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Hello everyone! My name is Chris and I hail from Port Jervis, NY. I joined the forum hoping to find a great group of friends and a knowledgeable resource of information and experience.

From the get go, I would like to state that I think my post will be a tall order for a first post. I'm sorry if I mispost in the wrong area. I'm also sorry for such a long post; I'm posting back stories, and want to be as thorough as possible. That said, here we go :)

The Backstory
I joined this forum because I need help with a sort of dilemma I'm facing. It's not really a dilemma, I'm just overwhelmed and don't know where to begin with this. Here's the deal. I'm 28 years old and 3 years into my marriage. My wife and I are planning our future together; point blank she told me she wants to me to build a ranch for our family. She wants us to keep a handful of farm animals like chickens, pigs, grow some crops, etc. But moreover, the real purpose of the ranch is because she wants to keep a horse on it and even open it up to keeping other people's horses.

I'm not shy to the idea of keeping farm animals, as I spent some time in the agriscience program when I was in high school. However, I've never kept or been around horses. I think they are beautiful and intelligent creatures, but I have great respect for the kicking power they have. I don't want my inexperience with horses to be the cause for disabling this goal or vision my wife has purposed on us.

She had a horse when she was younger, and now our with two kids my wife wants them to have the same experience she shared owning and riding a horse. She's specific to wanting to keep a horse because her family eventually had to sell the horse because the people keeping the horse for them had kids who were very mean to her horse. It's something she's carried for along time in her heart.

Where We're At
At this point in time, I'm trying to find where to begin. I would LOVE and devote myself to the goal of us building a ranch together. I want to be realistic about what she wants, and if it's something we can or cannot do. Currently, we're young. We've never owned property, a home, or land yet. Again, I've never owned a horse (I've ridden trail horses) though her family has experience with them. I have no knowledge of the state and county laws that govern such things either, I don't know where to begin.

The feeling of being overwhelmed is clouding my ability to think, or else Google would be a better friend.Our uninformed, unresearched plan is for us to buy 4 - 5 acres of land, and place a double wide or a decent trailer on it, and begin from there. I'm sure I'm looking at this backwards or missing important details which is why I've come to this forum and posted all this.

I don't know any laws for our area, like I previously stated. I also don't know what to expect with purchasing the land, since we've never owned a home before it would be awful if we get stifled because we can't get a loan to fulfill our dream. I don't know what to expect as far as property taxes are concerned. I don't know what to expect with horses at all lol.

I do apologize for the length of the post, I don't mean to be a burden to y'all. I don't expect a one size fits all answer either. I guess my expectation is a conglomeration of advice and experience that can point us in the right direction. On a side note, I am praying about all this, hoping the good Lord will also give us good guidance and direction.

Any words of wisdom, encouragement, advice, and information will be gratefully and graciously received. I look forward to reading your replies and will answer whenever I can. If y'all know of any books, articles, videos, anything, I love to read and research and am open to any and all suggestions too!

Thanks y'all and blessings!
 

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Welcome!

My first advice would be get some hands on experience.

Get yourself to stables. Don't go to one where you just turn up and ride, find one that will teach you how to be around a horse, how to groom, tack up, muck out, feed and treat minor ailments. You will never learn this over night, or from reading books. Especially if you want to be caring for other people's horses.

I would never have my horse at a yard where the owners didn't have experience.. and plenty of it. If I'm at work and my horse colics, I want to know there is someone on site to call the vet and help out till I get there. If I'm away, I want to be able to know I don't have to worry about the horse. If you don't know yourself, you'd have to employ a yard manager or groom.

As for the more technical questions, I'd advise you to go in to the farm section of this forum. There are many things to look for when buying property, and all things you want will need to equate in to that.

Good luck!
 

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Hello from the Finger lakes-just west of you. I agree with Duffy. Both you and your wife need to get some recent experience and that will also help you make contacts and network in your area.

At the same time, start doing real estate research. Look at land, but also look at already developed parcels, since they may make more sense $$ wise. If you buy raw land, like you are talking, you will likely have to do septic, well, and infrastructure prior to being able to put any type of home on it for you-no less the animals. You have to make sure you have enough water, etc for your needs. You will also have the expense of fencing, seller for the animals, etc.

You might also benefit from meeting with your local building and zoning person, since they can tell you the land requirements for what you want, as well as how to go about getting the necessary permits etc for building. A simple google search for Port Jervis building and zoning will help with that, as well as tell you what is necessary in NYS to maintain an agricultural zoning, which will keep your taxes more manageable. NYS is famous for their taxes, after all.

The more you learn the less overwhelmed you will feel, so start researching, and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey everyone! :D

Duffy, thanks for the advice, I'm working on locating local stables willing to have us around and teach us about horses. I think it would be fun for us even as a family to be able to visit stables. I'm sure my son's head would explode from excitement (he's only 6). Assuming the care of other people's horses without having a lick of experience with them is just plain irresponsible and wrong; boarding other people's horses will never happen until such time as I believe I can provide excellent care for my own horse.

franknbean, thanks for your reply, yes NYS is famous for their taxes (ugh) and that's what's got me dreading. I will look into zoning laws. As it is, we want to move from the town of Port Jervis. Our scenic little town borders PA and NJ, in a valley surrounded by the Catskills and the Poconos. There's very little room around here for what we want to do. I will take your advice, I'll begin to look for developed parcels and investigate agricultural zoning in NYS. Thanks :)
 
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