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Buying land query

Reading about your land taxes explains why so many horses are stabled.

So my question is, where are those magical places that people can afford to buy land/farms in order to have horses live out 24/7?

Curious Kiwi

We don’t pay tax on our land, just the house and outbuildings. Our mortgage with taxes and insurance in escrow is around $2000 and we have enough property the horses don’t get hay or grain for most of the year.

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our open land is taxed, but we live within a metropolis, per acre the current taxable value is $131,000 per unimproved acre (actual current value is $250k to $400k for a single acre then upward with additional acreage)

our saving grace to some extend is we purchased in 1984 when this was not on the list of most desirable areas (since has become Very desirable) and I am over 65 so the school taxes are frozen at the level of when I turned 65. School district taxes make up about 65% of the property taxes (primary public schools and the community college district)

Our horses and the grand kids goats live on some expensive land that attracts attention, my nearest neighbor is the house across the street at 300 feet, side and rear are 1,000 feet away

People who have never been here when they arrive they are shocked that such a place is here, they never expect open ground to be in the middle of a few million people.

The one thing I did not expect was the overflights of the emergency medical helicopters, there are several major hospitals six miles to the southwest, but when ever they have a night flight when they lift off at their base for a run to the northwest (often), they head directly to the Dark Spot of our land to over fly as they know the pathway around all the transmission towers is clear. Our place is the center lot of fifteen on multiple acre tracks so that Dark Spot at night is easy to locate.

However, with the continued exodus of California businesses locating here there is no shortage of new arrivals wanting a place in the country that is in the city., they are paying even more for the land that has all the city services that allows animals (no pigs) and is not in a HOA. Fire or police response in our little city is about three minutes


I moved from the state of CA to KY, and the cost of land here is much cheaper. Though buying now is much more expensive as cities expand. Basically the further from demand for use as house lots or for manufacturing the more affordable.


Most of the US still has rural acreage that’s priced so a small farm -5-10ac - is affordable.
Bonus points if there’s an existing/rehab-able house on the land, double points for a barn that’s not falling down.
You might have to travel for necessities: groceries, gas, horse stuff.
But increasingly that’s becoming less of a trek as subdivisions encroach & stores are built.
Flipside is land value increases so affordability goes down.

I bought my 5ac farmette with a decently livable ranch house almost 20yrs ago.
At that time, the 2-lane road leading to it off a State Road had flagged lots for a subdivision on the West side of the road going in.
I thought they’d have problems selling the homes…
Boy! I was wrong!
There are now 5 established subdivisions on that side & just a few months ago, the East side - formerly corn/bean fields & vacant land - is being turned into a new development of 300 “Paired Villas” < Developerspeak for single family homes that share a common wall.
Traffic is going to be a problem & there’s really no way to sufficiently widen the road.
My Plan B is to sell when my acreage becomes desirable & relocate farther out to less acreage.
I could be happy with 3ac, a Tiny Home & shedrow barn.
Better yet, move somewhere the Winters aren’t brutal :pray:


Well what people? Budget is in the eye of the beholder?

Live out 24/7 on grass? Lots of horses are confined to a dry or sacrifice paddock over the winter due to mud, snow, ice etc. Other horses might need to be kept off grass due to metabolic needs or perhaps during spring mud season. Or maybe in hot dry summers where the grass is semi dormant.

How many horses? Farm for 2 horses or for 20?

I live in the southeast portion of the US. My 3.37 acre farmette and small but restored farmhouse cost $220k in 2020. I’m within commuting distance to two decent sized cities for work and the small town I live in has all the essentials: groceries, feed stores, vet etc.

I could probably carry three horses here but 2 is easier. I am so far south that grass can grow year round. With a bit of management, my horse(s) have fresh grazing dang near year round and a dry paddock for the few weeks they don’t. For me that’s usually late summer / early fall as I overseed for the winter grass and it needs to establish a bit before being grazed.


Well, you have to find a spot which is not popular with buyers, an “out of the way spot”. Small town situation. Sparse population. Work online if you have to…so you have to have decent internet service. You have to be able to recognise what you are looking for when you see it. It won’t look like what it will be before you do work on it. Climate should be semi arid, well drained, but with lots of water availability. This can be difficult to find. Water is the new gold.
We did it. It’s worth a lot more now than what we put into it 15 years ago now. The current hay shortage doesn’t effect us. Horses are outside year round. Cold and snow in winter, round bale rolled out on the snow. No mud, other than a week or so during spring break up. No stalls here. No bedding costs. No stall cleaning. No manure disposal fees. Run in shared sheds, and room to run together. Herd living, on pasture or in paddocks.
Farm classification gets you reduced costs on taxes, and other expenses. Civilization will come to you in time, it always does as our scary expanding human population continues to overrun the globe. But you will have peace and tranquility for at least a while, maybe long enough to be satisfactory. Little viral transmission since you don’t see too many other humanoids. No pollution. You can drive your truck and trailer to where ever you need to go with your horses.
It sounds like you are in NZ? You should be able to find something there that’s suitable??? Not too crowded like some other countries? Where are the drier places in NZ? I have a friend who lives there, but they get a lot of rain, I hear.

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“So my question is, where are those magical places that people can afford to buy land/farms in order to have horses live out 24/7?”

Often in places people don’t really want to live. Small towns, rural areas with less services, less job opportunities, poor services and likely no equine vets. That’s a huge generalization but often that is the case.


The problem is that most of us with jobs need to be in metro areas. If you are a horse breeder, have an agricultural occupation, or a trade that’s useful in rural areas, or work from home, or are retired, you can go seeking the cheap land in the ranch country.

My friends that do videogame creation entirely remotely have hit the sweet spot of comfortable income + ability to leave the city, and have just bought an acreage for their horses that’s fairly remote.

The rest of us need to live in the metro area where we can’t really afford even a house, let alone acreage

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Our 26-acre farm in KY cost us $415k in 2020 with two barns, two sheds (one is now a chicken coop!), and a very well-built and maintained 2600sqft house. We are 15 min from five grocery stores, restaurants, etc. and 45 min from the city my husband works in. I work in one of the towns nearby. The horses are out 24/7 and I spend about $500 on hay every two years. It’s significantly less expensive than boarding even with the increase in our mortgage.

It’s entirely dependent on where you live and what you want to be close to, but you don’t have to be in some completely undesirable place.


In a nutshell: the affordable land is where there isn’t much work, or much high paying work. Far from metro areas.

If you look there, you’ll find cheap land in every state and every climate.

We could buy our farm when we retired. It’s a lovely little old farm in rural New England, a bit of heaven. Very reasonably priced.


What part of KY are you in?

Are you asking for a global review or a place in the US?

While someone else can probably say what the process is, here in the US we have publicly owned land available for long term lease for pennies per acre. While it’s used for cattle and sheep primarily, I’ve known ranchers who put horses on their leased acreage, too. Of course, you have to live outside the leased land and hold or share the key to the open rangeland and, at least here in California, be responsible to maintain gravity fed or windmill drawn water sources.

If you’re asking, where in the US one can buy property with enough land to keep horses at home, there are plenty of places remote enough for horse property. You might have to build it yourself though and there’s no guarantee of decent veterinarians nearby, let alone a living wage for the humans.

I’m lucky to have bought land and built a barn in Maine nearly two decades ago. Though I fled the winters seven years ago and took a job in California, it’s the only place I own, so I’m destined to return when my second horse-y adolescence comes to an end.

I suspect there are other places in the world with open land available to adventurous souls who love horses. Chilé, Uruguay, Panama, Ecuador are all places friends have either retired or scouted for horse-centric retirement.

It may be romantic of me to imagine that the common land ethos of Europe, the UK and what we used to call the Commonwealth is the most horse friendly, or at least the most sustainable, at almost any price.

Central KY.

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Taxes vary widely be locality. I’d bet that land can be found in most states if you’re in a rural enough area.


Your question suggests that perhaps you don’t fully grasp the size and diversity of the US. Across the US, land taxes range from minor expense to astronomically high.

US-wide, I’d say that most horses are not stabled. Most horses live out 24/7 or could if their owners chose to manage them that way. COTH forum users represent only a tiny fraction of US horse owners and they are not in any way a representative fraction, so if you’re getting your idea of typical US horse ownership here, you’re getting a very skewed picture.

Places where I or my family have owned affordable land with reasonable taxes where horses can live out 24/7 include Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, and Florida. You just have to live in more rural areas. For example, look at Georgia. You want a little farm near Atlanta? Nope. Sorry, likely not on a middle class budget. But there are great swaths of rural Georgia where farm ownership without being wealthy is absolutely possible.


They are in parts of the country that may be otherwise unttractive/unworkable for many people.

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NoSuchPerson is right – generally horses are not stabled in the US. Stabling is typical for horses engaged in or preparing for arena competitions, particularly the english disciplines. That’s a small minority of the whole horse population, but COTH is heavily weighted toward this group.

Most horse owners in the US do not compete in much, if anything, and their horses live out. It is generally a rural pastime. Rural = thinly populated, land is affordable. Look at a population map, almost all the US can be classified that way.


In my horse farm community the land price has recently reached $60,000 per acre. That is the amount that some horse folks from CA and NY, CT and such places are willing to pay. Coming from those really high land cost areas with incomes to match makes our land cost seem “magical.”

BTW when I bought 10 years ago it was $10,000 per acre. And the location back then was considered too rural and too far from town to ever be successfully developed. Town is a whopping thirteen miles away!

Location, location, location. No magic involved.

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Again, we are semi remote,just outside a very small town with few services. We don’t need services. We paid $1000 per acre for 160 acres, plus the value of the irrigation system and three phase power to the irrigation pump. No buildings, perimeter fenced and some cross fencing done, 40 acres of alfalfa/grass hayfields, with good quality irrigation rights. We weren’t thinking of moving here previously, but under these circumstances, we reconsidered this option. It has worked out well, we like what we have created here. Semi arid with lots of water availability. Water comes out of the ground and creek, not from out of the sky. No mud. All I’m saying is…keep your options open. Recognise what you are looking for when you see it, even if it doesn’t look like what it is going to be when you are finished making the changes you need.