I can't stand to watch House Hunters or any of those anymore, I like to watch the International version though. That's a good serving of humble pie for most American Princes and Princesses. If I see another stainless steel appliance next to a granite counter top I think I'll hurl. They all look they same and they aren't that nice. They break dishes on a dime and show fingerprints forever. I hate the cookie cutter house that "we simply MUST have or this house is a total tear down!" Give me an old farmhouse with good grass pastures and solid fences any day. I'll take the character, the history, and the water rights over freaking granite counter tops all day long.
You'd think horse properties would be cheap in Iowa, right? Here are two within 10 miles from me priced at >$1mil. Neither one blows me away, either. (but hey, the more they sell for, the better my home value looks, right? )
This first one has pretty white PVC fencing throughout, but the barn is teeny-tiny. I think it's more of an equipment shed if anything. http://iowacityareamls.com/SearchPoi...ICAAR-R&_lid=0
You can, of course get fixerupper places like what we got in 2001. And outside of the populated areas, you can get an acreage pretty cheap. (But going up every year-- with crop prices the way they have been, land values here have climbed 35% over the last 5 years.)
I dig on the old, well-built farm house. But that sucker had better have insulation. Is that too much to ask? After all, you want genuine heat after coming in cold from working on your farm.
Our current house has no insulation. Nada. Empty gaps in between the studs, built in 1910 in NW Montana. There was some theory floating around back then that empty air could be insulation! LOL seriously. So it's cold in here a lot but we have two wood stoves and it's small and when we come in from outside the fires are going and nothing heats you up faster than a red hot wood stove.
We have no other source of heat-just the wood stove. If we're cold, we keep the fire going. I also only cook on a wood cook stove in the winter... it's already hot, might as well use it...
Not saying it's always a good time but I still lean toward land and water more than creature comforts. Like insulation.
LB-never assume a property will sell, even if it says Pending or Under Contract. Not all sales happen, and you never give up until it closes. And lately we've had houses around here sell, and a few months later the new owner is trying to get rid of them.
I would stay exactly where I am, just buy more land around me. Maybe asphalt the main driveway. Build a better barn LOL, and clear more pasture. I'm pretty happy with my open floorplan, concrete counters, and stainless appliances. No one else has to like it- so long as I'm paying for it, only my (and DH) opinion really matters
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)
If people ever look for something not too fancy, I have seen farms for sale in Wisconsin with indoors for under 300k. A foreclosure sold one near me for ~220k or so and it had an indoor and a heated attached barn with 9 stalls. Wrong time for me.
This is the place I am boarding at now... The pictures don't really show enough of it. Unfortunately there is no residence, and it is by no means worth that price in this market. But you can't beat the location.
I'm looking right now in PA. We need an awesome school district (www.greatschools.com rated 8 or better), reasonable proximity to Bethlehem PA (for semi-weekly commute, so it doesn't have to be an hour, but not more than two), 100 acres+, totally private drive to either house or building lot and great views - with no neighbors in them.