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Update.Looking at an acreage!...Well I looked.

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  • Update.Looking at an acreage!...Well I looked.

    We have offices in two towns and an acreage has come up for sale on a highway inbetween and I made an appt. to go see it. I'm a bit giddy right now. It costs about 10k less than my house in the "city" was to buy (and I think we can get a tad more) and that's because it is an OLD 1111 sq ft house with a single detached garage that hasn't been updated since 1950 when the 1920's house was moved to the farmsite. But through my folks I know the elderly lady who is moving off the property would have kept it clean and tidy. My issue is that my husband has said he will move to the country only if the house is as nice or nicer than our home (which is much larger and nicer than this place is)...eeeesh. Usually that means an acreage that costs at least double what our house does.

    This place comes with rural water, one little shed, the detached one car garage and a nice mature shelterbelt on the north and west sides. Approx. one acre (looks like more) but there is "additional land available." We'd need a snowblower for sure, but the drive isn't tremendous. The trees sep. the house from the highway. House is in the middle of the "acre".

    Ok, so my questions. Assume I buy additional bare farm land--how much more do I need? I will NOT grow my own hay, but want to eventually have a 6 stall (or to be exact, a 4 12x12 stall, wash stall and tack room) barn, sacrifice paddock, 2 grass paddocks for lets say a maximum of 3 geldings and 3 mares (plan is no more than three, but you know how that goes). Also room for a 200' x 200' arena (future indoor outdoor if I want). That's it. I don't want to do a bunch of mowing. I don't want dirt lot pastures either (well except the sacrifice paddock). This is good midwestern farm land, btw.

    So can you guys help me out--how much land for the above? Assume all house stuff (garages, toy storage, etc.) will fit on the acre that the house and shelter belt sits on.

    It's fun to dream.

    Also, what do I need to look out for in this house? I bet the wiring is outdated...
    Last edited by TrotTrotPumpkn; Dec. 7, 2009, 03:37 PM.
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Ideally, 2 acres per horse will give you plenty of grazing with room for rotating pastures. Minimally, I'd want 1 acre per horse or you'll end up with little to no pastures absent only the very best pasture management. Add in another 1-2 acres for barn and arenas depending on how you lay out your farm.

    Definitely have the house fully inspected before you buy - wiring, roofing, heat/AC system, foundation, etc. All of these can be of concern in an older house and can definitely hurt the pocketbook with unexpected expenses if you're not fully informed of what you're buying.

    good luck!!
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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    • #3
      The first half of your post was discussing just the acre that the house is sitting on, and I was about to say "Ohh, sweetie, an acre isn't ACREAGE."

      I too, like the poster above me, would stick with the two acres per horse rule. My three boys go out on a five acre field all summer (well, actually it's split into two fields and they swap every other week or so) and they have it pretty much beat by the end of the warm period. My sacrifice area is about an acre, and there's not a chance of anything growing in there, obviously.

      So if you want six horses, I'd go with twelve acres...plus a little more for your ring and whatnot. You don't have to use all the land all the time...in fact, it would be better if you could have one or two "extra" fields that you can rotate in and out of service. So let's say you have 15 acres and the three boys go out in a group, and the three girls in another. I'd probably have three 4 acre fields (with one being rested while the other two are in use) and then with the additional three acres I'd put up a small paddock or two (for layups/new arrivals/quarentines/etc) and then fill the rest up with house/barn/storage sheds/etc.


      OBVIOUSLY it can be done with less land. It just takes better management. But, ideally, for me and six horses, 15 acres or so is about as low as I would go. But then again, I'm sitting on 90 right now and I get a little claustrophobic sometimes, so I may not be the best one to listen to!!

      Comment


      • #4
        20 acres.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with the 2 acres per horse. I have three fields and a paddock. Two fields are about 3 acres each, one is about 2 acres, and the paddock is pretty small. I have four horses on this land. They still have grass now, but I live in Kentucky I rotate among the three main fields and use the paddock as a dry lot (although it's never actually been dry).

          Expect to do a LOT of mowing. Maybe it's just here, but we need to mow about every two weeks in the spring and early summer -- not that we get around to it as often as we should, but our pastures show it

          Also, you will need a good-sized tractor, mower and harrow, which are additional costs. We often end up paying someone to mow for us, and it gets expensive.

          We have a total of 10 acres, the other 2 acres has a house, a shop with three-stalls attached (paddock is off of these), and a shed. We use a zero-turn for that mowing.

          I do not have an arena, but I think I'd be OK using the smaller field for one, but it will take valuable grazing land.

          Just be prepared -- Maintenence on the land is difficult, time-consuming and expensive. It's worth it, though!
          "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
            The first half of your post was discussing just the acre that the house is sitting on, and I was about to say "Ohh, sweetie, an acre isn't ACREAGE."

            I know that, silly.

            What I would likely do is NOT bring the horses home and rent out the bare land to the farmer for the time being so the focus is on remodeling/adding on to the house. I think that's the only way hubby will be on board.

            I don't want to get into the situation that because we brought the horses home right away nothing ever gets done. I want to take my time and build it right.

            Maybe there is some way to buy 7 acres now with an option to buy 7 more in x years?? I just think they are going to really stick it to me on the per acre cost and I won't need it until the horses come home *sigh*

            I actually only have three horses (can't all be together though) but like the flexibility of having less or more... I guess what I really don't want is to have lots of upkeep (relatively speaking--I know what it takes) and want to make this as efficient as possible in terms of equipment needs and fencing. I may never build the indoor arena...

            In fact I may only bring the retiree(s) home and keep boarding the riding horse(s) just to avoid the facility cost and upkeep.
            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              If you aren't interested in maintenance and upkeep, then I would suggest sticking with the boarding Pasture and barn maintenance is an ongoing battle.
              "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

              Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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              • #8
                Check with local ordinances to make sure there is not a minimum acreage required for the number of horses you are planning on having.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the house I bet you'll have to redo the plumbing, electrical, flooring, and I'd worry about the amount of insulation it has too. If the attic is unfinished you can take out the old insulation and do blown in later. You might have to totally gut the kitchen and baths depending on the conditions and styles. I'm sure you'll have to upgrade the electrical load, and add things like cable, phone and internet outlets. It actually might be cheaper, easier and quicker to replace the house considering the actual conditions and the cost of upgrading. On my house redoing the wiring was almost $10,000 by itself. I would also get an engineer to look at the foundation and possibilities of adding on to the house in the future. The septic and well would be a concern too. And I second what trubandloki said about acreage and zoning requirements. And make sure you get a good survey too.
                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                    Check with local ordinances to make sure there is not a minimum acreage required for the number of horses you are planning on having.
                    There is not--I checked.

                    There is no well (at least that I would use). It is hooked into the rural water system.

                    I'm bringing a contractor friend along with me.

                    If we can get by for 10 years that would be great. Our goal is to build a home in the future (regardless).

                    It may not work out either, I'll know when I go look at it and figure out the acreage cost. I appreciate all the input though!!
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One Word:

                      PerimeterFencing (ok - really 2 words)

                      2ac/horse is a great rule if you can do it.
                      On 7ac you could fence off as much of the land as possible for your pasture/barn or run-ins/arena - you said the house sits in the middle, right?
                      In hindsight I wish I'd fenced my house off and left 90% of the place as pasture. Just enough green space around the house for some flowers and small veggie garden.
                      Less mowing would be bliss.
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                      • #12
                        You can never have too much land. Really.
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        ---
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                          You can never have too much land. Really.
                          I agree. We have 15 acres. Started with two horses. Now have 5 to 6 (depending on training schedule.) That is pretty much all my property can handle. Looking to buy more adjacent property, but owner knows he has me over a barrel.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with the buy all of the acreage now. Once you buy the house and what you need now, and sometime later you decide to buy more you may not be able to for one reason or another. Or the neighbor might raise the price ridiculously high because they have you over a barrel, or they might sell and the next owner doesn't want to sell to you. Since the current house is for a limited time I would upgrade things like cable and phone by running from the outside if that is easier, and it's what I did at the beginning, unless your providers will run it through the attic or basement (most won't do attics anymore). If the house is liveable for your needs for the number of years you need it for then only do what you absolutely have to for your convenience, such as reface the kitchen and bath cabinets or paint them if they're solid. Leave existing light fixtures and such if they work, and save the fancy floors, lights, technology for the next house. And if you buy extra land and don't want it later you could probably sell it later or rent it out for hay or something. You really can't have too much land.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                              You can never have too much land. Really.
                              I agree. In Alvin/Houston, I had 5 acres and between 5 and 8 horses (you can do it, you just have to deal with lots of mud, little grass, and lots of hay feeding).

                              So when we moved to the Waco area, I doubled it. Now I really want to somehow find the money to buy the 10 acres next door. And then 15 acres on the other side.

                              You can never have enough land.
                              Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                              Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

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                              • #16
                                I agree with the others, min 2ac/horse if you really want to keep grazing grass. Also, as much as you can talk DH into letting you have. However, like empty stalls, large grassy fields seem to lead to the accumulation of horses
                                Epona Farm
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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by horsetales View Post
                                  I agree with the others, min 2ac/horse if you really want to keep grazing grass. Also, as much as you can talk DH into letting you have. However, like empty stalls, large grassy fields seem to lead to the accumulation of horses
                                  THAT is precisely my fear!!

                                  I told my husband about my little upcomming adventure and asked if he wanted to go along for the initial walk through and he reminded me he refuses to live in some "sh## hole", likes our house, and declined the trip in favor of (his already planned) pheasant hunting.

                                  Maybe therein lies the key to hubby's heart? More land = more birds

                                  Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I'm worried about a highway and my dogs getting loose/killed. Which is sort of silly, because I live a couple blocks away from a relatively main thoroughfare in the city and have no issues (although the boy did have a couple adventures in fence diving before I lined the bottom with 4x4s).
                                  DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Check zoning regulations. Horses or other livestock or agricultural uses may not even be PERMITTED on this residential lot.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                                      THAT is precisely my fear!!

                                      I told my husband about my little upcomming adventure and asked if he wanted to go along for the initial walk through and he reminded me he refuses to live in some "sh## hole", likes our house, and declined the trip in favor of (his already planned) pheasant hunting.

                                      Maybe therein lies the key to hubby's heart? More land = more birds

                                      Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I'm worried about a highway and my dogs getting loose/killed. Which is sort of silly, because I live a couple blocks away from a relatively main thoroughfare in the city and have no issues (although the boy did have a couple adventures in fence diving before I lined the bottom with 4x4s).
                                      My husband expressed almost verbatum the
                                      'sh*** hole" house"criteria and it took me almost 20 years but I found a place he intially said he would never move to...think hicks" w/ capitol "H".
                                      But a nearly 4000sq ft house on 30 acres we could afford persuaded him.
                                      So while the house is great every ammenity your husband would like...and it has barns n fencing. But we did not do the lay-out and the fencing which will be one of you single most EXPENSIVE projects is horrible.

                                      2 acres per horse is not enough you need at least 3 acres. You have to allow for drought conditions or exteme wet. Allow for double fence rows and don't dream of single line fencing you will regret not having those alley ways you mow when a horse gets hurt fighting over the fence line.
                                      Running water lines and while the ditch is open run electricto...so nice to have hated troughs in dead winter when you have to use and axe to break the frozen water.

                                      Remind your husband he can raise and release his own pheasent on your farm...and go pee in his own woods

                                      Dogs roads...invisible fencing...easy to install keeps dogs out of pastures, saves money on yard fencing makes mowing easier.

                                      Take the Hubby to a John Deere place turn him loose w/ some toys, promise a 4x6 Gator w/ electric dump cart..tell him its great for pulling deer out of YOUR woods.

                                      The house..what guy can't resist DYI..power tools, knocking down a few walls...go rent the Cary Grant video "Mr Blandings Builds a House"

                                      And Good Luck

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I keep 3 horses on 7 acres very comfortably; we also have a huge front yard that is unfortunately not easily combined with the pasture so we really only have about 6 acres total.

                                        I would like more; if it were possible I'd probably say 15-20 acres for 6 horses + farmhouse + riding arena + outbuildings, your garden, garage, etc. etc. but of course you *could* do with less if you weren't able to find the perfect property.

                                        Definitely keep looking if you don't love it and it needs a lot of construction & rehab (rehabbing house + building barn, fences, etc. etc.) Those things are expensive and time consuming, so finding a place that has at least something that doesn't have to be completely redone would be great!

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