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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Acreage Hunters: The New List



The condo has been back on the market since March 8, we’ve had a lot more showings and positive feedback so far - so things are looking fairly hopeful that we will sell it this year (good vibes still accepted and appreciated!). 







This pony turns 19 today! He will be breaking up this wall of text to celebrate
(Also I am so stylish 10 years ago)


We have decided not to look at any acreages until we have an offer on the condo.  Just to avoid the hassle/heartbreak we experienced last year when I fell in love with a place but the owners weren’t ok with our condition of selling the condo (which is totally fair).





We learned a lot last year in our search and have a better idea of what we’re looking for/can actually afford.   Our “must have” and “nice to have” lists for acreages when we started looking were pretty ridiculous for our budget, and also not very specific… I think we honestly thought we’d actually be looking at nice houses in our budget (the universe said: BAHAHA homie no).  I don’t even think we made a proper list but it would have looked something like this:

 

2017 Must Haves

  • 3 acres or more
  • Newer built home, preferably 2000 or newer (omg were we drunk…)
  • Within 45 minutes to downtown

2017 Nice to Haves

  • Set up for horses
  • Nice garage/shop

 

What did we learn in our first year of acreage searching?  A lot. 





For starters 3 acres is not even enough for one horse according to a lot of county bylaws.  We read soooo many bylaws, there are four counties that we are looking in and they are all a bit different.  A lot of acreage owners told us that the bylaws aren’t usually enforced unless your horses are visibly starving but I still wanted to know if we were within the rules.  I also have giant horses and would really like 10 acres, but would be happy with 6 acres or more.  I had a hard time seeing how our horses would fit and not destroy the grass forever on places that were 3 or 4 acres.  That said some areas that have better grazing than others (we looked at quite a few places that were east, where the soil is quite dry). 





I was surprised that so many homes only had one bathroom… I live in a condo with only one bathroom (and it can be super annoying) so I didn’t even think I’d need to put that on my list.  I also found a lot of properties were really close to their neighbor, which isn’t a deal breaker but it seems weird to move out to the country and put your house as close to your neighbor’s house as they do in the city. 


The only thing that didn’t change much for me was I’d rather have no fences than falling down janky fences (which I said to our realtor before we even started looking).  A lot of places that were “set up for horses” according to their ad .... but were only set up for horses if you wanted your horse to live in a barbwire deathtrap with falling down fences … so yeah. 

Selfie hogger



My husband is also hoping we can avoid driving on a ton of gravel (which is maybe not super realistic, but some places certainly had less gravel driving than others).  We have both accepted we may need to drive an hour to get what we’re looking for.  My husband really hates bungalows and it seems like most places in the country are bungalows… but maybe that’s just the houses from the 1960s-1980s, which are the years of houses that seem to be in our budget.  If a split-level came up he would be pretty keen on it.

Here's what we've come up with for our Must Haves and Nice to Haves for 2018:


2018 Must Haves

  • 5+ acres ( depending on set up, would prefer 6-10 acres)
  • House not a trailer
  • More than one bathroom
  • 1200sqft +
  • One hour or less to downtown (a little wiggle room for the perfect property)
  • Some kind of garage and/or shop, it would be nice to have both but beggars can’t be choosers

2018 Nice to Haves

  • House not as old as dirt
  • Not too close to neighbors
  • Set up for horses with decent fencing
  • Split-level (or just not a bungalow)
  • Both: Attached garage (for my car) and shop (for husband’s car stuff)
  • Not too much driving on gravel
  • I have a soft spot for a cute character home or a property with some curb appeal, especially bavarian/cottage/cape cod kind of styles (not that any of those have to do with each other but just not a square boring box would be extra sweet)
  • Hot tub
  • Nice deck and/or front porch

We both agree that if the property is amazing we may be a bit more flexible on some of our points.  Although I do still kind of wish we had success with our offer we made in July (#hearthouse) it did actually break a few rules of our lists.  There was a close neighbor, the house was smaller than 1200sqft and there was a ton of winding gravel roads to get to the property.  But it had 10 acres and was move-in ready for ponies, which possibly swayed me…


Anyway, onward and upward into acreage shopping round 2 in 2018!

Hopefully for his big 2-0 he will be in my backyard!

23 comments:

  1. Best of luck through selling and hunting for the perfect place! I'm going on year two of land hunting myself, so I feel you on the ups and downs of the process.

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    1. I kind of wish I could fast forward to the part where my horses are in my backyard hahah (and skip the selling, buying and setting up of the property!)

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  2. Fingers crossed you find a great place! We feel we rushed into our place, and it definitely has it's downsides. We're definitely planning to take a more thoughtful approach if/when we move again.

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    1. Thank you! I'm a pretty impulsive person (that's why I have three horses instead of the two I can actually afford) so I'm hoping that this long wait will help me think more about what I want/need in a property, but we'll see! I bet you don't really know what some of the downsides are until you live there every day.

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  3. happy bday Apollo!! and good luck with selling the condo so you can find the acreage of your dreams!

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    1. He says thank you :) Thank you, I hope we can get it sold soon... shopping in the summer is preferable!

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  4. Best of luck selling. Our market here is super hot and everything is selling fast, here's hoping yours is too!

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    1. Thank you :) Our detached market is looking pretty good but the market is flooded with condos (although ours has a pretty sweet location, which helps). Fingers crossed it sells soon!

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  5. Good luck with the house hunt (and condo selling). I'm grateful to just be buying and not need to sell as well.

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    1. Thank you! Yes definitely be grateful for that! The selling part is such a pain, the buying part was a lot more fun.

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  6. I have 4 horse on just over 4 acres. It’s totally doable but it does require a ton of careful maintenance and I’m always prepared to feed hay rather than let them destroy the grass.

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    1. That makes good sense to me, we are open to less land if the price is right (to offset our hay costs). A lot of the places were set up really badly for adding pasture (outbuildings/driveway in places that make it difficult to work around for fencing so a lot of pasture will be lost). I might have to pick your brain once we are ready to make an offer on something ;)

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  7. Best of luck! I'm in the exact opposite situation--trying to sell the farm for just a house. We already lost a dream home we put a conditional offer on because our farm hasn't sold. It's horrible to go through.

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    1. Oh no, sorry to hear that you lost your dream home :( I feel your pain for sure (last year when my heart house sold). Hopefully something even better is around the corner for both of us :)

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  8. Super interesting. Good luck with the selling and searching!

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    1. Thank you! Fingers/hooves/paws are crossed in my family for a better year with selling and buying

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  9. I hope things work out in a more positive manner this year than last! Sometimes I think a little luck helps with selling and buying homes. But remember, all it takes is ONE perfect owner to buy your home and you will be set! :-)

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    1. Thank you! It looks more positive this year for sure (I am just incredibly impatient haha). I sure hope our perfect buyer shows up soon :)

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  10. Happy Birthday to Apollo!
    I hope you find something even better than your last #hearthouse! You never know what may have gone on the market in the meantime, so your dream property could be out there waiting for you when you're ready. Also, don't fear the older homes. A lot of them have been updated and/or well cared for. Mine is 259 years old this year! And so far, it's still going strong!

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    1. He says thank you ;)
      I hope I can top the #hearthouse too! It would be nice if we could find something my husband likes a bit more. I'm open to older as long as it's been well-maintained/loved in it's life! Most of the properties we saw (40-50 years some of them... hadn't seem a broom or had any general maintenance since when they were built... which is scary!). Older houses are way cuter though! Way more character :)

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  11. Happy Birthday Apollo! And really interesting, I think people can keep horses on less here since there isn't much in the way of grazing but I don't even know what the rules are.

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    1. He says thank you :D
      I didn't really know the rules were so strict here, it's kinda crazy in one county in particular (3.95 acres per horse!). It seems like a lot of people put more horses than that on their property but with my luck I'd get the crazy ass neighbor reporting me all the time or something XD

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  12. Concentrate on location, land, & neighbors. Everything else can be changed, renovated, upgraded. Build a garage, put in fencing, add a hit tub, and so on.

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