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Gainesville, FL -alacua county area advice? relocation potential

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  • Gainesville, FL -alacua county area advice? relocation potential

    We are toying with the idea of moving our farm to the Gainesville area within the next two years.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    What are the good horse areas, where is land cheap and usable. What are the expensive areas? How expensive? Where would you live?

    What do I have to watch out for (snakes, aligators, etc) and what sort of land or areas are best to avoid them.

    What hay do you use? Bermuda or Bahia (what types are safer to avoid colic) or do you import? Prices?

    What sort of horse structures are needed (full barn, run in sheds, etc)?

    Weather related issues?

    Airport issues. My husband travels a lot. Do you use Jacksonville airport? For cummuter travel, which areas to live in work best for commuting to Jacksonville airport on an almost weekly basis? Gainesville airport seems too small to use for commuter travel (few direct flights to DC, etc).

    Anything, any advice would be appreciated.
    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cielo Azure View Post
    We are toying with the idea of moving our farm to the Gainesville area within the next two years.

    hi there,
    please send this email to Celia Evans of Dragonslair Farm in Newberry.Please tell he that I suggested she contact you.She has been there at least 40 years maybe more and has been my friend a long time.You could also get her on FB and PM here there.

    Tamara in TN
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


    • #3
      We have friends who live in a reasonably priced home in Gainesville and love it. We have other friends with an upscale horse farm located between Gainesville and Ocala. They are happy there. The local horse scene for eventing, dressage, and veterinary care, is great. I'm not sure about the characteristics of each part of the communities. Price certainly varies a lot by area. Have you considered renting for a short time so you can figure out what area suits you the best?


      • #4
        My farm is half-way between Ocala and Gainesville. I moved here from CT in 2004 and love it. Mine is a private "gentleman's farm" on 10 acres.

        I used to feed coastal, now my horses get fed O&A, not cheap, but I have cut way back on hay now that the grass is greening up.

        I also prefer to fly out of Gainesville airport, even if it means having to connect through either Atlanta or Charlotte when I have to fly. If I have to, I get get to Jax in about 2 hours drive, and I have also driven home from Atlanta when flights were cancelled (not very often, but it does happen). That is a 6 hour drive from Atlanta airport to Gainesville.

        I would say that the farm prices are back to the 2004 range, you can search the internet to get a feeling for it. Some bargain foreclosures still available.

        For example, one farm just sold in my neighborhood, 20 acres, nice house (built in 2003) beautiful 6 stall barn, fenced pastures with 4 board fences and shade/shelters in each paddock and automatic waterers , the asking price was 575,000. The farm next door, 17 acres with a 16 stall barn, house needed work, was a foreclosure sale for about 200k.

        Weatherwise, it gets hot in the summer, so we work around it, keep the horses in during the day, out at night. We do get some spectacular T-storms in the summer, but rarely do we have a 24 hour rain event. The winters are nice, although this past winter was colder than normal with more than average hard freezes at night.

        I have a barn, some folks get by with just shelters.

        I have a friend who lives a bit north of Gainesville (Middleburg), who got a pretty sweet deal on her farm, no barn, she put up shelters and does just fine.

        I have not seen any alligators here, but we are not close to any water either. I have found that the bugs are not as bad as they were in CT in the summer, and the only snakes that I have seen personally were all of the good variety.
        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


        • Original Poster

          Thank you everyone!

          Tamara -thanks for the link.

          Yes, we will try to rent BUT with 10 horses here and a husband with a very high profile, high stress job -that may or may not happen. I guess it also depends on where we do the move ourselves or have some of the re-location fees picked up.

          Munchkinsmom -your taking the time to hit my questions point by point was duly noted. Thank you! Particularly about the snakes and alligators...and the airports.
          Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


          • #6
            Another Ocala resident here - we are in North Ocala, so about 25 minutes from Gainesville. There are some lovely farms available mid-way, and I just love the cultural life in Gainesville. It is a college town and a big hosptial town. The vet school there is fabulous and I LOVE the dog park on Archer Rd (2 ponds!).

            I too love Gainesville Airport. I fly once or twice a month on business, and they have a fun frequent commuter program there with lots of perks. They take really good care of us there. I usually connect through Charlotte, which is okay too.

            Welcome, and there is a lot to do. Misty Morning Hounds is in Micanopy, so that is very close to you. They run hunts and fun hunter paces. Ocala is close enough that you will be in horse heaven - I'd recommend getting a farm in between or close to Ocala.

            We are so glad we moved here - really love it. We have 13 horses and live on a 10 acre farm. We paid $285,000 7 years ago - I think we would sell at about $325,000 at this point if our farm was for sale - which it is NOT!

            Here are some pictures if you'd like to see them:
            (ignore the truck pictures - it's new)


            • #7
              I love looking at farms for sale on the internet, so pardon me for poking around a bit.

              10 acres, 5bdr 3.5 baths:


              That one is a bit north west of Gainesville.
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


              • #8
                I live about 8 miles north of witherbee (as the crow flies), and yes, we know each other.

                Here is the one farm for sale in my actual neighborhood (a once large cattle farm subdivided into gentlemen's farms). There are also two or three vacant lots for sale:


                This one is in my town:


                This one is about 3 miles east on the same road as my farm:


                Just a tiny sample of what is currently available.
                There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                • #9
                  I live in Micanopy; I can get to Ocala or Gainesville in 20 minutes. I am a vet student so that's why we moved here. I previously lived in the Palm Beach area for 4 years and am originally from NY.

                  We rent a 6.5 acre property. My horses live out 24/7, they have a shelter, but they prefer the oak trees. I keep the hay roll in the shelter. In the summer my 5 acre pasture can support two horses. I have to buy rolls November-March (ish). Your choices are coastal or Tifton, usually $45-$55. There are a lot of hay suppliers in Ocala, where you can buy big squares of alfalfa or some type of blend. It's expensive though.

                  I have to say, I HATE the weather here. The two summers I've spent here have been BRUTALLY hot and the two winters have been way colder then I ever thought Florida could be (many nights with temps below 30). Being from south Florida, I thought I would get to enjoy cooler summers here - but they are actually cooler in SFL due to the ocean breezes and afternoon rainstorms which cool things off. There are NO breezes here in the summer. Many, many horses stopped sweating last summer, including one of my own and three of my classmate's horses. It was relentless, heat indexes over 115 for many weeks in a row - no relief. Barely dropping below 90 at night.

                  Flights out of Gainesville are very, very expensive and the schedules are limited. My husband travels quite often and it's always a hassle. I am about 1.5 hours from Orlando, so that is where we fly out of. If you move north of Gainesville, you are really limiting your options for airports. You will now be 2+ hours from J'ville or Orlando. So, if your husband travels a lot, I recommend moving south of G'ville or to Ocala, so that he can at least go into Orlando easily if he needs to.

                  The horse scene is OK - a lot of trail folks, and the seasonal show people are here this time of year. There are some local circuits and there's a decent dressage crowd. It really depends on your discipline. The eventing in Ocala is popular and seems like a good crowd of people.

                  There are plenty of snakes and alligators; but if you don't seek them out you *should* be able to avoid them. My husband saw an alligator casually crossing our road a few weeks ago (going to who knows where; there aren't any bodies of water around here). We also saw a dead rattle snake (hit by a car) while walking in the neighborhood - WATCH your dogs. Do not leave them outside unattended! The cottonmouths are viscious and will chase you - even on horseback.

                  There are a lot of bald eagles around here, and they are totally cool to watch.

                  The town of G'ville is OK, it depends on what you are used to and what you expect from a town. I hate the downtown college kid stuff; drives me nuts. There really aren't any "adult" bars downtown. There is a decent lineup of restaurants, some better than others. Coming from two much bigger metro areas, I am pretty bored with G'ville.

                  Since we are renting and not buying, I can't really comment on the housing market.

                  Good luck with your move, and feel free to PM me if you have any questions!


                  • #10
                    i have a 30 acre private farm in williston. i sit half way between ocala and gainesville. i love it. 2 1/2 hrs. to jax airport. 1hr-hr.15 to orlando and hr and 45 to tampa. i bought my farm 10 yrs.ago this sept.i came from atlanta, and i love the peace and quiet and no traffic. there are pictures of my farm in my sig line.the grass is thick, and myhorses are fat and happy. i do feed o&a hay as well.i have had one alligator on myproperty, he was looking for water and i have a pond. called and had him removed, no big deal.the only snakes i have seen have been black snakes or rat snakes. and i have no rats or mice, so they can stay let me know if you have any other questions.

                    ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"


                    • #11
                      I wanted to add, that I have found most of the people here in the Ocala/Gainesville area to be very friendly and helpful. Which made the transition from the New England area that much easier.
                      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams