Monday, August 18, 2008

Best places in the U.S. to live with horses?

This came up in the comments and I thought we should discuss it! The real estate market is, as most of you know, in the toilet. The next year is going to be a great time to buy a horse property if you've got the funds and credit to do it.

Now, the question is, where? Most of us want good enough pasture that the ponies can live off the land at least in the summertime and reduce those terrible hay bills. Where can someone find a horse farm with great pasture at a reasonable price and commuting distance from a big city with jobs (assuming most of us are not independently wealthy and need to work to pay for all of this)?

I once bought 5 acres with a two story, 1100 sq. foot house for $69,000. I had killer pasture. It was old alfalfa field, not seeded in many years but still rich enough that those 5 acres kept five Thoroughbreds fat and show-ring-shiny all summer. I had a flat piece of land next to the house where I made a faux arena (you know, the one that you make with step-in posts and hot tape, to kinda sorta convince the horse he is in a ring) and it worked out great. The flaw was that it was located outside Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is a place I quickly determined I did not want to live. (Got dragged up there by ex-husband, LOL) Green Bay is miserably hot all summer and miserably cold and icy all winter. It has two good months: April and October.

While I don't miss the climate or the city in general, I definitely miss having a horse farm with a $600 a month payment! Currently I just rent, and of course I pay more than that. Where are today's bargains? Where do you live? Do you like it? Are you planning a move to get a better horse property? If you're in real estate, give us your two cents - where are the best values and where do you think they are going to be?