Do you dream of living off the land? Think about these points, and put your dream into action
More and more of us are becoming interested in the idea of being self-sufficient, and the agriculture industry is booming as a result. Land might be at a premium in terms of cost and availability, but the chance to run an equestrian property, or even a farm, is something which many people place high on their bucket list.
Of course, this dream can become a reality, but it’s important to do a lot of research and thinking prior to jumping straight in, to prevent loss of income and indeed, making a very large mistake in terms of where you base your life. Farming UK is a rewarding and fun industry to be a part of, one which will have you seriously at one with nature, whilst also being able to run your own sustainable business as a result. If you have no idea where to start however, it can seem quite overwhelming.
Farming UK have a lot of information about equestrian properties, but the one area which everyone seems to agree on is that such properties are relatively rare. Because of this, costs are high, but if you shop around and you’re flexible with your needs, you could find a bargain. Generally speaking, the cost of an equestrian property in the UK depends on where you go – in the sought-after south-east, you can pay anything up to and just over £1million, however if you go more centrally, into Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, for example, you could pay around £500,000. If you’re a novice, you could consider buying a ready-made’ property, i.e. paddocks and everything else already in place, but this is going to cost you more than if you do a little renovation yourself.
In terms of size, you need to think about your horses first and foremost. One horse needs around 1.5 acres of grazing land, however 2.5 acres will manage two horses – never go below this point. Looking for properties with fields or extra land which you can separate into paddocks is a great starting point, however always look at what you can do with it, rather than what is already there; this is the ideal way to cut costs and make the property your own.
The actual house itself is an area you can compromise on, because you can easily renovate and move things around when you have the extra funds. Because of the shortage of such properties however, registering with an agent is a good idea, as well as looking in the relatively quieter seasons of late autumn into early winter.
Buying a farm is a big deal, so a lot of research needs to go into this. In terms of what you should look for, there are really four main areas:
The state of the outbuildings
The amount of land
Prices of farm land can range hugely, and it depends on the location and the amount of land. Shop around and get advice from those in the know, such as farming UK, before you sign anything.