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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2005
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii until we return to the Appling, Ga farm.
    Posts
    914

    Default Bought A huge house with 31 acres in Appling Ga...how to get started

    I need your help guys. I have had horses my entire life...have not kept any at home since I was a kid. Now, I finally can realize my dream of having my own farm. One problem though: It is 31 acres of uncleared land....all but one acres that is. So where do I get started. Anyone ever bought a piece of land and built from scratch??? Ideas for a barn, possibly converting the warehouse on my new property to a barn? Here is the property...http://www.blanchardandcalhoun.com/p...LASTKEY=256800

    see pic 33 for pic of the warehouse. there is plenty of land behind the warehouse to clear for pasture. This warehouse is huge. If i neededt o put temp stalls in there, i am thinking i can....got to fight with the hubby on this though. He wants to spend the money and just have a small barn built but I dont because I am scared to spend too much money all at once.

    The land is full of white oak. Anyone know how to get that tagged and sold and cleared for free since the lumber is of value? I don't know where to start. The idea is to bring my grand prix dressage horse home....so I can stop paying a grand a month to board! I am desperate to hear from people who have built their dream farm on a budget. thanks, you all rock
    "Lose your temper, lose your horse" -someone wise enough to know better than to pick a fight with a 1200 lb animal that could launch you to the moon.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2008
    Location
    Sonoma County, California
    Posts
    2,508

    Default

    We built a much smaller farm/facility (5 acres) from scratch. My advice to you is to live on it and move veeerrrrryy slowly, ie, put in basic, temporary facilities for your horse and then really live there and see what you like. Live there through at least four seasons if you can.

    I made a drawing of our parcel and kind of master planned it. We implemented this plan over a 6 year period and made many alternations along the way. I highly suggest doing the same, either yourself or have a pro draw it all up. You can go to Google earth to get a birds eye view, and you can even measure fence lines, etc that way! Very helpful. You want to think about traffic flow, placement of water/power lines, horse facility in relation to the house (can you run out easily at midnight? can you see pasture/turnouts from the kitchen? will dust from the arena blow toward your house?)

    I think the key to building on a budget is to really think things out, go slow, and add features one at a time. For example, we lived here for a year before constructing our barn. I'm glad because I wound up putting it in a totally different spot that earlier imagined. Same with our arena. We actually ran 220 power and huge water lines to the spot we *thought* we'd build it, but a year later realized an area right behind our barn would be a far better location. But by then I'd already wasted $5k on power/water to nowhere.

    Great books: "Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country" and also "Horsekeeping on a small acreage" were good starts for us. Of course we now feel like we can write a better book!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,695

    Default

    If you have a top competitive horse and GP is that, they really should be in a top competitive stable, with that kind of care, management and training that will help your horse stay at that level.

    Keeping the horses in your backyard generally is adequate for the retired or less competitive horses, but doesn't really will give you the edge you need to stay at the top.
    I would not resent the money spent on keeping your horse where he is managed best.

    As for developing land, spend as long as you can on the drawing board, because that will pay in satisfaction later, not wishing you had known this or that or done something different, especially if this is your first time around.

    I build my house five years ago, had six months to learn about houses and find a builder and arrange all I had to prepare before.
    I had built barns and improvements, but never built a house and after that experience, I wish I had more time to learn and look at houses and all that, because happy as I am with the results, some I would do different today.
    It's called learning from experience.

    I hope more chime in and you can learn from THEIR experiences.

    Developing some land is so much fun, remember that and grin.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    17,535

    Default

    The best advice I ever got was from my old BO. Don't buy anything or change anything for a year except for the bare necessities plus a round pen. Boy, was she right. And the round pen can be used for so much. A quick fence repair, small paddock injury turnout, temporary gate, etc.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Sanger, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,858

    Default

    Gorgeous place!!!!!

    If DH doesn't want to mess with the warehouse, a simple addition on one end
    for a stall might work for something temporary. You could keep hay, feed and
    tack in the actual warehouse for now.

    We looked at a place here near here with no barn but a 30 x 40 outbuilding.
    My plan was to do an add on to the side (the 40 foot side). Extend the roof line far enough to allow an aisle between the side of the building and a row
    of stalls and enough roof line for an overhang. It was only a 4-acre place so
    not a lot of options for placing an actual barn somewhere else.

    If DH is willing to spring for an actual barn right soon, that might also be the way
    to go. But I'd wait until I find out what clearing the land is gonna cost. I've heard $3K to $4K in some areas. You also need to plan on giving the cleared land a season to get grass established. Perhaps your local farm bureau can help
    answer some of those questions.

    Again, stunning place...color me green! Enjoy!
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,631

    Default

    If you don't already get the GA DOA Market Bulletin, subscribe for free now: http://www.agr.georgia.gov/portal/site/AGR/

    Bet you could find someone to buy the Hard Wood rights and clear your land.

    Ditto on the above: Wait to do big/permanent changes.. see how the water flows during big rains and where it pools/creates mud, plan your future layout for paddocks, fencing, electrical outlets and water hydrants while you watch over the next few months.

    There are several good barn builders up this way that could do something small and quick to hold you until you truly know what you want.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2008
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    3,951

    Default

    WOW gorgeous place!! Makes me seriously consider moving to Georgia!!
    Good luck!!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,667

    Default

    Throw up a run-in for the ponies and run some temporary fence on the grassy bit. You don't really have to worry about weather down there.Then sit back and give some thought to how things all go down around you and how things would best be done. You have to give these things time to stew before you come up with the right answer. If you wait you'll know all the hidden springs, wildlife trails, gopher holes etc,etc. There are timber people by the dozen in that area.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2007
    Location
    Gettysburg, PA
    Posts
    2,624

    Default

    We purchased 30 acres of undeveloped land. Get to be friends with a nearby farmer. Its amazing what they can tell you about the land. They are also great resources for knowing who clears land and can help you get pastures in. The pastures will need a year (maybe less with your longer growing season) to get established with a good root system before horses. Get in the house and figure out what flow/views you want and will work with the drainage - how close do you want the barn, what would be good access for deliveries, where to put pastures. Congrats and good luck
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Sport horses

    Join us on Facebook



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,539

    Default

    Congrats! Pretty place. No advice on the land, but to remove old wallpaper (if you plan on doing that), a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water works great. Score the walls with a 'paper tiger" wallpaper scorer, then spray on, wait one minute or so then remove.

    PS- I'd also paint the wall above the fireplace mantle, a darker color (like dark taupe or sage) and it will really make the FP a focal point, and make the mantle stand out.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2005
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii until we return to the Appling, Ga farm.
    Posts
    914

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    If you have a top competitive horse and GP is that, they really should be in a top competitive stable, with that kind of care, management and training that will help your horse stay at that level.

    Keeping the horses in your backyard generally is adequate for the retired or less competitive horses, but doesn't really will give you the edge you need to stay at the top.
    I would not resent the money spent on keeping your horse where he is managed best.

    As for developing land, spend as long as you can on the drawing board, because that will pay in satisfaction later, not wishing you had known this or that or done something different, especially if this is your first time around.

    I build my house five years ago, had six months to learn about houses and find a builder and arrange all I had to prepare before.
    I had built barns and improvements, but never built a house and after that experience, I wish I had more time to learn and look at houses and all that, because happy as I am with the results, some I would do different today.
    It's called learning from experience.

    I hope more chime in and you can learn from THEIR experiences.

    Developing some land is so much fun, remember that and grin.
    ahhh, Bluey...you are right about the horse. Dammit! Unfortunately, round here, there is not much by way of "top quality" anything. pretty much all the grand prix/top dressage riders have less than adequate facilities, but all make it work with what they have. I have a feeling mine will be so much nicer once I sink the money into it. I mean, the place donnie is now..is nothing I would brag about, BUT, my trainer know how to manage her horses on the place she has...which is practically falling apart. You would never see us at a show and imagine the horses' digs for what they are. But yeah, I see your point. I am just trying to save when I need to by having a nice place if I need to bank some money and bring the giant devil home.
    "Lose your temper, lose your horse" -someone wise enough to know better than to pick a fight with a 1200 lb animal that could launch you to the moon.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2005
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii until we return to the Appling, Ga farm.
    Posts
    914

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    Congrats! Pretty place. No advice on the land, but to remove old wallpaper (if you plan on doing that), a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water works great. Score the walls with a 'paper tiger" wallpaper scorer, then spray on, wait one minute or so then remove.

    PS- I'd also paint the wall above the fireplace mantle, a darker color (like dark taupe or sage) and it will really make the FP a focal point, and make the mantle stand out.
    OMG JETS MOM! we must have the same taste! Believe it or not, that wallpaper is new! YUCK! Its in the contract: OFF IT GOES before we CLOSE!

    Oh God I love your idea about the fireplace! NEVER would have thought of that on my own! Any more suggestions???
    "Lose your temper, lose your horse" -someone wise enough to know better than to pick a fight with a 1200 lb animal that could launch you to the moon.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,199

    Default

    Leave some trees for shade, preferably in a little clump. My entire back pasture is cleared, and I wish there were a couple trees. The shade is much better under a tree than under the run-in.

    And definitely go slowly with regard to building a barn. See if hubby will let you put up stalls in half the warehouse for now, and then take the time to clear some land and figure out where you want your barn and what features you want.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2005
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii until we return to the Appling, Ga farm.
    Posts
    914

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BasqueMom View Post
    Gorgeous place!!!!!

    If DH doesn't want to mess with the warehouse, a simple addition on one end
    for a stall might work for something temporary. You could keep hay, feed and
    tack in the actual warehouse for now.

    We looked at a place here near here with no barn but a 30 x 40 outbuilding.
    My plan was to do an add on to the side (the 40 foot side). Extend the roof line far enough to allow an aisle between the side of the building and a row
    of stalls and enough roof line for an overhang. It was only a 4-acre place so
    not a lot of options for placing an actual barn somewhere else.

    If DH is willing to spring for an actual barn right soon, that might also be the way
    to go. But I'd wait until I find out what clearing the land is gonna cost. I've heard $3K to $4K in some areas. You also need to plan on giving the cleared land a season to get grass established. Perhaps your local farm bureau can help
    answer some of those questions.

    Again, stunning place...color me green! Enjoy!
    I forgot to add...on the back of that warehouse is a huge all pressure treated boards awning....kind of like a barn breezeway with enough clearance for 4 stalls. I thought about doing that too
    "Lose your temper, lose your horse" -someone wise enough to know better than to pick a fight with a 1200 lb animal that could launch you to the moon.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
    Posts
    2,801

    Default

    Pretty place. I hate the heat, but I love the breezy, open style of housing in warm climates. Totally unhorse-related, but one factor that stands out to me is - do you want to maintain the somewhat gorgeous grass around the pool? If you know yourself (as I know myself) and you have no intention of pursuing grassly perfection, better to make a plan now and turn that area into something less labor/cash-intensive.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill and Southern Pines, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,412

    Default

    congratulations! I think that is a great location - Aiken up the road, Conyers down the road. Have fun (I have no advice other than I agree the WP is yucksville and like the idea re the color around the FP)

    Have a blast and again, congratulations!!!
    "Her life was okay. Sometimes she wished she were sleeping with the right man instead of with her dog, but she never felt she was sleeping with the wrong dog."



    www.dontlookbackfarm.com



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2005
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    930

    Default

    As far as all of the timber goes you should place an ad on craigslist asking for a portable saw mill and operator. Offer to split the timber with whoever is willing to come out. The only problem is that many operators would want the trees dropped and cut into sections first.

    For our place we contacted a timber company and they came and took what they wanted and wrote us a check. They took mainly mature pine. They wanted the cypress but we wouldn't let them go.

    Another person I remember bought about $50,000 worth of equipment. Spent a year clearing the land themselves and then sold the equipment for the exact same amount.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. How exciting to be starting fresh!!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 1999
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    6,221

    Default

    We bought and cleared land in GA. Not to be a Debby Downer, but it was 1000X harder and more expensive than we ever imagined. As far as selling the trees, well, we thought that too, but the bottom line is that guys who remove trees want you to pay for the removal and then they go sell them on the side for extra $$$$. That is how they make their money. Unless you have the heavy equipment required to take down and haul dozens of trees to a mill, then you are at their mercy. They won't pay you. You will pay them.

    The soil over by me is red clay. Good luck getting grass to grow. We are on 4 years and still are in an up hill battle. It's so rough. Basically, soil that is geared to grow trees is not even close to the kind of soil that you need to grow grass, so you need to change the soil (fertilizers and lots of lime) and that isn't easy.

    I was told to not let the horses on it for at least 2 years. I didn't listen and I am sure that is why we are still having issues now. I agree with all that said to go slow and live on the property for a while. We spent a total of about $60,000 on clearing almost 3 acres, building a 1 stall/ 24X24 barn (w/o water or electric), seeding, fertilizing, fencing 3 large turnouts, etc and it still isn't even close to wear we want it to be.

    It was such a huge project.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2005
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii until we return to the Appling, Ga farm.
    Posts
    914

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Pretty place. I hate the heat, but I love the breezy, open style of housing in warm climates. Totally unhorse-related, but one factor that stands out to me is - do you want to maintain the somewhat gorgeous grass around the pool? If you know yourself (as I know myself) and you have no intention of pursuing grassly perfection, better to make a plan now and turn that area into something less labor/cash-intensive.
    Sore point there. The hubby wants to get all the sod up, re use it elsewhere, and put in a brick patio.
    "Lose your temper, lose your horse" -someone wise enough to know better than to pick a fight with a 1200 lb animal that could launch you to the moon.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2005
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii until we return to the Appling, Ga farm.
    Posts
    914

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Just My Style View Post
    We bought and cleared land in GA. Not to be a Debby Downer, but it was 1000X harder and more expensive than we ever imagined. As far as selling the trees, well, we thought that too, but the bottom line is that guys who remove trees want you to pay for the removal and then they go sell them on the side for extra $$$$. That is how they make their money. Unless you have the heavy equipment required to take down and haul dozens of trees to a mill, then you are at their mercy. They won't pay you. You will pay them.

    The soil over by me is red clay. Good luck getting grass to grow. We are on 4 years and still are in an up hill battle. It's so rough. Basically, soil that is geared to grow trees is not even close to the kind of soil that you need to grow grass, so you need to change the soil (fertilizers and lots of lime) and that isn't easy.

    I was told to not let the horses on it for at least 2 years. I didn't listen and I am sure that is why we are still having issues now. I agree with all that said to go slow and live on the property for a while. We spent a total of about $60,000 on clearing almost 3 acres, building a 1 stall/ 24X24 barn (w/o water or electric), seeding, fertilizing, fencing 3 large turnouts, etc and it still isn't even close to wear we want it to be.

    It was such a huge project.

    yuck. I was afraid of that. The good news...I still plan on boarding anyway...but in the near future, it would be nice to have a place suitable. there is a huge area that is cleared...I guess its a start. I am pretty used to maintaining horses on dry lots and putting out round bales....A horse of his caliber probably won't be able to come to my little backyard barn anytime soon. DammiT! Anyone want to buy a grand prix swedish warmblood with donnerhall lines? I am thinking a quarter horse is more my style now
    "Lose your temper, lose your horse" -someone wise enough to know better than to pick a fight with a 1200 lb animal that could launch you to the moon.



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