Buying a farm – Property wish list

For all of the time that we’ve been together (this is our 15th year for those that are counting), Matt and I both knew that we eventually wanted to live on a farm. However, for most of that time “farm” was just an abstract concept in our minds.

When we started actually looking for a farm that we wanted to buy, we had to give some actual thought to what it was we truly wanted. I thought it might be helpful to lay out our wish list and see how we measured up.

I’m going to start with the property, and next I’ll do the house.

Throughout our search, we (Matt will tell you it was mainly me) were very, very picky. We knew this was going to be our forever house, so we didn’t want to compromise on anything. This is the main reason that the search took a year and a half.

Advice to people looking for the perfect country property? Be patient. It will come and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.

In the end, here’s the criteria we used when evaluating potential properties:

Property wish list:

  1. A large property, ideally 50 acres+
  2. Not more than an hour (ideally 45 minutes) from work and family
  3. Not too many out-buildings, but definitely a large old wood frame barn
  4. Water of some kind, a pond ideally, but a creek would work
  5. A long tree-lined driveway
  6. Forest or bush that’s not too far from the house
  7. Fields that we can rent out to a tenant farmer
  8. A quiet country road, maybe even a gravel road

So let’s see how we did:

Pond

Pond, check.

Barn and silo

Old wood frame barn, check.

View up the driveway

Long driveway, check.

Fields and forest

Forest, check. (Yes, all of those trees in the distance are actually ours)

One leg of the creek

Creek, check.

Paddocks and fields

Fields, check. (And paddocks complete with run-in shelters).

Here’s the summary of what we ended up with:

  1. A very large property at 129 acres
  2. 20 minutes from Matt’s parents, 30 from mine, 35 from my work, 45 from his
  3. One large wood frame barn (estimated at ~100 years old) that’s in great shape and a large wood frame drive shed
  4. A good-size pond near the house (I love to look out the kitchen window and see the water glisten in the sunlight) fed by a small stream that then flows into a huge marsh area
  5. 150 metre driveway
  6. Approximately 50 acres of forest, marsh and wild land on the back half of the property, plus a good grove of trees and a stand of huge pine right by the house
  7. Approximately 60 acres of cleared fields
  8. Our road is a little bit busy by country standards–the only miss

There were numerous times throughout our search where we were asking ourselves if we should re-evaluate our criteria or compromise on a particular element. In the end, I don’t feel that we did, and I am absolutely certain that we ended up with the right property for us.

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