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  • #61
    Originally posted by wisteria View Post

    I hadn't thought about the issue with two horses. I thought one would be lonely, and my daughter also rides, so thought it would be nice to have a companion to ride with as well as having a friend for horse #1. I don't know how often she could get by, though, so maybe just one will be okay.
    Occasionally a horse does fine, or even prefers, to be alone. But in general, they are social creatures who do best with a herd. Two is a herd but then they’re each other’s only company - if you have three or four, there’s always two or more left when you take one away.

    The companions don’t have to be full size horses, but if you go with ponies, miniature horses, donkeys, goats, etc., they often need to be restricted from grass, so then you’re looking at needing to keep the herd on a dry lot for some part of the year.

    Comment


    • #62
      OP, with that location, I would absolutely go for it! LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.

      Also, you will have no problem getting a couple of boarders with that location as well, if you want more horses to address the barn sour issue without the expense of owning them, and if you don't mind someone around sometimes. Also it can mean you have built-in horse sitters when you travel, and riding buddies. Choose very carefully, though!

      The price is already good but I don't doubt you can get it lower with the history.

      I think the house is cute as a button from the outside.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #63
        Originally posted by Redlei44 View Post
        Two horses can be a tough number, OP - greater chance of not being able to leave the property (or even just the field) with one of them without causing major upset. If you did end up with three or four, then having the 10 acre field would be nice. It’s a good amount of fence to repair and then maintain, and a good amount of mowing, but mud and manure control will be much easier than on smaller acreage. Might be good to get a rough cost estimate to repair that fencing. It would be a bummer to think you just needed to repaint some boards but actually need to replace 30% of the posts.

        I’m not actually sure of your specific concern regarding the size of the barn, after reading that you plan to turn a good part of it into a workshop anyway? Yes, you’ll still have “too many” stalls, and if you are particular about cobwebs and dust, it could be an every day chore to keep it sparkling. Only you can know how much that will bother you!

        If this is your “forever” property, or at least you’d expect to have to stay long enough to make the needed substantial improvements, I think you’ll be able to sell it (though not make back all the money you put in) in the future despite the crime history. Count me among those who wouldn’t be bothered by it.

        ETA: The location does look excellent on the map. What is it, like 20 min to downtown Richmond? You mention not being able to find close-in horse properties for sale. To each their own, of course, but as a fellow suburban/urban Virginian, I would not expect to be able to find (good, affordable) horse property anywhere “near” civilization. It’s definitely a trade off I would assume I’d have to make barring extreme luck and coincidence - horse property, or location within 45-60 minutes of civilization. That might be encouragement to expand your radius, or jump on this one, not sure!
        Yes, the location is excellent, probably a little more than 20 minutes commute. There are plenty of nice properties just west of me which would be perfect, but they just don't come up for sale. I noticed one in the MLS even closer in, 30 acres, for $450,000, but it never actually came on the market. Listing agent was selling agent and 0 days on the market, which tells me they ran the sale through their broker's office but was a deal probably already worked out before it even showed up. That seems to happen a lot. The ones with large acres and smallish house with nice facilities are few and far between or are far out or are pricey. If there was a large tract that got subdivided, there is a tiny little house on a couple of acres close to the road, with a driveway to the back of the larger part of the property with a mcmansion on it and they are asking 650 to over a million, depending. Then you have that little house sitting right in front of you to look at the back of and all their junk sitting out. It has really been tough! Another poster here in my area said she looked for years. I haven't been looking that long, maybe 6 months, so maybe it just need to wait and see what the spring market brings? This one fits a lot of what I am looking for, but there are so many questions, starting with the ponds and what is going on there and all that wood fencing and of course the barn, but you can't change location or topography very easily, and this one has that going for it.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #64
          Originally posted by Bluey View Post

          With all you like about that farm, maybe try not to give what you don't like in the barn too much importance, it seems minor.

          As a barn for horses today, it has many faults, but it looks to have lovely lumber.
          If you can't do something with it, you may be able to sell for the lumber itself.
          Then build what you need, that would be minimal for one or three horses.

          Maybe make the old pro/con list of it all and see what you can do with that?
          Thank you Bluey, I think that might be a good idea regarding selling the lumber. Old barn wood is not cheap, so maybe it could help fund the new barn, which would be more appropriate for my needs. I think we need to go take another hard look at the property and then do a list like you suggested.

          Comment


          • #65
            I purchased a horse farm a year ago that had 10 acres, 19 stalls, two barns, and an indoor arena. The property originally had 30 acres and I don't think you could hold as many horses anymore and keep the grass. When we looked at it the barns were in very nice shape as well as the fencing. The house had 6 inches of water in the basement, and the septic system was broken. Horse people couldn't get financing due to the value being in the barns which didn't appraise well so we were able to get a good price because I had financing.

            At the time I owned one horse. I borrowed 2 from my barn manager. I later acquired one more. I think that 4 is ideal if you want to take 2 off the property at a time. 3 is ideal if you only want to take one off.

            It was priced VERY LOW due to the basement and the location, it was 40 minutes to the east of downtown, while the horsey trendy areas were all 40 minutes north of downtown.

            What I can say is the mowing and repairs are what will kill you. We spent A LOT of time mowing things that we aren't haying. We also have issues with the property flooding from some issues up land from us, and the people who built the arena didn't build it up high enough so the stall area floods during heavy rain. Also, that's a lot of fencing to repair. Ours was in good shape, but think of things like fencing, gravel, roofs, plumbing, the arena, etc. How much money do you have? It's a lot of upkeep. It would be a nice place to repair and board.
            http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #66
              The house to me looks like a cheaply put together thing that's been rode hard and put up wet. There's a shed-load of stuff to fix there...starting with the presumably broken sliding back door/aka water damage.

              Yes you can and should sell that barn wood from the stalls you don't need.to open up that space and reconfigure how you use it.

              I would take out many of those smaller paddocks unless you see yourself rotating horses in/out. that will simplify mowing and trimming, which you will do a lot of

              Get a donkey as a companion. We happily have three horses and a donkey. Donkey wears a grazing muzzle as needed.

              There's a lot to consider!

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by wisteria View Post
                From an investment perspective, it is a good buy, and we would plan on staying for years. Fixed up the way I see it in my mind, we would do very well on it if we had to resell if people weren't scared off by the history.
                I, too, buy any real estate with an eye kept on the math of it all.

                What kind of buyer (and when) will have to come along in order for you to get the return on this farm that you'd like?

                Do you mean you'd sell it to a developer? You'd subdivide it into a series of smaller hobby farms and sell off those parcels one at a time? You'd sell this big one as a commercial stable?

                I would not consider this an investment if your plan is the last one. I think the average commercial boarding barn took a real hit in the 2008 recession. I think that market has had a hard time coming back and, I think, it will continue to be a tough kind of real estate to sell. But I hope I am wrong and that in your VA market, there is a somewhat constant demand for a farm of this size and (fixed up) quality.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • #68
                  I think an attempted body disposal at the back of the property would be something that more people would overlook, compared to an actual murder being committed inside the house.

                  I actually like the property and think that's an excellent price. I would be interested if I was looking for property in that area. The color of that small pond was the only thing that that jumped out at me as a potential red flag. I'd definitely want to test the well water.

                  The barn and fences seem to be pretty solid. They just look run down because of overgrown grass/weeds, and peeling paint on the fence. The house looks kind of weird, but without seeing inside, I can't say for sure. That's a pretty nice treehouse, though.

                  As far as sweeping/cobwebbing, etc, I think if you keep your horses at one end of the barn, then use a couple of nearby stalls for supplies/shavings, you can get away with only sweeping the used end of the barn on a regular basis and maybe do the rest of the space twice a year or so.

                  ETA: After reading about the crimes, one article said he tried to burn the body on a neighboring property, for what that's worth. However, when I went to google maps to see how far the wife's new place was from his, I found a big red flag for this property, at least for me. Just through the woods from the barn, there appears to be a dirt bike track. Occasional dirt bike sounds wouldn't be too bad, but if it's something that goes on all the time, it would drive me nuts. That would be something I'd want to find out more about.
                  Last edited by Mango20; Feb. 14, 2020, 12:06 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by wisteria View Post
                    Thanks TMares! I didn't know there would be a market for the stalls. I think this would work out! Much easier to maintain the open areas, and this property will definitely need some equipment to keep it up. Let me ask this - would it bother anyone here that a murderer lived on the property prior and that he burned his victim out on the back of this land? I've gotten mixed reactions from friends when I tell them this little piece of info. It really doesn't bother me, but if we ever have to sell, I am wondering if it would be a major drawback. I have the feeling that is one of the reasons it is not selling and is currently below market.
                    We were in a similar situation a few years ago. We had looked through a property and scheduled a second walk through. Our real estate agent stopped us in the driveway On the second walkthrough trip before we even got in the house. He mentioned that as he was leaving the office, a coworker commented that the house was “the house”. The house? Yes, the house with the mob hit. They tied the guy up in the garage and killed him. We still did our second walkthrough (paying careful attention to the freshly painted garage) and noodled on this for two weeks. We had our realtor pull several other comps of these “estate homes”. The realtor kept an internal repository as there’s no way in Pa to look up whether or not a house had a prior crime. He knew of a few houses in the area.

                    in the end, it was too public a crime and I had a small child going into kindergarten. All I could imagine was the kids at school teasing him and scaring the bajesus out of him. After all, they never caught the killers.

                    its a personal choice but man...that property looks like a ton of work to get back in shape. Pretty lot through.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #70
                      Originally posted by mvp View Post

                      I, too, buy any real estate with an eye kept on the math of it all.

                      What kind of buyer (and when) will have to come along in order for you to get the return on this farm that you'd like?

                      Do you mean you'd sell it to a developer? You'd subdivide it into a series of smaller hobby farms and sell off those parcels one at a time? You'd sell this big one as a commercial stable?

                      I would not consider this an investment if your plan is the last one. I think the average commercial boarding barn took a real hit in the 2008 recession. I think that market has had a hard time coming back and, I think, it will continue to be a tough kind of real estate to sell. But I hope I am wrong and that in your VA market, there is a somewhat constant demand for a farm of this size and (fixed up) quality.
                      No, it would not be my intent to buy it to sell. This would be a property I would stay on, but you never know what might happen, so you always need an exit. This one needs a lot of work, so I was weighing the pros and cons from an investment perspective in case I had to sell, and if I buy at the right price, then it is a good investment. There is a saying in real estate investing that has proven true for me time and time again - you make your money when you buy. My husband is healthy, but if something happened to him, no way I could manage the grass and fencing by myself. My question for myself, would I lose money after it is fixed up if I had to sell? My numbers say I'm clear.

                      The property wouldn't be the best property to subdivide since the back portion of the land is in a flood plain. Part of it's value or maybe I should say desirability is that it is is a large parcel that is still intact that is close in to town and in a very desirable school district. The house is junk, but it can always be taken down to the studs and redone. I don't think there is a much value in returning the large barn it to a boarding barn. The fencing isn't configured in a way that makes that easy nor can you add fencing because of the flood plain and I just don't think the market is that strong in this area because there are a couple of very large boarding facilities in the vicinity with all the amenities you could want. The barn would be converted into stable, hobby space, storage, and workshop.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #71
                        Originally posted by Mango20 View Post
                        I think an attempted body disposal at the back of the property would be something that more people would overlook, compared to an actual murder being committed inside the house.

                        I actually like the property and think that's an excellent price. I would be interested if I was looking for property in that area. The color of that small pond was the only thing that that jumped out at me as a potential red flag. I'd definitely want to test the well water.

                        The barn and fences seem to be pretty solid. They just look run down because of overgrown grass/weeds, and peeling paint on the fence. The house looks kind of weird, but without seeing inside, I can't say for sure. That's a pretty nice treehouse, though.

                        As far as sweeping/cobwebbing, etc, I think if you keep your horses at one end of the barn, then use a couple of nearby stalls for supplies/shavings, you can get away with only sweeping the used end of the barn on a regular basis and maybe do the rest of the space twice a year or so.

                        ETA: After reading about the crimes, one article said he tried to burn the body on a neighboring property, for what that's worth. However, when I went to google maps to see how far the wife's new place was from his, I found a big red flag for this property, at least for me. Just through the woods from the barn, there appears to be a dirt bike track. Occasional dirt bike sounds wouldn't be too bad, but if it's something that goes on all the time, it would drive me nuts. That would be something I'd want to find out more about.
                        Yes, the pond is something that will need to be investigated. I don't know why it is such a bright green color in the pictures. In person, it looks like the same pond scum we have seen on several other properties we have looked at, and IRL it doesn't even cover the entire surface the way it appears to in the pics. I first saw the property days after it hit the market, so it's not things could have changed that drastically in a week or so unless maybe they put some sort of additive in it?? An inspection with a specialist should shed some light on that. The infrastructure except for that ratty garage all seem pretty sound. Everything is absolutely filthy and I can't tell you how many dumpsters we would need to clear all of the literal garbage off of this property. Before I knew the history, I thought squatters had taken over the place, lol. It is a real mess. Creepy how I found a bunch of shot up cans and things out behind the barn. You're right, rundown is a good word for it. I haven't heard any dirt bikes on a few visits to the property. It looks like a private track behind a big house, so hopefully it's just a hobby track.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #72
                          Originally posted by JKTaLu View Post

                          We were in a similar situation a few years ago. We had looked through a property and scheduled a second walk through. Our real estate agent stopped us in the driveway On the second walkthrough trip before we even got in the house. He mentioned that as he was leaving the office, a coworker commented that the house was “the house”. The house? Yes, the house with the mob hit. They tied the guy up in the garage and killed him. We still did our second walkthrough (paying careful attention to the freshly painted garage) and noodled on this for two weeks. We had our realtor pull several other comps of these “estate homes”. The realtor kept an internal repository as there’s no way in Pa to look up whether or not a house had a prior crime. He knew of a few houses in the area.

                          in the end, it was too public a crime and I had a small child going into kindergarten. All I could imagine was the kids at school teasing him and scaring the bajesus out of him. After all, they never caught the killers.

                          its a personal choice but man...that property looks like a ton of work to get back in shape. Pretty lot through.
                          JKTaLu, wow interesting story. I don't think that would deter me without kids, but I know what you mean about how other kids can be, so I probably would have passed as well. Most people around here know the story, but they may not know the exact address of where he took the body. With the majority saying it wouldn't bother them, I think that is not a major consideration for me, although I'm sure some would be hesitant to proceed if they knew.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #73
                            Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                            I purchased a horse farm a year ago that had 10 acres, 19 stalls, two barns, and an indoor arena. The property originally had 30 acres and I don't think you could hold as many horses anymore and keep the grass. When we looked at it the barns were in very nice shape as well as the fencing. The house had 6 inches of water in the basement, and the septic system was broken. Horse people couldn't get financing due to the value being in the barns which didn't appraise well so we were able to get a good price because I had financing.

                            At the time I owned one horse. I borrowed 2 from my barn manager. I later acquired one more. I think that 4 is ideal if you want to take 2 off the property at a time. 3 is ideal if you only want to take one off.

                            It was priced VERY LOW due to the basement and the location, it was 40 minutes to the east of downtown, while the horsey trendy areas were all 40 minutes north of downtown.

                            What I can say is the mowing and repairs are what will kill you. We spent A LOT of time mowing things that we aren't haying. We also have issues with the property flooding from some issues up land from us, and the people who built the arena didn't build it up high enough so the stall area floods during heavy rain. Also, that's a lot of fencing to repair. Ours was in good shape, but think of things like fencing, gravel, roofs, plumbing, the arena, etc. How much money do you have? It's a lot of upkeep. It would be a nice place to repair and board.
                            The biggest deterrents for my husband aren't the amount of work and clean up the place needs, it's the ongoing fence maintenance and especially MOWING, lol!

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Keep looking for a more manageable and happy property.

                              * btw this one isn’t going to sell quickly
                              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by wisteria View Post
                                Do you think two horses with the amount of pastures that are there will turn it muddy? I was thinking there would be enough fenced land that I could rotate them around to keep it from getting too bare and boggy. My husband is more worried that two horses won't be enough to keep the grass somewhat at bay.

                                What do you think having an aquatic specialist come evaluate the pond would run?
                                I don't think rotation has that much effect on muddiness, since horse hooves are pretty sharp, it's more about whether pastures are used while they are wet. If there is a higher area that can be used as sacrifice area, that will allow lower/wetter/more vulnerable pastures to be "saved" for when they are dry. This is what I do for my lower pasture (the wet areas are also generally horsefly infested in summer, since those large biting flies breed in water, so that pasture just gets less use anyway).

                                As for evaluation of the pond, that will vary by state. Most state ag departments will have free or low-cost soil & water testing services available to get a basic profile. I would look up VA Dept of Ag as a start & that should guide you to the appropriate contacts who can advise you on details. There are many, many kinds of algae & cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in the world, some are harmful, some are not. Ponds are also sometimes dyed to reduce light penetration in an attempt to control algal growth -- that pond did not look like the normal color dyes I usually see, but who knows with photos.

                                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Have another look at the satellite view. Your neighbour (just beyond tree line from barn) appears to have an extremely large, and very well used dirt bike track. That on top of the roof issues (both house and barn) general wetness of this and surrounding properties (again check those satellite pictures) and the general state of disrepair would make it a no go for me.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by paintedpony View Post
                                    Have another look at the satellite view. Your neighbour (just beyond tree line from barn) appears to have an extremely large, and very well used dirt bike track. That on top of the roof issues (both house and barn) general wetness of this and surrounding properties (again check those satellite pictures) and the general state of disrepair would make it a no go for me.
                                    expand out some to find the four boarding stables within a mile, two east, one north, one southwest

                                    My wondering question then becomes you have all these people boarding horses nearby why has not one of those boarders jumped in to by the place since they are paying for board that would most likely equal or exceed the mortgage payment ??

                                    Usually a horse property is isolated but this one would have had maybe a hundred horse people boarding near by.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      You have doubts, so it's not for you I think.

                                      If it was the right place, you probably wouldn't be here asking other people's opinions. It just seems like a huge money pit, eating up your time and money when you can be enjoying a smaller place with your horses nearby instead.

                                      Just my $.02

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Others have said everything I would think, use some of the barn for storage, hay your fields, use some of the barn for an indoor maybe! Also about that pond, it looks like it just has no airation (sp?). Or they dug it and the soil does not hold water all the time, so it gets low and mucks and algeas up and then fills more during wet times.

                                        You can always drain it and fill it in, or fence it off and consider it somewhere for water to run to and percolate thru the soil during wet times. Or get it dredged and inspected, put some of the clay powder stuff, pond people know what it is, in to help it from leaking, and then use it again.

                                        Fence cqn be repaired or changed out, barn you can pay a boyscout troop or some teens to decobweb 1 to 2x a yr for you, a blower will clean the aisle if you put down mats. I could not tell if it was concreted already or has power, there are always battery ones.

                                        And the shot cans...it IS THE SOUTH lol. I am in east tn, it would not surprise me in the least. Big thing would be perimeter fencing, no tresspassing signs, and maybe a trail cam or two.

                                        BUY IT AND START A BLOG SO WE CAN ALL FOLLOW ALONG WITH YOU!!!!!!

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #80
                                          UPDATE: The property is pending as of this morning. Seems like we first saw it a long time ago since we have been back several times and seen other things in between, but the DOM was 30. The amount of land in that location make is pretty desirable, even with the faults. We are back in the hunt....

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