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Relocating VA/MD, where to live?

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  • Relocating VA/MD, where to live?

    I'm going to be interviewing for a position covering the VA/MD area next week. Given a few factors, unless I really blow it, I'm almost certain I've got the job. Since it's a large territory I have the choice of living anywhere in either state. I'll be commuting to both Newport News and Baltimore and everything in between. Unfortunately, I don't know this area at all. Who better to ask than COTH?

    The reason I'm asking here is that I got whipped hard by the hunting obsession fairy and would like to be somewhere close to great territory and a hard-riding hunt. The faster the better! I'm also looking at cost-of-living and land values and would like to get a very small farmette, just big enough for two horses. Proximity to a cross country park and trainer would be nice.

    Being single and young I don't want to be too far out in the boondocks, either. It's a balancing act, since that's what is more affordable. I could go the small house and boarding route, but that quickly adds up to what I could be paying on a farm mortgage.

    Where should I being my search?
    Last edited by gypsymare; Mar. 25, 2011, 02:19 PM.
    Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
    Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
    Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)

  • #2
    Northern VA has many different hunts to choose from. I would look at the MFHA website to get an idea of each hunts territory, then maybe you could talk to a realtor about the areas nearby that would give you the most bang for your buck.

    Your first year you could cap with a couple of different hunts and then decide which best suits your riding/hunting and socializing.

    Best of luck in your interview!!


    • #3
      Anyone who lives here will tell you, traffic is a huge factor. The I-95 corrider is great for getting b/w NewNews and Baltimore, but I think most of your hunts are a pretty good distance off of it. I'm not into hunting, but I do go b/w NoVa and NewNews fairly often. I'm on I95 and its not too bad. If you time it right.

      I-66 is closer to hunt country I think, and a real parking lot. Personally, I avoid it like the plague.

      You may want to check out sluglines.com to. I'm young, single & do it all the time. Slugging (sharing a car w/ strangers/unknown carpoolers) cuts down on travel times ALOT, but tends to freak out those new to the area.

      You might want to consider renting & boarding for 6 months or so to figure out where you want to be, and where your hobbies will take you.
      Last edited by red mares; Mar. 25, 2011, 03:03 PM.
      Visit my Spoonflower shop


      • Original Poster

        Yes I meant Newport News. Thanks for the info about the interstates, it's a good thing to know. I'll definitely have to rent for awhile since I just won't have the time to buy before I start, but seeing as it's such a geographically large area I'm more or less looking for a place to start looking.

        I have never heard of slugging, wow! The concept does freak me out to be honest.
        Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
        Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
        Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


        • #5
          It freaked me out until I tried it. It is awesome, and there are very few problems with it; most of the people who do it are professionals. My trip home this afternoon, 30 miles down 95 from DC would take well over an hour, but down the express lane it's b/w 30-45 minutes.
          Visit my Spoonflower shop


          • #6
            Fauquier County!

            Easy to get to 66 and 95....Morningside Training Facility (google it) is close. Real Estate can be reasonable...The Hunt territory is AWESOME!

            Plus, it is really fun to say (or try to say) Fauquier County without laughing! A GREAT place to live in No. VA!


            • #7
              Originally posted by easykeeper View Post
              Fauquier County!
              Ditto! (and I live in Pr William, shop in Loudoun, and my boarders live in Fairfax). I would look for something along the Rt 17 corridor, from Marshall to south of Warrenton - Bealeton - Fredericksburg.


              • #8
                Fauquier is awesome (cuz I'm from there!) but property might be a bit cheaper just over the line into Culpeper County. Are you worried about schools at all? Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg area will have you closer to I-95, but a bit farther from hunting. It is still a very horsey area. Farmettes at a good value will be more readily available in Culpeper, Spotsy or Fredericksburg. Being from Warrenton, the county seat of Fauquier, I'm a snob about the northern half of the county which includes Warrenton, Marshall, Upperville etc. The southern half is Bealton, Catlett, Calverton, Remington and some other small hamlets. The soil is different, flat farmland, not really rolling hills and woods and it has a much different feel than the northern half as far as socially. There are several newer large subdivisions in the southern half so alot of younger families. The whole county has shifted towards being more of a bedroom community. Culpeper also has a lot of commuters. The town was voted like the #3 small town in America a few years ago. The schools are really improving there. It depends on if you think you would mind driving farther for work, or farther for hunting. I would also check with the hunts because membership fees vary drastically within the area. Would you rather belong to a more working class hunt or one with a long, if slightly snobby, tradition? These questions will all factor into your end decision. Feel free to PM if you have questions!
                Originally posted by The Saddle
                Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rustbreeches View Post
                  Would you rather belong to a more working class hunt or one with a long, if slightly snobby, tradition?
                  Some of the hunts in the area are more working type hunts, and some are more social hour, with more "sipping" going on, than actual hunting Try to find the right fit for what you are looking for. One of my boarders is the Secretary for Fairfax Hunt - territory in Middleburg. I would say is it s more working type hunt, but not a "H*ll bent for leather" one.


                  • #10
                    I hope my working man's hunt vs snobby question didn't make me come off snobby! It really is an important question because there are hunts in the area where what you are wearing, what you drive and who you did last weekend are much more important than your ability to ride. It depends on what you are looking for. I have nothing against either school of thought! I would just hate to see the OP buy a farmette in certain territory only to discover that since it isn't a 1000 acre tract they can cross, the hunt they chose could care diddly. I hope to see some MD peeps chime in. I have personally had great experiences with Marlborough and Potomac hunts, but I think the real estate might be a bit pricey
                    Originally posted by The Saddle
                    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                    • #11
                      You could also look at Northern Baltimore County. Close to Greenspring Hunt and several others. I drive to Northern VA for work quite a bit and as long as you time the traffic, it isn't so bad. Do you tend to do overnights for work? Otherwise driving to Newport News may be a bit much for one day. My friend is selling her farmette- it would be perfect for a single person, just enough land to have a few horses but not a burden to take care of. PM me if you want more information.


                      • #12
                        Fauquier Co., Hunting Nirvana

                        Fauquier Co!

                        There are sooo many excellent hunts to choose from!

                        Have you been following the adventures of the Hunting Princesses? That group is mentored in the Old Dominion Hounds. ODH has 3 fields on most hunting days.

                        Most of the hunt country hunts have fast first flights. The hunts here have lots of joint meets and bye days. One can literally take your pick of who to hunt with every day of the week, and occasionally there are 2 or more opportunities in a day.

                        Our roads are good and the horse services like vets and farriers are excellent. We are considered hunting Mecca for a good reason...

                        Give us a call when you are in town and we will give you a spin about the country. It is soo beautiful, too..
                        Intermediate Riding Skills


                        • #13
                          It wouldn't be a bad idea to investigate boarding opportunities, too. As stated in the OP, the cost might rival a small farmette, but it relieves you of all the responsibilities and hidden costs of upkeep.

                          If your job will entail driving over such a large territory, you never know when you might not be able to make it home due to any number of factors. You will have to have backup horsecare in place and be willing to pay handsomely for it. Furthermore, you will have the obligation of caring for your farm. You can find many threads on CoTH that point out how people who have bought farmettes are so busy with their upkeep that they don't have as much time to ride as when they boarded. That might not be your situation, and I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer. I'm just verbalizing the thoughts that ran through my head when I read your post.

                          Whatever you do, best wishes! VA is a lovely place to live
                          "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                          • #14
                            There are very full service barns, too..

                            There are also hunt boarding barns that not only do full care, they will keep the horse exercised and ready to go hunting. The horse arrives at the meet and all the rider has to do is hop on.
                            When I was in a business that had me flying from coast to coast as well as clients in between, I used this kind of service. It was a life saver as well as a sanity saver. I will say, I had major muscle soreness and climbing stairs was tough for 3 days... This was before all the nifty exercise programs came into existance..
                            Intermediate Riding Skills


                            • #15
                              Whicker brings up an excellent point Gypsy Mare. If you do decide to go the boarding route, make sure you are at a foxhunter barn. Not only will it help you with many aspects of hunting/living in hunt country, but you don't want to end up at a facility that only trots out all dolled up for Opening Day or Thanksgiving and goes to shows the rest of the time. How exciting for you to be able to pursue your passion! There are real estate agents that cater to horse enthusiasts in general and fox hunters in particular in both states. By talking to one you can figure out your options and what would work best for you in terms of both property and choice of hunt.
                              Originally posted by The Saddle
                              Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                              • #16

                                This place sounds great, and is close to Piedmont.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks for all of the help, guys! I guess things are pointing more towards the Culpeper/Warrenton area.

                                  To answer a few questions, while I love the idea of long traditions, I hunt to ride, and well, hunt. I don't want to pay extra for the privilege of sipping wine with the social elite. My rig may be getting a bit aged and starting to sport some rust, but my turnout is always impeccable and my horse will jump, gallop and stay with the best! So I guess I'm looking for more of a working-class hunt? Yes, "hell-bent for leather" sounds good to me! I blame Painted Wings for my intro to hunting which consisted of a nice quiet roading outing which turned into a good 7-10 mile flight through the countryside on the trail of a coyote with tears of happiness and windburn streaming down my face. "Are you doing OK?" "OMG!! OMG!!! This is the most AWESOME THING I'VE EVER DONE ON A HORSE!!!" Completely hooked.

                                  I'm dreading the awful boarding-barn-roulette and keeping horses at home would not be a new experience but as it's been stated, there are benefits to both sides. Thanks for the link, TimelyImpulse. If the interview goes well, I'll check that place out. I'd like some more room in the long term but it would be great until I find a place! I also found this:http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...285651259.html
                                  It doesn't say anything about horses but I see a barn and fencing!
                                  Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                                  Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                                  Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


                                  • #18
                                    Wheee! That's our area!

                                    There are places all around here..I'm near Warrenton on the ODH/Warrenton border, (village of Orlean) I'll P.M. you with contact info.

                                    Check out Hunter's Rest, too. She will have many thoughts and contacts. (neither of us are real estate agents, just long term foxhunters)
                                    Intermediate Riding Skills


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by CLV View Post
                                      You could also look at Northern Baltimore County. Close to Greenspring Hunt and several others. I drive to Northern VA for work quite a bit and as long as you time the traffic, it isn't so bad. Do you tend to do overnights for work? Otherwise driving to Newport News may be a bit much for one day. My friend is selling her farmette- it would be perfect for a single person, just enough land to have a few horses but not a burden to take care of. PM me if you want more information.
                                      Harford county MD, Greensprings and Elkridge-Harford!!!


                                      • #20
                                        Fredericksburg. Close to I-95, lots of horse shows. Close to hunt country.
                                        Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.