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Possibly moving to equine community maybe in North Carolina. Would love your feedback!

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  • Possibly moving to equine community maybe in North Carolina. Would love your feedback!

    I never thought I'd say this, but my husband and I are seriously thinking about selling our Michigan "ranchette" and moving to a state with better weather. We are trail riders and are really looking to move someplace where we can comfortably ride 10 months out of the year instead of 6 months. Trying to avoid long cold winters and hot humid summers.

    One of the properties we recently looked at is in an equine community in NC. It really seems like an attractive idea. A trail system right off the property. 10 acre lot which would allow us to have our horses on the property instead of boarded at the community barn. Access to arenas, shower racks and other amenities when needed is a plus as well. Lets face it we aren't getting any younger and keeping up with the upkeep of having to do everything ourselves is getting difficult and isn't going to get any better over the next 20 years.

    We plan on visiting the places first and not hop in blindly, but I'd really like to get input. My only real exposure to "Associations" is what I've seen on TV and of course that is never positive. Also my husband and I tend to spend 2-4 hours regularly out on a ride, and I don't if these kinds of communities are really geared towards a couple old trail riders on gaited horses.

    I guess I'd appreciate any feedback on the idea of an equine community, any specific questions we should be asking, etc. The weather sites show NC it to be a good choice on paper, but if there are weather gotcha's I'd appreciate that as well.

    Thanks


  • #2
    I don't see the city mentioned. We need to know where in NC. Central to east coast of NC is hot and steamy in the summer so you're not going to avoid any hot/humid summers there. Very little transition from winter to summer. We were all breathing a collective sigh of relief when the 90s and humidity finally broke in October.

    Mountain area would be your best bet trying to avoid the hot/humid but you're going to have some winter there for sure. Probably not the amount of snow you get now....

    I have no advice on equine communities as we moved as far away from 'developments'/city as I could get my husband to agree to!

    Good luck on your search from another gaited rider!

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think you can make any blanket statements about equine communities. They really are quite varied. I looked at one when I was house hunting before my last move and ultimately decided it wasn't a good fit for me. I investigated another that probably would have been a good fit horse-wise, but had other flaws (by my criteria). It all depends on your tolerance/desire for covenants and services.

      As far as weather goes, like EquineJunky said, you're going to want to be in the far western part of the state. There are lots of trails in the mountains. I have friends who think the Bryson City, NC area is the best area in NC for trail riding but I have no idea what it's like to live around there.

      If you want more specific information about my little piece of NC you're welcome to PM me.
      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
      that's even remotely true."

      Homer Simpson

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you and your husband are increasingly *the* demographic living in these places.

        I bought land in one in Aiken, SC and I can tell you how I chose it:

        Most important, know who already lives there and see if you are doing with your horses (and perhaps your time) what they are doing with theirs. If you want to Horse the way they do, many, many issues with anything about the Home Owner's Association will work itself out naturally. If, on the other hand, they are unlike you, realize that you are buying into some disagreements.

        Read the HOA's covenents... thoroughly. Then ask how those are handled and adhered to. In older HOAs, where the Board has been turned over to the residents, things can be really good or really bad. If the development is young, chances are that the developer maintains the loin's share of control. Ask current residents how that is going.

        Also, my personal preference is for a smaller, rather than larger development. There are simply fewer cats in the herd to keep happy. But remember, too, that you only hear about people's bad HOA stories. They good ones are really boring-- they consist of an uneventful board meeting once a year with stuff getting done and everyone having wine and cheese. Other developments here have trail clearing days where all residents go out and work on that together. It actually sounds kinda nice.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #5
          HOAs don’t have a bad rep for no reason. Many times one person will become ‘king’ of the association and make everyone else’s lives he!!.
          I know one that is pretty chill and is a nice community but it’s in Aiken, not NC.
          Pretty much all of NC is going to be humid and hot from about April/May to October. The mountainous regions are better but still get humid. WEG was held in Tryon and everyone was complaining how hot and humid it was in September. However, the humidity doesn’t last as long there.
          Other suggestions are lower Shenandoah valley, Tennessee, or Kentucky.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by StormyDay View Post
            Pretty much all of NC is going to be humid and hot from about April/May to October. The mountainous regions are better but still get humid. WEG was held in Tryon and everyone was complaining how hot and humid it was in September. However, the humidity doesn’t last as long there.
            Other suggestions are lower Shenandoah valley, Tennessee, or Kentucky.
            It's all a balancing act. In general, the cooler and less humid a place is in the summer, the colder it's going to be in the winter. You've got to pick your trade-off.

            It's also all relative. I spent much of August whining and moaning about the heat and humidity here in far western NC. Until I had to go to Raleigh on business. Holy moly! Talk about heat and humidity! I thought I was going to melt into a puddle on the sidewalk. At least here, it cools off enough in the evening to get in a good ride before it gets dark.

            "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
            that's even remotely true."

            Homer Simpson

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

              It's all a balancing act. In general, the cooler and less humid a place is in the summer, the colder it's going to be in the winter. You've got to pick your trade-off.

              It's also all relative. I spent much of August whining and moaning about the heat and humidity here in far western NC. Until I had to go to Raleigh on business. Holy moly! Talk about heat and humidity! I thought I was going to melt into a puddle on the sidewalk. At least here, it cools off enough in the evening to get in a good ride before it gets dark.
              Very true. South Florida has NC beat, but NC feels like a sauna compared to upstate NY.
              When I lived in NC I always thought it was amazing that there was a real climate difference between Raleigh and Greensboro. If Raleigh got a dusting of snow, Greensboro got 5 inches.
              But the ‘bad’ snow days in NC, VA, TN, or KY, are NOTHING compared to winter weather in Michigan. When Southern Pines got a foot of snow, people talked about how much snow there was for years afterwards. Everything shuts down if it starts snowing. In the majority of the places I listed, you can ride year round with maybe only a day or two of weather too cold to ride.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                It's all a balancing act. In general, the cooler and less humid a place is in the summer, the colder it's going to be in the winter. You've got to pick your trade-off.

                It's also all relative. I spent much of August whining and moaning about the heat and humidity here in far western NC. Until I had to go to Raleigh on business. Holy moly! Talk about heat and humidity! I thought I was going to melt into a puddle on the sidewalk. At least here, it cools off enough in the evening to get in a good ride before it gets dark.
                Yes. And, OP, the mountains in NC have their share of clay, plus some ice sometimes. I'm not a fan of Horsing on either one (and I have, LOL), so that was something I considered. But not everyone cares.

                Clay-- just know about it and know what you are choosing if you go there.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I’m on my phone so forgive me for not replying directly. My husband works remote and I have the option to work remote so pretty much any place is an option though my husband would rather not live someplace with a large rattlesnake population.

                  One of the communities we were looking at is near Moravian Falls, NC which is more northern/mountainous. Might be a good option. Weather seems reasonable from the Wunderground historical graphs but I know that doesn’t tell the whole storyline livability. The trail system sounds nice too.

                  The idea of someone seizing control of a HOA and making it a terrible place to live is scary! I’ve also seen a few in my searches that have gone bankrupt! Definitely something to consider on the con list.

                  I do also really like the idea of northern Texas. Living anyplace with sun more than 170ish days of the year we get here. The nice thing is that we aren’t in a hurry but with so many options it really is overwhelming.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    DO IT, sooner rather than later! After much research we moved from upstate NY to Moyock, NC (very close to the ocean). The biggest regret when we got here was that we didn't do it sooner. We moved in in November and felt as if we had gone back to September. Here you can ride all year round. The ocean breezes keep this part of the state very comfortable. I wasn't a big trail rider but have neighbors that are. They ride in our neighborhood and also truck to many, many areas in NC & Virginia (we're just 5 minutes from the state line.) We live in a neighborhood of 10 acres lots, some people have horses, some have cows, some have kids, lots have chickens, and any combination of such. Taxes here are amazingly cheap, especially in Currituck County because a portion of our county is on the outer banks where the homes are magnificent and pay a big portion of the county tax base. Another reason we picked this location is the proximity to the Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. We're beach lovers and this is the best of both worlds. We easily found great vets, farriers, hay suppliers and horse community in general. In Currituck there is a beautiful county owned facility that has outdoor rings and an indoor covered arena, as a resident you can use free of charge if an event isn't schedule for that day. All that said.... we're moving to Florida for totally unrelated reasons. Our property is for sale. See it on Zillow, 355 Summit Farms Trail. Moyock, NC. I highly recommend you check out the Moyock area. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. searlwyn@gmail.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ponycatraz View Post
                      I Living anyplace with sun more than 170ish days of the year we get here.
                      When I was trying to decide where to move, I spent a lot of time looking at Kelly Norton's pleasant places to live map.

                      https://kellegous.com/j/2014/02/03/pleasant-places/
                      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                      that's even remotely true."

                      Homer Simpson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                        When I was trying to decide where to move, I spent a lot of time looking at Kelly Norton's pleasant places to live map.

                        https://kellegous.com/j/2014/02/03/pleasant-places/
                        Add looking at this one also, how windy a place is most of the time.
                        Click on the map to expand:

                        http://hint.fm/wind/

                        Some people can't stand our winds, not a day without some.
                        20-30 mph many days seems like a breeze to us.
                        Other places that much wind is rare, a couple days a year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I live in a horse community in California in the mountains. Unfortunately CA is the land of earthquakes, fires, and power outages. Not to mention high cost of living except that I am in the boondocks so I get a bit of a break. It's nice to have a access to miles of trails from my place and I keep the ponies at home (couldn't afford doing it any other way). I like living in a horse community.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The problem with "activity developments" is that if the activity falls off in popularity your property declines in value. If the number participating declines and the number of people "doing it" falls below the number of people "not doing it" you may find that democracy is not you're friend.

                            Not that HOAs are very "democratic." Yes, the governing board members might be elected buy the "constitution" of the entity was written by the developers and often is a document "set in stone" for at least some long period of time. This was done as a marketing tactic. Changing this fundamental document is difficult but it CAN be done in many areas if right the number of homeowners are for it. But it can also lead to bad feeling, bad neighbors, and generally a bad experience. For all these reasons I'd avoid them like the plague.

                            Not being a fan from the get-go I'd look around at alternatives. And consider other areas, such as the Nashville region in TN, the Lexington area in KY, or even into Arkansas in the Midwest. All of these areas have four seasons, but are biased towards summer. Clanter suggests No. TX. Not a bad idea, particularly if you don't mind a strong bias towards summer. There are also some nice areas, such Las Cruces, NM, which are also very conducive to year 'round riding.

                            Throw a wide net and see what you catch!!!

                            G.
                            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another factor with a development centered around an activity, is when people move in for the large lots, etc., but don't want horses or whatever else the property is marketed around. Then you end up with people who want the horses and any other animals out.
                              You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JanM View Post
                                . Then you end up with people who want the horses and any other animals out.
                                well we are on the other side of this equation .... over 80% of the nearby former horse properties have been subdivided, the owners took the cash and did whatever, however, now they"like to look at other's horses grazing in the park like pastures" and have passed restrictive zoning that basically eliminated the remaining 20% from subdividing ..so they think.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I've noticed that when there is enough developer money involved, zoning rules seem to change very quickly.

                                  I live in an HOA in a regular subdivision. 95% of the people are nice, however the other 5% make me regret moving here. See if there are online reviews of specific subdivisions, or newsletters from the association. Newsletters can be very enlightening, especially if you can find a few years worth of them, and see what issues are coming up over and over.
                                  Last edited by JanM; Nov. 3, 2019, 06:29 PM.
                                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with Guilherme about HOA. Don't overlook "horsey areas" even if not a formal community. Check out areas where
                                    other horse people gravitate to and ask why. Usually they're in an area with good trails and comparably priced farms.
                                    "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Maybe this is best in a new thread, but if we don’t go the community route what’s the best way to find a place?

                                      We’ve been googling and found horse oriented real estate, but they are definitely geared towards arena/amenities than trail access.

                                      We aren’t that picky. There is a lot we can live with or fix, but we want easy riding access to a minimum of 20 miles of trail. That seems to be really hard to find.

                                      Any tips are appreciated

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Clanter gave you a good start. You seem to have a "climate" model already. Look for places with that sort of climate and then places within that zone that might work for you.

                                        For us our "agreed zone" (me from IL, MI, & WI and spouse from No. FL) basically runs along the route of I-40, at least until you get out to OK. Then it gets a bit dry for both of us. Along this route are a number of large and medium sized cities, but no real megapolis (Oklahoma City and Memphis are the biggest). In the East there are nice places on both sides of the mountains (or some in the mountains) with ample public land for riding. The TN side does a bit better than the NC side in that the Big South Folk area encourages equine use and the Great Smokey Mts. National Park allows for it. There are also several TN state parks that have equestrian trails. So do several Civil War Military Parks, such as Chattanooga, Shiloh, and Stone's River. Get out to Middle or West TN and there are still opportunities but they are fewer. Cost of living is a bit higher out there than in East TN. I've never really done an analysis along I-40 through AR with this in mind even though we go out there every year for the National Cavalry Competition so I don't know what is, or is not, available. You might also look along I-30 from Little Rock to Texarkana. We've driven this route many times with horses and found some nice places along the way over the years. It's been a while so I can't comment on current conditions. Once you get to OK and get out of the eastern mountains there you're in Tornado Alley. It's flat, hot in the summer, cold in the winter*, and (as the old song says), "the wind comes sweeping down plain." The TX Panhandle is about the same. Once you get into NM there are some nice places (I think Santa Fe is about the coolest place in North America ) and prices and cost of living have a pretty wide range. But this puts you in the West and be very careful to learn about water rights.** This is about as far west as I'd go. I have a very good friend with a nice place in Snowflake, AZ (named for two Mormon missionaries, Mr. Snow and Mr. Flake, not for it's annual snowfall). He thinks it's great; I'm not a desert person.

                                        You can find all sorts of climate data (temps, wind, precipitation, etc.) on the NOAA website. That would be a good place to start.

                                        Best of luck in your search.

                                        G.

                                        *On the Great Plains the only thing between you and the North Pole is a few strands of barbed wire.

                                        **There's an old saying in the West that, "Whiskey's for drinkin' and water's fer fightin' over." Gospel truth, that.
                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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