We saw this horse property
tonight, and I am in love!
It is nothing super special. The house is average, and while it is in pretty good shape, it also needs updates in the kitchen and bathroom. But the property itself is lovely. I am in love!
For starters, the house is a ranch built in 1941. It's been advertised as a three-bedroom, but really it's a two-bedroom with a lovely enclosed-porch-turned-office on the back of the house. The layout of the property, a long narrow lot with the house spanning it at the front, and the landscaping, which is a little overgrown, make the property feel extremely private.
The house also has an attached two-car garage, which seems like such a luxury to me now, after having NO garage for so long.
The house has a nice layout, with the living room, dining room, kitchen, and garage all across the front, and the bedrooms and office across the back.
The living room is pretty good sized for an old house, and has a fireplace with a pretty paneled mantle:
The dining room is also big enough to hold my lovely antique 6-seater dining table, buffet, and chairs (all matching). We don't have room for it here, so the table has been banished to the basement for the past two years. There is also a cute little linen closet in the dining room that I just LOVE. It has built-in drawers and everything. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good picture of this room, so I'll have to leave it to your imagination.
The kitchen needs a new countertop pretty badly. The cupboards are old but would look fine if the countertop wasn't so ugly and dark.
The bathroom has a scary tub. Eventually we'd have to replace that, and in the meantime, no more baths! I'd miss my claw foot tub — if I stopped playing with my horse for long enough to notice, that is.
Now for the cool bits. First of all, the third "bedroom" that would be my office. You enter it through a single French door in the second bedroom...
...Or through a paneled door in the kitchen that is cut in half so that you can shut the bottom half and leave the top half open. The room is several steps lower than the rest of the house, and there's a little closet behind the stairs.
It's a big room, but the best part is that the east wall is almost completely glass: double French doors and two picture windows. They look onto the patio, the yard, and the little horse pasture beyond that.
The back yard is big and shady, with trees and overgrown landscaping that make it feel very private. Just beyond that is the pasture.
The horse pasture is pretty decent sized, and feels fairly private, since the house and the layout of the property block the sound of the road. The barn has two good-sized stalls (with two doors apiece — someone apparently took out a few walls to make bigger stalls!), another small "stall" that would really only be good for some sort of storage, and a large enclosed area for hay and tack storage. The hay and tack storage is the big part on the left end of the barn.
The house that overlooks the pasture doesn't seem like it would be intrusive, as there is a privacy fence there and only one second-story window really overlooks the pasture.
There is also a well on the property that doesn't seem to be working right now, but we might be able to get that fixed further on down the road! The water pump in the barn would also need to be fixed, but in the meantime I could keep the horse's water at the fence closest to the house, and run a hose from the house. The barn has ceiling fixtures and is all wired up, though that appears to need some attention as well.
The back fence is really too low to be horse fencing, but since the property is narrow that should be an easy fix. Other than that, there is mainly just a few cleaning and maintenance things that need to be done.
Despite the things that need to be fixed, I think the house has a lot of charm — such as that paneled mantle, lovely old glass doorknobs and brass hardware on all the doors, and that gorgeous office/den/sunroom/third bedroom. And the horse property of course is to die for: The layout and the landscaping create a feeling of privacy from your neighbors, as well as a clear distinction between "horse space" and "our space" — boundaries that will blur a bit, I'm sure, as I plan on letting them graze on the lawn from time to time, but even so it's a nice distinction to be able to make.
So Michael and I now have a lot to discuss. He's concerned about his drive to work being longer (35 to 40 minutes instead of 15 to 20), and we both want to check into the neighborhood a bit more. Another concern both of us share is what to do with our current home — it's not really a good time to try to sell a house, and I'm not a big fan of the thought of being landlords, though I think I could deal with it for the chance to stop boarding.
We also have to discuss whether we'll board Michael's mother's horses, or someone else's. I don't want to try to keep Panama all by himself — he's young and social and I don't think he'd like that very much. But I'm also not ready to get another horse. We've discussed the possibility of Michael's parents renting our house and boarding their horses with us, but we're not sure how reliable they'd be on paying their rent, so that might not be the best option. Also, boarding someone else's horses could provide us with a bit of additional income, and our current neighborhood would make this a great rental house for a couple of college students.
What are your thoughts — on the property, on boarding other people's horses, on renting or selling our current home? I'd love to hear what you think about the situation!
Labels: horse property search