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Snowbirds with Farms

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  • Snowbirds with Farms

    How do you manage your farm when you are only there for 4-5 months in the winter? Do you use a property management company to look after things? or try to rent the place in the off seasson?
    So many things can go wrong on a farm, even a small one, that I don't see its possible just closing the place up and hoping for the best. All ideas welcome.

  • #2
    Friends I know who do this (with a mini-farm - just a few acres) have a groundskeeper.

    I wouldn't want to trust it to a renter.


    • #3
      A friend here in Ocala hires someone to mow it regularly, and he looks after it in general, alerting her when things need to be done (tree fell on fence, etc).


      • #4
        The barn owner at my farm spends the winters in AZ. We have a barn manager who takes care of the property. The owner calls/emails regularly and her son and his family live adjacent to the farm if there's an emergency. It's worked out well over the years. The key is having good help and good boarders.


        • #5
          My friend the snow bird took her horses down south to train with her. But I introduced her to my other friend, who is house sitting for snowbird friend and taking care of her farm cats. They are back periodically for things. I think it is going well.

          They did hire out the snow removal, I assume because they didn't feel comfortable having house sitter run their lovely equipment and thought it would just be easier. They have a very long driveway.
          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


          • #6
            I think it is doable. I know several folks that do this and love coming down to Aiken for part of the year.

            It depends on the property on how you can work it out. Having a property management person would be good if you weren't around much or a barn manager with boarders.
            Fine Equine Art http://www.marcycriner.com


            • #7
              Not a snowbird - but if we did decide to keep the Fla property (when we move north next year) I'd use my retired neighbor - he could use some extra money, he's reliable, and he's right there if an issue arises. He'll cost a lot less than a property manager too.
              Now in Kentucky


              • #8
                many people in Southern Pines either rent them out, or rent the barn out in exchange for someone looking after the house.


                • #9
                  We're not snowbirds (yet... ) but we have a farmer who works the fields, and a company that plows our driveway so we can get in. It's a pretty low maintenance place, otherwise. We have wonderful neighbors, too.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for all the replies. Here's the deal, the property is in FL. It would be empty 5-6 months out of the year. That would be the heavy growing season. Currently there is a guy who mows the fields, and a guy who mows the grass, and a guy who does the irrigation, another for landscaping... etc. Heavy maintenence to say the least. We've been thinking about a farm manager, if we could find such a beast, but we were just wondering how others handle it. A retired person would be ideal. But we're also concerned about reliability of others. Obviously we would not know if they quit, unless a neighbor were to alert us. Just wanted to see how others handled it. Nothern farm is not an issue.


                    • #11
                      I've been following this thread and am seriously considering looking for a place out of the snow belt from Dec to March. This winter is really the pits and those of us where I am don't have it anywhere as bad as a lot of places.

                      bkkone, your place looks absolutely gorgeous. I wish I were ready to sell here and buy further south but once I sell here, I'm done with a farm. Heck, I figure I'll be ready for an assisted living facility.

                      If I do decide to seriously look, it may be in Aiken as my trainer goes down there from the end of Jan usually through March.

                      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by msj View Post
                        bkkone, your place looks absolutely gorgeous. I wish I were ready to sell here and buy further south but once I sell here, I'm done with a farm. Heck, I figure I'll be ready for an assisted living facility.

                        If I do decide to seriously look, it may be in Aiken as my trainer goes down there from the end of Jan usually through March.
                        Thanks msj. I do love this place. I think a good option in Aiken is to get a cute little house downtown or a condo. I saw a condo advertised very close to Hitchcock Woods for like 100k. Small but hey small has it's charms too. Best of luck with the winter. It's sunny and almost 70F here today in Aiken...
                        Fine Equine Art http://www.marcycriner.com