I do have a limited social life though as I am tired in the evenings - also, I'm half american and could live in the states as I am a US citizen. I'd like to live in the states, at least for a while - what's stopping me? My 26 year old herd leader who could never make the trip, who is happy and healthy but would hate 'his' herd to leave him. In reality, I probably couldn't afford to take the other two horses and my dogs, so England it is! I could earn more if I worked in London - what's stopping me? Yup, my herd (and dogs).
We should do Trading Spaces - I often think I would like to go back to England for a while, but am tied to my farm here.
I just wanted to say that, yes, it can be done. I'm single, work full time teaching high school, and own a small farm. It's tough at times. My woodstove is my only source of heat, so I'm a slave to it in the winter months. THAT affects my social life more than the horses do!
I agree with all that's been said here. I just wanted to say that I think it would be smartest to wait and buy rather than rent. It would be a shame if the "perfect" place came up for sale and you were stuck in a lease. From the sound of it, your situation is pretty close to complete care, so you have a good idea of what's involved.
Good luck buying your own place. It's a big step but well worth it!
PS -- Right now, you can work on getting everything in order to buy. Get all of your financial stuff -- usually the past two years' taxes, pay stubs, etc -- together, shop around and get pre-approved for a mortgage. A realtor can help you out here. (Ask friends to point you to a reliable realtor or mortgage rep in your area). When the "right" place comes on the market, things can happen fast and if you're not ready you can lose it to another buyer.
Oh, and you may be able to take advantage of Obama's promised $8K for first-time home buyers. I've heard this may go up to $15K.
The best thing I ever did was buy my farm. You have to think a little differently though once you make that commitment. You are not moving farther out from your life , you are moving TO your new life. Your friends will change somewhat. Your schedule will change a LOT. Your priorities will change. It will not always be easy. You will be tired in a different, wonderful way and if you are like me you will wake up happy every morning. The old man next door will laugh at you when you drive your tractor out through the back of the shed. You will have to make an occassional hard choice about the fate of the mice in your grain room or the raccoon that dares you to come into your own barn. You will miss social engagements because one of the horses doesn't look quite right You will buy new tires for the tractor instead of new shoes and you will covet thy neighbors 4x4 John Deer mule. You will learn when to do things yourself and when to ask for help. You will thumb your nose at the guys at the feed store who had a betting pool about how long you would last on the farm alone and you will have a forever friend with the guy down the road who stops in every night to help fix things because he had the latest date in that pool. You'll talk hay prices and pasture seeding and the weather becomes like a personal aquaintance. Oh and did I mention you'll wake up happy every day?
In this economy renting is not a great investment. When you own your own place you have such a sense of security and belonging. Be sure you are ready to walk away from parts of your current life and that you understand the true costs of running a farm. Good luck!
Yep, I do this everyday by myself since 2005. I have a small farm and breeding operation. Currently have 13 or 14 horses on the property with one on the way. I take care of the horses all by myself, maintain the house, maintain the property, all while working a full time job that frequently has overtime. There are times when I get burned out of course but I push through and take joy in the little things. I also have the help from my parents - dad will come up one weekend a month or so to help with the big chores (putting in fencng, knocking down wasps nests since i'm highly allergic, etc) but primarily it is just me. You do need a network though. People to help you should you become sick/injured or if you want to take a vacation. And YES you do need to take a vacation on occassion!!! I love it, but there are times when it was just about the horses and not about my regular job...