We got "Going Grey Farm" because the husband was willing to drive over an hour and a half to work and back, depending on traffic, and knew that acreage was worth the happiness of his wife and her 3 horses.
He was getting out of the Army and we were then living in TX were I boarded my 3 horses on a friends farm. He was being recruited at a computer and technical company here in VA, he flew out and began our search for the perfect place. I told him at the time what it was I was looking for, what kind of barn, land, the house, and then trusted him to do just that.
Sure enough, our farm is perfect for us. A really cute home, almost 5 acres of land and once the deal was closed, he then got the crew out to ensure that we had a keyhole fence that wrapped around the farm so I could find the horses if I but went to one of the windows. Once the horses were here he built my pole barn from the ground up, as well as the hay barn and I helped where I could or painted when he was at work.
Just recently, my wonderful husband took a loan out on his 401K, with a penalty, so we could have the down payment on the land right next to us, 32 acres!! It is wooded but that is okay, we can fence some of it in and then put trails on the other part so I don't have to ride on the road and risk being hit by some a$$hole who seem to frequent our rode and speed lately.
So, that is the short story of our farm, we love it and enjoy when others stop in so we can share our home.
Ok, 3 things - horses were ALWAYS going to be a part of my life
Turns out he wanted a log house too - yay!
From the day we (I) started looking for land, shortly after we married, to the day we bought, was about 4 years. I had a permanent job in town, and he was/is a contractor who works out of town more often than not. But, he was raised in Yonkers, NY, so "farm life" was not exactly his thing I tried very hard to make sure that the land was within reasonable distance to civilization - my compromise to him.
We checked out a variety of properties, mostly on our own because the couple of realtors we had kept showing us inappropriate (for a variety of reasons) properties - why DO they do that??.
We actually bought the land that I'd found 6 months earlier, but upon describing its whereabouts to him, was deemed "too far out". Oh dear, 15 minutes to his favorite restaurant It's STILL only 12 miles to my work - same distance as from our "civilized" neighborhood first house, but half the time since I don't drive through the entire town in 35mph speed zones.
So, that's how we ended up here - more than we wanted to pay for land, but given the options of farther out and cheaper, or closer in and less land for more $$/acre, this was a really, really good deal.
It really, really helped that I had a HUGE amount of equity in my old house, that he's a contractor who, in his line of work, gets paid insane amounts for the work he does, and that we're both pretty conservative with our $$.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
If you had talked to me 10 years ago, I would have told you that I would never have my own farm - too much work, money, etc.
Well, never say never.
5 years ago my mother in law needed help with her husband (pre-alzheimers) and they talked about moving north with us. There was not enough room in the dream home that my husband had custom built for us, and my father-in-law did not want to move north back to the frozen tundra. So my husband said, well, we could buy a farm, with enough room for all of us.
So, we sold our dream home, they sold their retirement home, and we bought this farm in Florida, and had an in-law apartment and other additions done. What helped us to be able to do this, was that the price of this farm was about the same as what we sold the dream home for, and the in-laws paid for the additions.
I am also blessed that my employer agreed to keep me on as a full time telecommuter, and my husband has also be fortunate enough to find steady IT contract work to be able to work from home also. We do occasionally have to take business trips, but not many lately with the tight economy.
I still get a lump in my throat when I think about the house we built and sold, but I am very, very happy here, work and all.
We did find it on the internet, and we did some research into several locations that might work for both families, and visited the areas before starting to actually look at properties. It was a bit tricky doing that long distance, but we managed to find just the right place.
There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams
It had a For Sale By Owner sign out front!
We had been looking for a year or so for the right farm......had looked at quite a few with real estate agents. The ones we liked were either too far from our jobs or in TOO suburban an area (aka too expensive per acre). We wanted semi boonies.....rural enough to bring the price down, not so rural we were an hour from work. We were just out driving around in the country one day in the area we thought we would like to live driving back roads looking at stuff in the area and came across this place with the FSBO sign out front.....so it never came up on the agent radar.
A friend of mine found their farm because they had been drooling over a piece of property they passed by all the time. They decided what the heck - they went downtown, found out who owned it, learned it was owned by folks who lived up North, they called, made an offer, the owners were glad to get the tax burden off their hands, and that was that!
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
We looked for six months before we found this place. A good buyer's agent is really worth the trouble. We tried in the north of Hampton Roads are first in the "middle" peninsula but there was almost nothing over 10 acres with or without a house that was suitable to horses (not forest or a recent clear cut needing major clearing). We wanted 20-30 acres and were willing to build.
Finally our Realtor got a tip on a property that was in foreclosure in the Southern Part of our range (not really where we had been looking). We had to wait until the people were fully evicted from the farm before we could see it but we got right of first refusal due to our excellent agent's negotiating. We found a run down farm but one with great promise....barn and house needed a new roof, all new fencing needed, but it had a 20 stall well built concrete block barn, some outbuildings, and 26 lovely mostly flat open acres..and most odd a duplex house. We made an offer that day and it was accepted and we moved in several months later after a major mess with the title and closings. The house we are turning into a single residence now as being landlords is not in our stars and the barn/fencing projects are almost complete. We've had folks drive in here just to complement us on the progress we've made with the farm in the last few years and to tell us how nice it looks!
Now I want a log home too and that is my only regret right now. I also wish we had more land and some hills/mountains closer by but the location is doable for us.
I was renting for a while because I couldn't find anything appropriate in my area in my price range. I had my eye on the perfect farm that was out of my budget but just what I wanted, and it had been on the market for a while. Another farm, which was less perfect and more expensive, was bigger than what I was hoping for but had 30 built-in boarders that would help with the mortgage cost. Slaved over a business plan, shopped it around to different lenders, jumped through a lot of hoops, finally got bank approval for the bigger one, and don't even want to get into the horror story than ensued re: the price being raised and issues with the seller. In short, my business plan and the big commercial license I'd managed to obtain apparently made the property suddenly worth $400K more than appraisal and thus more than the loan I'd been approved for
When I'd finally given up, realtor told me there had been a big price reduction on the perfect farm I'd had my eye on. He didn't even have the keys to the house, but I insisted on going there to see the barn/property immediately. Made an offer without even seeing the inside of the house, and have been here for three and a half years. Have since learned that there is no such thing as the perfect farm unless you have enough money to hire more staff and make more repairs than you'd ever think you'd need But that sure makes me glad that the bigger place didn't work out!
And by the way, bigger place is *still* on the market more than three years later
A good realtor is essential. It needs to be a horse person. They are out there. If you just get any realtor and say you need a barn on the property, they will show you places with lean-to's on them that the listing agent called a barn! Also, horse fence is different from "fenced".
Vandy, your story is amazing. I bet the owner's of the big place are kicking themselves. But you are probably much better off without the boarding business! Beplosh, how cool that you got more acreage and what a great husband you have!
I am on my third farm. This one is the keeper. The first 2 I had to move from because of my job. Each one got better than the last. The first was a definite "starter farm" with a small house on 10 acres and nothing more. We built it from the ground up. The second farm had been a horse farm and had fence and sheds. We knew that was a temporary home for us, so we left it as is. I did put in a small arena. My current farm is fantastic! It was a cattle farm, so still lots to do. I built a horse barn. Use the bank barn for hay and equipment and use the cattle fence for now. Eventually I will replace the fence, but it works. I put in a full size arena last year and am still working on that.
Advice: if you see a place that you like that is not for sale, find out who owns it and nicely ask if they ever consider selling, please call you. You can get great deals this way!
We have a local real estate website that is more for realtors--no ads, just a really powerful search engine that allows you to specify what you want. That helped us a LOT.
However, ultimately it was our wonderful realtor who had her ears open and heard through the grapevine that a nice property was going to come up for sale. She knew what we wanted, and called us the day the listing went in. We looked, we loved, we made an offer the same day. Ours was just vacant farmland, but it had been SO hard to find suitable (ie, not a mud pit or solid clay) land near enough to work and in a good school district that we leaped and bought right away, with the intention of building later, which is what we did.
Pipe dreams are fun. But if you narrow things down to realistic drive times, property sizes, and a price range you can handle, you can still look if you have time and patience. It took us about 2 years of looking before we found the right place, and of course that happened in one day once it popped up! We were prepared to keep looking.
Yeah, I'd love 100 acres, too, but realistically the 12 acres we have is about as much as we can handle, time-wise.
A friend was at a roping (and won a saddle!) one day and overheard another roper talking about moving.
He knew his mother in law, that had retired a few years ago and was competing with her horses full time, was thinking about coming to live here.
He asked if they were selling their place, that was close to where he lives.
Sure enough, they were selling their place with a little old house, a really nice horse barn and roping arena and some pasture and buying some land closer to town and building a new house.
After all was said and done, they sold the old place to my friend's mother in law, that is delighted with the place.
Sometimes, word of mouth is a good way to find neat places before they even come onto the market.
Vandy, your story is amazing. I bet the owner's of the big place are kicking themselves. But you are probably much better off without the boarding business!
HA! Actually they are both boarding operations, the "perfect farm" with 15 stalls (vacant when purchased) and the big nightmare with 32 (30 stalls filled when I made the offer). Since then, however, I've added 8 more stalls to the original 15 and gotten some perverse satisfaction watching the sellers of the big farm struggle Still, as you'd said, I'd probably be much better off without a boarding business from a personal stress standpoint...but I couldn't afford even the smaller place without it!
Someday, I'd love to retire and have this place for just my own personal horses, but I'd have to win the lottery to make that work!
We had recently moved to VA when my husband, a contractor, was called to give an estimate for siding a home. My husband asked why they wanted to put up cheap vinyl siding on such a beautiful old home and was told that they wanted inexpensive ugrades as they were going to list the house after the siding was done. He told them he refused to put vinyl on that house. When asked why, he said he was going to buy their farm. A handshake commitment was made and we bought.
It took two years to convert the soybean fields to pasture, put up fencing, build a barn, put up run ins, build a hay barn, blah, blah, blah. Needless to say, the house has still not been redone. We were going to put up cedar shingles but most of our house budget went to the farm. All we can afford now is vinyl siding .
I bought land and did it from scratch. Finding something in my area that was:
1.) Not wet when it rained
2.) Was in an area that was 30 minutes to work
3.) Was were my soon to be husband would agree to live
It was not so easy to find such things, so I bought wooded land and did everything from scratch. Would I do it again? Yes, b/c I survived it the first go round and know what it entails. It allowed me to build a home I wanted, build a barn I wanted, and lay out my place the way I wanted. It was a lot of work though so not for everyone.
We got lucky and found a fabulous realtor. Since we were moving from MD to MN, we had to rely on a relator. We did some Internet browsing, but she was so good. She also has horses and knew what was good and what was not so good.
Ditto to the others - get a really good, horse exp. realtor. Our first was very bad They would never call ahead and I don't know how many "bring the horses" ads we go see only to find 1 acre with the house and 5-10 more straight up a Mt. side Switched to the good one and found 30 acres of farm land - our original goal had been 5-10, but this was such a good deal we could get this and I could entertain my fantasy of a small breeding operation
I swore I didn't want my own farm. I grew up on a farm and helped manage a boarding/sales/training business and it was a ton of work. Graduated from college and started doing my own training/sales and started to accumlate horses and realized I hated boarding and leasing was just throwing my money away. We started looking casually and driving down roads in the area we wanted to be. We saw a nice FSBO with 11 acres and a nice house. We called and walked through and just loved the house and the land. Set well off the road and surronded by state forest and crops so no development and lots of trail riding. Most of the other horse farms that were developed had mobile homes or trailers on them and we didn't want to go down that road.
We contacted a realtor and she helped as well but our property came up on the list and we looked again. She thought it was an excellent deal as did we so we went for it. Started the fencing first and then bought a used MD modular barn off craigslist. Had it moved and built on our property. We love it. I would love more than 11 acres but it is a great start. We have hours of trail riding right out our back gate and are 10 min from town and 20 min to both of our jobs.
we bought an old farm with 100 acres 23 years ago - spent 5 years renovating the house - then had kids - 5 years ago decided to get back into horses as our sons were riding and wanted to event.
In 2004 we went on a dude ranch vacation - so the boys took lessons and I did too - when we came back - boys wanted to continue and hubby wanted horses too.
So in 2005 we build an 8 stall barn, 65/160 arena and fenced in 20 acres.
We now breed draft cross sport horses, the boys event and are young riders, I show dressage and we just had our 3rd foal. Breeding our colt this year and one of our own home breds for two foals next year. Hubby also has a horse.
Leaving the dream I never thought I would and loving every minute of it - but nothing comes with out hard work and we have worked hard for everything we have.
I was the Realtor.
And it still took slightly over a year of looking.
I might have been an equine Realtor...but damned if I could get good info out of other Realtors, LOL! My fave was the place I called on that was on the other side of the state. Talked to the Realtor and she assured me it had brand new top of the line fencing in and an outbuilding 4 years old that would make a great barn!
Drove forever to go see it...to find that the new fencing was a 30 foot length of decorative vinyl from driveway to front door only and the outbuilding was a gazebo.
It was almost the first time in CT history of one Realtor choking another.
I saw my property while it was listed with another Realtor. Decent acreage in CT is slim pickings if you're shopping under $500k. This one was listed with an Realtor and we saw 6 in town that day. I liked this one, house was in really good condition, location good, heavily wooded with a huge ledge outcrop surrounding it on 3 sides and no horse facilities so I knew it needed a huge chunk of change in just getting it ready to build a barn on. The price was $325k down from $335k. I figured a good $50-$70k in clearing, grading, drainage, barn and fencing so walked away. 6 months later I saw another cute little property in the same town listed on isoldmyhouse.com and made an appointment to come see it. Realized when we pulled up it was the same house...down to $285k. We bought it then.
Have to say the estimate for the work needing to be done was low even though I padded it a lot so it's 5 years later and my ring still isn't in and a couple smaller things still need doing. BUT...I still adore it.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!