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.
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!