WA vs. TX vs. AZ ... and ... boarding vs. owning land - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 06-17-2013, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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WA vs. TX vs. AZ ... and ... boarding vs. owning land

Not certain if this is the best location for my questions... apologies if it should be moved. Posting in both farm and boarding, as the questions involve both.

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)?
Thank you!
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post #2 of 26 Old 06-17-2013, 07:22 PM
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I've been searching for a while also, after coming to the conclusion my state is going to eat us alive soon, if nothing changes.
I usually pick an area/ town/ city and Google. Look at what's offered. Then I check on the map, reasonable driving distance to get to work( hubby) and so arrive at the outskirts, where there is usually available what I'm looking for. For three horses, depending on which state, of course, I'm looking for more or less 5 acres.
I would never consider boarding, btw, and like the no-neighbor, in the middle of nowhere places lol.
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post #3 of 26 Old 06-17-2013, 07:59 PM
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How far outside Olympia are you? I'm in SW Washington, and I use this website. It's really easy to use and is very effective, but it might not cover your area:


Around here, $250k can get you a modest ranch house on 2-5 acres with some sort of shelter for a horse. Prices go up from there. More or less. That's just a ballpark, very general figure for a neighborhood where horse-people actually like to live.

Board around here runs $250 to $400 with full feed included, depending on the amenities.
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post #4 of 26 Old 06-17-2013, 08:43 PM
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Cool, here's an equivalent site for the greater Seattle area. Olympia is right between the two areas I gave you links for, but hopefully there's some overlap and one will work.

TheMLSonline.com - Home Search - Call 425-467-6577
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post #5 of 26 Old 06-17-2013, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Freia :) I'm just a few minute drive down the highway from downtown Oly, but I've been looking for places on the outskirts, as well as out in Yelm. I work in DuPont, and would prefer not to deal with traffic to the north, most of all.
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post #6 of 26 Old 06-17-2013, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Anatopism View Post
Thanks, Freia :) I'm just a few minute drive down the highway from downtown Oly, but I've been looking for places on the outskirts, as well as out in Yelm. I work in DuPont, and would prefer not to deal with traffic to the north, most of all.
I don't see why. I've found the traffic between Olympia and Seattle to be quite pleasant - at least between 2:00 and 3:00 am that's not a problem, is it?

There! finally. I found one that includes property in the area you're in.

Search for Homes -- ZipRealty

Fill in the acreage field with the appropriate size, and I think it may actually find you something.
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-17-2013, 10:21 PM
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there are tons of horse properties in Yelm and in Graham and Roy. that would be about a 40 minute commute to Dupont.

or, look in Puyallup area. off of Hway 18?
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post #8 of 26 Old 06-18-2013, 10:45 AM
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My neice used to live in Roy-she had 10 acres w/a moblile on it. Lots of horses in the area, but there was 1 not-so-good neighbor. I remember her losing some chickens to the wild predators. But her horses were fine, and she did lots of activities w/them. The climate change to AZ would be major as it is Very Dry here. I know you didn't mention it , but Northern Nevada is nice.
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-19-2013, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses! There are potentially other locations I'd be interested in as well, but those are the most likely/promising, as they are locations available for promotion opportunities or lateral moves with work :)

I LOVE the PAC NW in the dry months, but am wondering if I'd be a little happier in a place with more sunlight (I also despise snow). Will continue researching!
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post #10 of 26 Old 06-19-2013, 02:35 PM
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One thing nobody mentioned was water availability and rights. Those are VERY important in the ability to have and care for livestock on your own land.

Some places require two separate wells, one for the house and another for the barn/livestock. Some places you have to share water rights, and there may be restrictions concerning the number and type of animals.

Texas is currently in a bad drought situation and Arizona isn't exactly known for its abundance of water, so you need to find out the water situation before you decide on a particular area.

If you're from the PNW, you've never had to deal with water shortages and restrictions. They are very real issues in the drier and drought stricken states.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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