For starters, I am going to be a first-time home buyer within the next 2 years or sooner (most likely sooner), so home buying is a scary new prospect for me just in general. I have a multi-faceted set of questions for everybody...
I do not currently own horses, but will in the future, and am trying to balance out the cost of full board, if close enough vs. cost of extra land (where, depending on location, may or may not provide adequate pasture/grazing opportunities for horses). I'd also like to be able to expand my chicken flock from just the two hens I have now to raise for eggs and meat. Ideally I'd like other animals as well, but they are not my priority, and are more of icing on the cake, than part of the decision making process.
Other than on this forum, how do people actually go about finding property suitable for livestock? I can find houses with zero yard space quite easily in or around cities of course, with most 'normal' realty websites, but when I try to narrow my search for farm land (to get an idea of what to expect for the price), nothing seems to exist. I don't know if I'm just not searching properly, or if this type of property simply isn't listed where I'm looking.
I'm in the Olympia area of Washington State at the moment, and so am more familiar with the area/costs of living, and where to physically expect the type of property I'm looking for. I know how far I'd have to drive to/from work or to/from different barns if boarding, but still am not certain how how to search for the property I need/want.
I am also potentially looking around Dallas, TX and Tempe, AZ (up to 30-45 minutes drive from either - living near Seattle has taught me patience regarding traffic/distance). Both places I've been through, but not really to, and therefore do not know what to expect regarding horse ownership in these climates/locations, compared to where I am at now.
- For those of you familiar with these areas, what challenges do you face as horse and land/home owners?
- Is it generally more cost effective to own property with horses, or to own a smaller home/property and board your animals nearby?
- How is the selection of boarding facilities and trainers?
- How does the climate/weather affect horse/property ownership in these locations (keeping in mind I'm familiar with lots and lots of greenery and rain)?
- What should one expect to pay in full board in either of these areas (I'll be browsing craigslist tonight for an idea) vs. cost of owning property large enough for 2 horses (at a minimum)?