The Search Ends – New Farm!!
I can hardly believe I am typing these words but our farm search has ended! Yesterday Jason and I closed on our new property after searching for almost four years. The best part is that the location is exactly the area we wanted, and the lay of the land and the shape of the tract is almost exactly what we were looking for. We passed on so many properties either due to location, the lay of the land, the existing amenities, price . . . we seemed to find something wrong with every place we looked at. I am thrilled to say that we now own 150 gorgeous acres about 35 miles from our current location. The farm is adjacent to “hunt country” land where two foxhunts are based, so a very horsey area. As we wanted, the property is a blank slate with no existing structures of any type, nor any fencing. We would have loved to have had perimeter fencing already in place and then built the cross fencing as we wanted it. There is no perimeter fencing but you can’t have everything! We will be fully responsible for the layout, design, and building of everything.
We love this property, the land is beautiful with some gentle roll
In desperation we actually sat down last fall and identified all of the “horsey” areas in the southeast and started looking at farms in various states long distance. In November we took a three day trip to Lexington, Kentucky and did nothing but look at farms for sale there. We came **this close** to buying a farm in Lexington. Anyone reading this who is looking for horse property, take my advice and run to Lexington. It was shocking at how CHEAP real estate is in Lexington, I mean it was mind blowing to us.
Many years ago this land was a part of hunt country and some of the jumps are still there. Jason mentioned tearing this down and I was like “DON’T YOU DARE! I realize it is in the woods, surrounded by brush and right by the creek and I can’t actually jump it now . . .but that jump represents HISTORY!!” I don’t think he agrees with that but the coops will probably be left alone just so he doesn’t have to listen to any more shrieking about them from me.
The only thing that stopped us was winter in Lexington. It is no secret that I despise cold weather, and Lexington gets MUCH colder winters than we do, and they also get a lot more snow and winter precipitation. Unfortunately I think the farms could have been free and I still would have thought it was a bad deal once winter rolled around every year. When the real estate agent kept pointing out which barns had a “warm room” I knew that Lexington was going to offer more winter weather than I could handle every year. However, the farms were beautiful, well laid out and CHEAP. We came so close to purchasing a farm there we were even planning out the logistics of relocating not only ourselves and our stuff, but we were also working out the logistics of moving all of the horses and all of their stuff to Lexington. It was going to be quite an undertaking to say the least.
Another view of a different part of the farm; there are wooded areas interspersed throughout the property, but it is mostly open land.
Once we decided that we were not going to live happily in Lexington winters we were back to the drawing board again. We were sick of this drawing board! We were both so sick of looking at properties, I don’t know how many hours of our time (it could probably be measured in weeks at this point!) and miles we put on the car driving to look at farms. There were two farms that we liked the best out of the many we had looked at. Jason announced that we were going to buy one of these two farms and be done with this or we were buying nothing for a very long time. One of them we didn’t love the property but we did like the location. The other farm, the one we now own, we liked to much we had already tried to buy it almost a year ago.
Yet another part of the farm. Yes, I know, all of the pictures look alike unless you have seen it in person!
Unfortunately we were not able to come to an agreement on price with the sellers the first time around. Many times I told Jason we should try again, but it seemed pointless so we never did. However we were desperate at this point for this four year search to end, so we contacted the sellers right before Christmas and re-opened negotiations. After a lot of negotiating and multiple counter offers we finally came to an agreement on price. When we contacted them we had fully expected to come up empty handed again. Instead it looked like we were actually going to end up buying the farm that we had coveted for so long!
One more view
From there everything proceeded in typical fashion for a real estate transaction. The appraisal was done, a new survey was done, everything was going smoothly. Then the week before we were supposed to close we received a copy of deed restrictions for our approval from the closing attorney. HUH??? We had not been told of any restrictions and we had specifically asked the question, and this part of the sales and purchase agreement was left blank, as in they did not list any restrictions. Talk about trying to change the rules at the 11th hour! We said we would not sign any deed restrictions or restrictive covenants of any type, period, end of discussion. The sellers got angry, threatened to kill the deal and refused to back down from this new position. The reason we had issue with this is they wanted to limit agricultural uses and also dictate where barns and outbuildings could be placed. Umm, hello, this property will be used AS A FARM and we are not letting anyone tell us where can and cannot build barns, run-in sheds and fences!
This little stream is fed by a spring that originates on our farm
Then they proceeded to thoroughly investigate us. They looked at where we live now to see if it was up to their standards (anyone who has been to this farm will be laughing out loud at that), they called people to check up on us and asked if we would make good neighbors. It got a bit ridiculous. In the end they decided we would be acceptable owners of the property and agreed to honor the sales and purchase agreement, and we closed as scheduled yesterday.
The spring fed stream empties into this creek which winds around and through our farm
Now we will begin the process of building this out from ground zero. Our first project will be fencing. I don’t know if we will fence and cross fence the entire property at first, but we will obviously at least do some of it. According to our calculations we will need 22,000 feet of fence by the time we fence the perimeter and then cross fence the interior. That is a lot of fence! Jason and I are already having a “discussion” about what type of fence. I am a huge fan of the no climb horse mesh fence. Jason feels that wood fencing is more aesthetically appealing to our clients. I agree with this, nothing is prettier than miles of wood fencing, I look at it every day! But I also know how incredibly high maintenance it is and how much horses like to chew on it, crib on it, and generally destroy it. I would actually like to do the cross fencing with electric tape and do the perimeter fence in wood.
Of course there are many other things that will need to happen in addition to fences and run-in sheds. We need to run water and electrical lines, we need a driveway(s) . . . we need lots of things! At least now we can occupy our limited free time with planning our new farm instead of searching for it. We are both very happy.
My favorite Norman picture. It isn’t a great picture of him but I love how he is standing watch over his ladies (and Sparky the donkey). L-R Sparky, Sky, Norman, Bonnie and Lexi flat out on her side.
Ivan, Elfin and Thomas
O’Reilly, Chili and Clay
Lily, Missy and MyLight