2010, 05:54 PM
I will echo LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.

You can renovate everything, demolish and rebuild if you want, but you can't change the location!

SLW
Dec. 30, 2010, 06:06 PM
I'm down to 2 horses on our 3.5 acre place, which includes the house and barn. No rib has ever shown up on my horses in spite of the small pasture. ;) If I owned 5 or 20 acres the horses still couldn't be on the grass full time for concern of founder and getting downright fat but it would let me throw less hay most of the year.

Rectangle houses, especially ranch style, are easy peasey to add another room onto. So if the drainage is terrific, the location nice, the rest can be updated.

Location, location, location. :)

goeslikestink
Dec. 30, 2010, 08:18 PM
I said I had stopped looking for farms. I lied. I found a place that is IDEALLY located. However, there are only 4 acres of pasture. I would need to turn some of that into an outdoor ring as well. I plan on a sacrifice paddock off the barn and feeding hay. I just don't want to look at a cesspool all summer long.

Mainly for two-three horses.

Should I wait for more land? I'm ok on the house (it is the opposite of charming--built in the late 70's--basically a rectangle). It has some pros (totally updated, new roof, windows, furnace, walkout, custom cabinets, etc.) and it has some cons (built wayyy too close to the road, but it is a quiet road, smaller than my current house, small bedrooms).

There is an existing (ugly) 30 x 56 foot shed with no overhang and no natural light. It is set up very oddly (two super long super narrow stalls and then a 30x30 storage area). But it is in good shape.

It isn't my dream property, but it is very affordable (even with putting in flooring, fencing, etc.). I can ride a bike to work--it is just outside of town (but not in the direction they will/are developing). Or I can wait...

acrerage is ok its an acre perhorse so you have one in hand
depends on how you run it as you would have to split it down into smaller paddocks and rotate it as you worm your horses thats what i do i have three paddocks and only on an 2 acres at most , and i ahve can have up to 12 on it that is when my daughters home but its all down to rotating and resting the paddocks long enough for the grass to grow then my horses are in at night 365 days a year so they are only out during the day so its more of a turnout rather than pasture kept but can still put hay out for them just do more piles than i have horses
as as for the horse and barn it can be altered so its what you deem as potential and what your allowed to do there to it
as for work ifs it s only down the road then your saving mega bucks in fuel
and you would be saving megabucks in boarding so its swings and roundabouts save on one thing but pay out more on another
but when you have it just so then it becomes worth it
so it depends on what you feel, and porperty is going up and hard to come by you could be waiting on the never never or you do this place up then sell it for a larger one who knows

Tom King
Dec. 30, 2010, 09:39 PM
The way to find what you want is to keep looking until you do.

spacytracy
Dec. 30, 2010, 09:49 PM
I can't answer for you but we have 2 ponies on 4 acres, but only 2 acres of pasture. We have it divided into 3, for rotation, and a dry lot for winter.

I ride in the biggest pasture, and have enough room for a few jumps.

I'm not a serious daily rider though.

Our house is really small 1250 sq feet, and very close to the road.

But in our area finding a house with land is very difficult for a decent price, so I'm just happy I can have horses at home.

carp
Dec. 31, 2010, 12:01 AM
People can and do keep horses on four acres and even less.
Some questions:
-Does this property have anything that makes it desirable to a non-horse owner (that is, how easy will it be to unload if you need to sell later?)
-Is the property near riding trails, parkland, or other amenities which a horse person would appreciate? (How easy will it be to sell to another horse person if you need to unload the property later?)
-Is the area being engulfed by sprawl (next year are you going to be one of the people posting stories of citiots letting their children wander into your pasture and cranky neighbors filing complaints about your manure pile?)
-Is the property near other employment opportunities if either you or your husband leaves your current job? (Both my husband and I have changed employers three times since we bought our house.)
-How do the costs of mortgage, maintenance, and improvements on this property compare to the cost of buying/renting something close to work and boarding the horses?

ArabDiva
Dec. 31, 2010, 02:47 AM
both my neighbor and I keep horses on small acreages.

I have 14 acres, but only about 3 are available for my 3 horses to use. The rest is rented to a nearby farmer. I would like to put it all in hay/pasture but at the moment do not have the time or the equipment that would be necessary to manage it well. So I have my barn, sacrifice paddock which doubles as my arena, and a grassy turnout that's for "Treat". I do feed hay year round but it still costs much less than boarding would be, and really is probably less expensive than the equipment/time it would take me to maintain good pastures. So my horses don't have idyllic grassy fields to roam in--but neither do horses in places like Arizona and SoCal.

Manure management isn't too much of a problem. It is all composted and I use it in my garden and share it with other gardeners I know. They are more than willing to take it off my hands!

Dalemma
Dec. 31, 2010, 07:49 PM
Tha depends entirely on where you are. Around here, the county soil and water says that two acres per horse will sustain them from April to October. In other areas you might need 20 acres per horse.

Yup depends on where you live and how you manage......I have 4.5 acres in total with about 3.5 in pasture the rest is barn, paddocks, ring, round pen, shop, house, driveway etc.

I manage 6 horses on pasture only (no hay) from mid April till mid Sept....sometimes longer.....they are out for 2 to 3 hours in the am and 2 to 4 hours in the pm and in gravel paddocks at night.....I don't feed any hay during this time. The 3.5 acres is divided up into about 12 smaller paddocks which I rotate horses in......I put them out in pairs.......so 3 paddocks are being used at a time the other 9 are resting. In the winter they are in their gravel paddocks attached to their stalls and are fed hay.

Here are some pics of our pastures.
http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s77/DalEmma2002/IMG_3178.jpg

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s77/DalEmma2002/IMG_0760.jpg

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s77/DalEmma2002/Pasture2.jpg

Here are their winter paddocks

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s77/DalEmma2002/Paddocks.jpg

Dalemma

TrotTrotPumpkn
Dec. 31, 2010, 11:14 PM
People can and do keep horses on four acres and even less.
Some questions:
-Does this property have anything that makes it desirable to a non-horse owner (that is, how easy will it be to unload if you need to sell later?)
-Is the property near riding trails, parkland, or other amenities which a horse person would appreciate? (How easy will it be to sell to another horse person if you need to unload the property later?)
-Is the area being engulfed by sprawl (next year are you going to be one of the people posting stories of citiots letting their children wander into your pasture and cranky neighbors filing complaints about your manure pile?)
-Is the property near other employment opportunities if either you or your husband leaves your current job? (Both my husband and I have changed employers three times since we bought our house.)
-How do the costs of mortgage, maintenance, and improvements on this property compare to the cost of buying/renting something close to work and boarding the horses?

Wow! First, you guys all rock. I love this forum.

Its a will be a cute enough house with some modifications for a non-horse person, but still really close to the road.

Sprawl won't go this way, I don't think. There is a road on two sides as well and neighbor is a farm.

I'm in a family business and largely self employed, never say never, tho.

There are no affordable horse properties close to where hubby works in middle of city (this is by town I work in). We do live in city and I board at two sep places currently. There are no suitable boarding barns near town I work in. We do want to move to the small town tho especially if we have kids (family is there).

I think I'm going to just wait and see if they go lower. It has been reduced 30k and has been on market a long time (estate sale). Largely bc of distance to road and weird staircase (I would move that-in my budget).

Sorry for weird spelling-on my phone.

nightsong
Jan. 1, 2011, 08:52 AM
Instead of "waiting to see if they fo lower" and risk losing the place, you could make an offer. It sounds like this TYPE of property is very rare for you, and lessening commutes actually GIVES YOU TIME. Not many things give you an hour a day or more...

katyb
Jan. 1, 2011, 11:06 AM
Tha depends entirely on where you are. Around here, the county soil and water says that two acres per horse will sustain them from April to October. In other areas you might need 20 acres per horse.

Ditto that - I'm in east TN, and 1.5-2 acres of good land usually works for summer grazing. I've had two, and added a third, horses on my 6.2 acres. I'd say the pasture is 4.5, some of it in woods. I had gorgeous grass all summer - as much grass as I would want. I didn't feed hay from May-late October, at all. It had to be mowed a few times. Of course, it looks awful now, but I keep reminding myself that it looked awful last winter too! My horses are out 24/7, with a run-in. It is my plan to add a barn and sacrifice area at some point, but so far it is working out okay.

IFG
Jan. 1, 2011, 11:29 AM
I never liked the idea of a house on a road, but since we live in snow country, and we do not own a plow, it is a godsend. No matter how high the snow, we can get in and out. Worse comes to worse, we need to shovel a little.

I would make an offer and see if they accept it.

When we were house hunting, there was a house that was ok, but not our dream house. We decided on a price that would make it our dream house, and made the offer. They could not reject it fast enough, but that was when houses were on the market for only a week or two. I bet if the situation were repeated today, they would jump on it.

My Two Cents
Jan. 1, 2011, 12:44 PM
What I dream of owning is quite different then what I can afford. If the location is good and it has buildings you can live with or modify, I would maybe consider an offer. There's no reason you have to stay there forever if it really doesn't work out. You may have to feed more hay but if you are boarding now extra hay might be a cheap alternative. You will have to do the math for your situaltion. Too many people buy places that they cannot afford. If it is that close to your work there could be days that you need to run home over the lunch hour for some reason or another and then it would be easy to do so. My daughter drives 45 miles to work. That's an hour and a half a day on the road. Think of how many stalls one could clean in just one days drive. Time is worth something. 4 acres is plenty if you are willing to supplement the 2 or 3 horses with hay. We had seven on 6 acres all summer and they are all too fat and never needed any hay. However, this past summer was a good grass growing season in Iowa. Good luck!

CatOnLap
Jan. 2, 2011, 06:54 PM
What I want, is something I could not afford without moving at least 200 miles away to the middle of nowhere, in snow.

Location Location Location.

I have 3 horse on a 3.5 acre piece of land. However, fully 1 1/2 acres are not useable for pasture due to the riding ring taking up 1/3 acre, the house and orchard taking up 1/2 acre and a wilderness ravine taking up 1/3 acre. So, we have run out stalls, a winter sacrifice paddock that is larger than the runouts, so they can run a bit more, and use the pasture from April to October when the rains come and it gets too wet, muddy and slippery for pasture turn out.

But we are 15 minutes from the airport, from downtown, from my work, from the ferries, in a wonderful neighbourhood of urban trails, and our property has not lost value when everyone else's is tanking, because of location. We buy hay and do not depend on pasture to feed our horses. The pasture is " for amusement purposes only" , well in summer when the grass is growing, I can cut my hay feeding down to half, so those two acres do help.

In order to feed my horses from pasture in our climate, I'd need 15 acres. At about $400,000 per acre in this location, you can buy a lot of hay instead!

AKB
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:19 PM
You can make a low offer and see how they respond. If they are willing to come down, you and they can negotiate. Otherwise, you need to wait until it sells to someone else or they are willing to come down.

My daughter recently bought a lovely place on 8 acres. Originally, it was way over priced. Then, it came down $120,000 so it was closer to what she could afford. After a few weeks of negotiating, they came down to what she could afford. If she hadn't made an offer, she wouldn't have known if they were willing to negotiate.

Get a really good realtor or attorney so you are sure you get a good home inspection, good mortgage, and everything else that needs to be done correctly.

Meredith Clark
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:38 PM
I keep 3 horses on about 4 acres with no trouble.

I do the sacrifice paddock in the spring and let the grass grow in nice and strong. They can go through the spring summer and fall with just grain and then I hay all winter and the hours when they aren't on pasture in the spring and fall,

My guys are 3 OTTBs from 15h-16h ages 4, 8, 12 and they are fat and healthy with no problems.

It's almost suspicious how easy it's been.... :lol:

Moving them from boarding barns to my place (I rent) was the best decision!

dbaygirl
Jan. 4, 2011, 02:47 AM
Good thoughts!

I just REALLY like the location...and the price! Would save a fortune on commuting (cuts out 30 miles a day between hubby and I).

But I do sound like I'm settling too much don't I?

I feel this pressure because I believe interest rates are going to keep climbing. But I've waited years, so what is a bit more.

I'd go for it. I just exchanged a 10 year 2.5 hour per day commute for a 25 min one way commute. When I bought my property it was very reasonable but had huge issues to deal with. I now have 4 horses on 1.5 acres and they're happy. It can be done, but I don't have a riding arena. One large paddock and another divided up for the others, with taking turns on the pasture in the summer. I do provide hay year round. Summer not so much hay is needed. I have a trailer so I can trailer out. I love the location, the mountains and the weather here. A crappy commute is a BIG thing. That would be reason enough for me to make do with 4 acres. That would be heaven for me! You have less horses than I do.

Good luck!

Jan
www.equineezine.com

kcmel
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:02 PM
I agree that a short commute time would be very high on my priority list. If you can limit yourself to 2 horses it would likely be very doable. We have about 3 acres of paddock and a small riding ring (about 60 x 90). We have 3 paddocks with grass and a sacrifice area near the barn with a run-in. We feed very little hay in the spring/summer. During peak growing season the horses are out 24/7 and can barely keep up with the grass. Of course we also have a land preserve right across our driveway, and can hack for miles. That was the selling point for us!

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:14 PM
Just an update on the 4 acre place. They pulled it off the market Jan 1. I don't see a sale pending sign. I'm guessing it has been on for so many days, that they decided to start over in the spring.

I'm sure I could call and find out, but I am going to sit a bit. There is another property that is 80k more, but 8 acres (not as move in ready though) that is also on the market now--I've admired it for about a decade ;). It is definitely overpriced (barn and house need new roofs and windows), but it was just listed with a realtor (has been fsbo since summer) Jan 1. [Of course it is the realtor KNOWN for overpricing! lol].

My husband likes that one much more (larger, much more charming 1917 farmhouse, etc.) although that one is on the highway. But his opinion/happiness is critical, since he's moving to an acreage and going to be commuting for my dream, not his. It is out of our price range for now, but I'm just going to sit tight for a bit and see what happens with everything (recognizing I may miss them both). Meanwhile I'm going to do little things around my house (refinish hardwood floors, etc.) to keep getting it ready.

I really do appreciate eveyone's thoughts! You guys rock!! I wish I could have you all over for BBQ someday.

pintosrock
Jan. 5, 2011, 03:01 PM
We have three acres, two horses, and the most FANTASTIC barn. House is on the smaller side and it is far (30-60 min) from work. I totally understand wishing you lived closer to work! No place is perfect, you just have to decide what to compromise on.

About the land/horse ratio. Our horses are out during the day and in and night (reverse for the summer). We also reseed every year, and fertilize/spray for weeds in the spring. We have AWESOME pasture, especially compared to our neighbors (also two horses, but with five acres, out 24x7). They do no pasture maintenance and have dirt/weeds. So it depends on how much work you want to put into your land.

I do have a sacrifice area for riding, but I'd go stir crazy if that's all I had. I take weekly lessons (trailer out) at a nice barn with big arenas, and require a monthly outing (trail or show). Given that, I'm okay with having a smaller bit of land to ride on at home.

okggo
Jan. 5, 2011, 03:30 PM
We have 10 acres, 6ish (likely less) of pasture and 4 horses on it right now. Place was a fixer-uper, and it has been much more farm work then horse work. Riding? Who has time!! We always have to rotate/dry lot/supplement with hay. Not a big deal. We also have a 2 hour commute (4 hours per day). That is a HUGE deal. Plus we still have no aisle barn and I'd love one. We still have 3 acres we can't use that I want cleared. We still have an old home that needs work. I'm in serious thought about moving to the midwest and buying 20 or more acres with a newish home within 30 minutes from work.

My advice - unless you are SERIOUS about long term, DON'T SETTLE!! Otherwise you'll just put your heart and soul into a place that will ultimately end up not exactly what you want. I thought the acreage we have would be enough, and it's doable - but I do wish we had more.

tabula rashah
Jan. 5, 2011, 03:35 PM
I have 6 acres and 5-6 horses. Yes, they are pretty much dry lotted the whole year round so I always have to feed hay but that's fine with me.

chance2jump
Jan. 5, 2011, 04:55 PM
I am working with a broker right now and putting an offer on a place in the next 30 mins.

That said... The broker and Realtor I've been working with are very convinced that the tide is changing, and the interest rates will be going up in the next year. This is speculation, of course, but I trust their judgment and professional experience.

In my case... The description of "when you find it, you know it" is on the mark! We've been looking for weeks, and hee-hawed over different properties that only met some of our requirements. Then the heavens parted and the *perfect* location came up, and we both want this place so bad we are shaking! Again, we'll have our offer in this afternoon. :)

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jan. 6, 2011, 11:48 AM
I am working with a broker right now and putting an offer on a place in the next 30 mins.

That said... The broker and Realtor I've been working with are very convinced that the tide is changing, and the interest rates will be going up in the next year. This is speculation, of course, but I trust their judgment and professional experience.

In my case... The description of "when you find it, you know it" is on the mark! We've been looking for weeks, and hee-hawed over different properties that only met some of our requirements. Then the heavens parted and the *perfect* location came up, and we both want this place so bad we are shaking! Again, we'll have our offer in this afternoon. :)

Well that's exciting! How did it go?

katarine
Jan. 6, 2011, 01:26 PM
[QUOTE=TrotTrotPumpkn;5330372]

My husband likes that one much more (larger, much more charming 1917 farmhouse, etc.) although that one is on the highway. But his opinion/happiness is critical, since he's moving to an acreage and going to be commuting for my dream, not his. QUOTE]


Aahhh...will he be charmed by heating said farmhouse :) ?

Trade offs abound: I am hopeful you'll find THE PLACE :)

chance2jump
Jan. 6, 2011, 01:26 PM
Well that's exciting! How did it go?

Still waiting for a response from the seller. The anticipation is KILLING ME!!! The listing agent was confident we would get a response today, but we put tomorrow as the deadline.

Personal Champ
Jan. 6, 2011, 01:59 PM
We own one acre with a small ranch - 3 bed, 2 bath, DR, LR, Laundry.

We rent another 2 1/2 acres for a total of approximately 3 acres fenced in.

We have a 10x30 shedrow barn and the horses are out 24/7. I have had as many as 3 horses and 2 donkeys on this 3 acres.

I have a 20x60 sacrifice area where they naturally hang in the winter. It is done in stone to eliminate mud. We are getting ready to put in a 60x100 ring this year, taking up more pasture space.

Yes, I feed high quality timothy rounds year round. Yes, I drag the pasture regularly. Grass does grow pretty well but I don't rely on it for calories. It is a treat and busy time. My donkeys and the one easy keeper would have done fine on just it, though.

But - my horses flourish. I traditionally have harder keeping TBs. They are fat, healthy and happy.

We are lucky that the land is basically flat but with a natural slope. No rocks - old farmland. Clayish soil which is the reason for the stone sacrifice area. DH has equipment so we are able to maintain as necessary.

I have a 45 minute commute and would kill for a place that I could bike to work from. I agree that with the savings in gas/time you could do some really great renovations and make the entire place your own.

carp
Jan. 8, 2011, 10:21 AM
If you really like a place that's just been pulled from the market, you might try contacting the owner anyhow. A lot of times the seller is still interested in unloading the property. They've just given up on their real estate agent, or they figure that nobody buys in the dead of winter, or they think it is looking shopworn and has a better chance of selling if it drops off the radar for a few months.