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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I've been a lurker for ages, and thought I'd finally stick my nose out - if I'm posting in the wrong area, please let me know.

I've wanted a farm or ranch since I was little - I spent the first few years of my life on a little farm and it's my dream to have one. (I got laughed out of class when I said it was my dream to be a jockey.)

Now I'm old enough to start working, and to start budgeting. I know it won't be for a while - and this is probably dreaming, so please don't be too harsh. I love spreadsheeting, and it makes me feel comfortable to know what to expect in the future, and to be prepared.

I'm trying to find somewhere to buy land, ~20 (or even better, more!) acres. I want to keep a gaggle of horses for sure, and my own little pack of dogs. Definitely a mule, and maybe some goats? I've been poking around but I'm very overwhelmed, I have no idea where to start looking!

I'm looking for an area with a low cost of living, although so long as it isn't New York Sky High I can live with that. Somewhere with farms for sale would be great, but somewhere with a lot of lots I can build on is totally okay.

Where would yall recommend? Where should I start looking? If I sound unrealistic, please let me know - this has been my dream all my life and I've only just started working, it won't happen for years if ever but I love having a plan and something to work towards.
 

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WELCOME to the Forum....

Unrealistic, no...need some tweaking and direction, yes.
We all start with a dream, then tweak it as reality makes a dent in our dreams...

First off you need a place to work, a job and a location that can support you well with salary and benefits to achieve your dream.
So, career choice and location perfect to keep you gainfully employed........
Once you have that first piece of the puzzle then you know where to start looking, what to look at in size and expenses pertaining to that area...
You mention NYS...where I am from originally...
But there is rural NYS and major populated NYS and a huge difference in amenities and cost of those amenities...
Land taxes, cost of living structure, salaries.......huge differences so don't lump a entire state by one section of it.
20 acres on LI would cost you millions as in many, many towards the east end and that is the only area left that you might find acreage...but cross into upstate NY and look around cause it is horse and dairy farm abundant and places bought, sold and rented/leased that could also fit your needs, wants and desires and be affordable.
Depending upon what you want to deal with climate wise, so many choices to look and affordable is most places if you widen your search circle...and lessen how close those amenities are to your doorstep.
No matter where you go though, civilization shall creep in and change what it is today, now to something different in 5 years or so...
A tiny slice of heaven though is possible for most of us if we plan and look carefully and be realistic with future expansion going to happen and not steal our heaven away...
I would start a look though first with job, employment security and salary so you know what kind of $$ you have to meet the need of monthly bills.
Enjoy your search..
馃惔...
 

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Colorado. You can buy vacant land out there for as little as $1000 an acre. My hubby and I have checked this out but in our late 60鈥檚, aren鈥檛 up to building another house. We will at some point probably purchase an existing home there.
One thing I found remarkable: if you were to buy say, 40 acres and allow ranchers to graze their cattle on your land, you will pay almost nothing in taxes!
My brother resides in CO and I鈥檝e spent a lot of time there...there鈥檚 no place more beautiful.
 

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There are many things to consider. I was born and grew up in big metro areas. At the age of 30, I bought 60 acres in rural MO and made the move. There are many places for sale, still, in this area. But prices for land keep rising. So do plan, but don't waste time. Best of luck.
 

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Not unrealistic by any means if anything you are being realistic by planning for the future:) I was the same exact way and because I planned, worked hard and had an end goal I achieved one of my biggest dreams this year at the age of 25. My husband and I now own two homes both on land, one of which is a 30 acre ranch. I have lived in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, DC, Maryland, Florida, Oklahoma and Iowa. The cheapest land prices I found were in Oklahoma and Iowa as well as overall cheaper cost of living. You also do need to consider your location based off of where the jobs are for your skill sets. It may be cheap to live in one area, but can you find work there? We live in Iowa which is dirt cheap to live compared to where we were living before (Maryland), but we ended up in Iowa because that's where my husband's job brought us and since I'm going back to school we were able to move easily. There is rural land in every state the key is to avoid larger cities because the closer you are to a major city the more the cost of living goes up along with land prices. For your budget I would highly recommend setting reasonable small goals and rewarding yourself for achieving those goals. For example, budgeting in a small vacation or treat every year you stay on track with your budget that way you have things to look forward to in the meantime while you are trying to reach your bigger goals. I have friends who set extremely tight budgets and now that they are older they actually regret living so tightly even though they are now millionaires because while they were being so hard on themselves they forgot to live a little. You want to set reasonable expectations for yourself and don't beat yourself up if you go off track a little. Just re-direct your course back on track and keep moving forward. I tell my kids all of the time "Mistakes are simply learning how not to do something".
 

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Colorado. You can buy vacant land out there for as little as $1000 an acre. My hubby and I have checked this out but in our late 60鈥檚, aren鈥檛 up to building another house. We will at some point probably purchase an existing home there.
One thing I found remarkable: if you were to buy say, 40 acres and allow ranchers to graze their cattle on your land, you will pay almost nothing in taxes!
My brother resides in CO and I鈥檝e spent a lot of time there...there鈥檚 no place more beautiful.
Moving to Colorado, I'd worry about (1) increased fire risk with climate change and (2) water, mostly water rights but also water availability. Climate change and population growth is going to be devastating to that state in the next 50 years, I'd expect, particularly with respect to water. We bought in the PNW and will hopefully be moving out there in a few years. Prices are crazy, though -- we bought our place a year and a half ago, and according to Zillow (I know, not the most accurate, but still) it's now worth $150k more than we paid for it. Ouch.

Like HLG said, find the job first. It sounds like you are young and single, so look to see where you can get a job, where you think you might like to live. Move there and live in a rental property for a year or two. Figure out if you can handle the weather, the people, the local cuisine LOL. Figure out what properties cost and what your expected salary is. Find a realtor you like and trust.

Can you work from home? Or would you have to commute? If you had to commute, would it be worth it to spend an hour more in traffic each way, every day, to have that nice place in the country? When would you take car of the animals and do all of the necessary maintenance?

I don't know where you live, but here in Texas, A&M offers a one-week ranch management class. It is probably too much information for the casual owner and not enough for an actual ranch owner, but it would be a good place to start.
 

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Moving to Colorado, I'd worry about (1) increased fire risk with climate change and (2) water, mostly water rights but also water availability. Climate change and population growth is going to be devastating to that state in the next 50 years, I'd expect, particularly with respect to water. We bought in the PNW and will hopefully be moving out there in a few years. Prices are crazy, though -- we bought our place a year and a half ago, and according to Zillow (I know, not the most accurate, but still) it's now worth $150k more than we paid for it. Ouch.

Like HLG said, find the job first. It sounds like you are young and single, so look to see where you can get a job, where you think you might like to live. Move there and live in a rental property for a year or two. Figure out if you can handle the weather, the people, the local cuisine LOL. Figure out what properties cost and what your expected salary is. Find a realtor you like and trust.

Can you work from home? Or would you have to commute? If you had to commute, would it be worth it to spend an hour more in traffic each way, every day, to have that nice place in the country? When would you take car of the animals and do all of the necessary maintenance?

I don't know where you live, but here in Texas, A&M offers a one-week ranch management class. It is probably too much information for the casual owner and not enough for an actual ranch owner, but it would be a good place to start.
I guess I should have made it clear that I meant southern Colorado which is sparsely treed; very little risk of fire there. The state is VERY particular about how much water can be drawn from the aquifer; one can use enough to maintain one acre of landscape, plus enough for all household use and livestock. Vacant land is cheap; housing is much pricier than it is here in Michigan but taxes are far lower.
What a difference from my home state; we have more water here than we know what to do with 馃槓
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Oh dang, I really appreciate y'all and I'm sorry I took so long to answer!

@horselovinguy

Ah glad to know it's not realistic! I've been crossing off places I like depending on the job scene, although I'll definitely be looking back at them again depending on what they look like when I'm ready.
I'm sorry if I offended, I definitely didn't mean to! And thanks so much for suggesting rural NY, I've been looking around there and I ADORE it - my gran and I (she's moving with me, it's gonna be her retirement) are both in love, we've found some properties we're drooling over and the fact that they're going to be sold before we're ready hurts but it is what it is, you know? Plus! There are jobs nearby that I can do! So thank you so, so much!

@BethR
We're definitely looking at Colorado - although the fact I can't consistently spell it correctly (COLOR-ado, derp) definitely lowers it in the running. It's definitely gorgeous, and there's some places I adore there! Thank you!

@charrorider
Oh I've been looking there! I saw some places I really like there as well, it's definitely somewhere I'll be keeping an eye on. And I'm definitely not wasting time - I put 12$ in yesterday. Not much, but it's a start, isn't it? Thank you so much!

@Cliodona
Dang, that's so impressive! You're living my dream. I can't say I have much in the way of skillsets, but I'm absolutely willing to learn! I love working with my hands, but any sort of labor (or spreadsheets. I love spreadsheets.) and I've been looking at Iowa! There are some really nice places we like. And I've definitely noticed, we want to be closer to a town at the least, but not close-close. And setting goals with rewards sounds great! I have everything broken down in my budget, but I might break some of them in half so I can 'celebrate' at those points. I'll definitely look at Oklahoma and Iowa - and I love that saying. Thank you so much.

@ACinATX
Oh man, I didn't think of that! I've thought of hurricanes (I live in hurricane country at the moment) and tornados but I need to start taking fires into account. Thank you for giving me something to think about - we're talking about maybe moving and renting and getting established in jobs (the living situation has taken a marked turn for the more stressful as I wrote this, lol, so I might knock out some of my budget for an apartment - plus credit!)
I'd probably commute? At the moment I've just started doing food delivery (DoorDash, etc) and I've been doing commissioned writing for a while, but I'll do whatever job I can get, I'm not particularly picky and can't say much as to a skillset. And I'm very much willing to wake up early to work with the animals. Thank you! I'll definitely look into the class.

@BethR
Oh, good to know! Thank you again <3


ETA:
I've made several spreadsheets (probably too many, honestly, but they're fun!) At the moment it's going to be me, mom, and my grandmother so I have them set up so I know how much I need to put in and mom needs to put in as an even split, but also how much it will be total in case she dips.

If anyone has any advice

I've gone with the higher prices that I've found - although I'm probably still low? And rounded up just to be safe and to have nice, clean numbers.

This is the sheet of the budget to have BEFORE buying a house
1110558


Monthly for a house

1110559


...also for fun and future - horse sheets!:

Before buying:
1110564


Monthly
1110563



I'm probably way off? probably super low/or just plain off
 

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Oh dang, I really appreciate y'all and I'm sorry I took so long to answer!

@horselovinguy

Ah glad to know it's not realistic! I've been crossing off places I like depending on the job scene, although I'll definitely be looking back at them again depending on what they look like when I'm ready.
I'm sorry if I offended, I definitely didn't mean to! And thanks so much for suggesting rural NY, I've been looking around there and I ADORE it - my gran and I (she's moving with me, it's gonna be her retirement) are both in love, we've found some properties we're drooling over and the fact that they're going to be sold before we're ready hurts but it is what it is, you know? Plus! There are jobs nearby that I can do! So thank you so, so much!

@BethR
We're definitely looking at Colorado - although the fact I can't consistently spell it correctly (COLOR-ado, derp) definitely lowers it in the running. It's definitely gorgeous, and there's some places I adore there! Thank you!

@charrorider
Oh I've been looking there! I saw some places I really like there as well, it's definitely somewhere I'll be keeping an eye on. And I'm definitely not wasting time - I put 12$ in yesterday. Not much, but it's a start, isn't it? Thank you so much!

@Cliodona
Dang, that's so impressive! You're living my dream. I can't say I have much in the way of skillsets, but I'm absolutely willing to learn! I love working with my hands, but any sort of labor (or spreadsheets. I love spreadsheets.) and I've been looking at Iowa! There are some really nice places we like. And I've definitely noticed, we want to be closer to a town at the least, but not close-close. And setting goals with rewards sounds great! I have everything broken down in my budget, but I might break some of them in half so I can 'celebrate' at those points. I'll definitely look at Oklahoma and Iowa - and I love that saying. Thank you so much.

@ACinATX
Oh man, I didn't think of that! I've thought of hurricanes (I live in hurricane country at the moment) and tornados but I need to start taking fires into account. Thank you for giving me something to think about - we're talking about maybe moving and renting and getting established in jobs (the living situation has taken a marked turn for the more stressful as I wrote this, lol, so I might knock out some of my budget for an apartment - plus credit!)
I'd probably commute? At the moment I've just started doing food delivery (DoorDash, etc) and I've been doing commissioned writing for a while, but I'll do whatever job I can get, I'm not particularly picky and can't say much as to a skillset. And I'm very much willing to wake up early to work with the animals. Thank you! I'll definitely look into the class.

@BethR
Oh, good to know! Thank you again <3


ETA:
I've made several spreadsheets (probably too many, honestly, but they're fun!) At the moment it's going to be me, mom, and my grandmother so I have them set up so I know how much I need to put in and mom needs to put in as an even split, but also how much it will be total in case she dips.

If anyone has any advice

I've gone with the higher prices that I've found - although I'm probably still low? And rounded up just to be safe and to have nice, clean numbers.

This is the sheet of the budget to have BEFORE buying land + mobile home (budgeted 50k for land + 100k for mobile home) View attachment 1110351

Monthly budget for land + mobile home
View attachment 1110352


To have BEFORE buying a house (budgeted for a 350k house)
View attachment 1110353

Monthly for a house

View attachment 1110354

...also for fun and future - horse sheets!:

Before buying:
View attachment 1110355

Monthly
View attachment 1110356


I'm probably way off? probably super low/or just plain off
Haley...just for the record, my brother鈥檚 attorney told him there isn鈥檛 anywhere in Colorado where you need more than an acre to keep a horse. There is even a subdivision in Pueblo where you can keep a horse on a subdivision-sized lot! Though I suspect you want more land than that.
In my township in Michigan 10 acres are required to keep even one horse; ridiculous! We applied for a variance and were turned down so we went through Right to Farm Michigan and they ok鈥檇 us right away ( we have fives acres) and... get this...approved us to keep 25 head of livestock! Gosh, all we wanted was one, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@BethR Oh wow, that's not much! - Just a subdivision sized lot? That's not fair to the horse.

Oh dang, 10 acres for one? That'd be a hell of a happy horse, and a lonely one too! Although I think twenty five is a bit much for five acres, too! Thanks for your time <3
 
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