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Advice regarding property purchase  RSS feed

 
Carla Seigneur
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Hello permies!
I live in NZ. I am looking to buy land. I am passionate about horses and my project would be to apply permaculture design to running a farm with horses and possibly lease out some paddocks to farmers with cows and sheep. I have a degree in environmental science and worked in sustainability. I have read a lot about permaculture, but had limited opportunity to apply the principles.
With prices of land increasing year after year, I was thinking of selecting a property with quite a bit of land, especially to ensure that the land can sustain a few horses (around 10). There are 2 properties I am looking at and can't really decide which one would be best to convert into a "permaculture centre". My inspiration is Zaytuna farm, a place in Australia where this awesome guy converted a very poor land into very productive sustainable farm land. My idea would be to run site visits, and create a "sustainable paradise" where people can come and learn about sustainability and potentially open a cafe next to it, selling products from the farm.

The first property is 17 ha, very close to the biggest town (4km), and right on the main road leading to the village. It is used as farm land with farmers leasing paddocks for their cows. The land has been quite heavily fertilised. The biggest issue is that 40% of the land is covered in gorse (a potent weed that is very hard to remove). I was told by the real estate agent that it acts as good nursery for other plants and could be fenced off to grow into forests. It has troughts in all paddocks but water comes from the neighbours bore (to which I would depend until I would set up another system). There is no other water source except for a small stream running down below in the bottom of the hill, which when I looked, looked quite polluted. It's also located right next to an industrial park. The town nearby though is very small (2000 pop), hence there is limited impact, although it should probably be taken into consideration. This property is bare, just grass and gorse, pretty much with one small patch of forest. There is a really nice view on the water estuary from the top.

The other property is way larger at 56ha, but completely off the main road (11km) and 18km from the main village. Basically I would buy the whole valley for 15% more money. It's quite different, completely sheltered, and with much more biodiversity already, with good patches of forest throughout, and running streams all around the property. I could totally see how I could run a nice circuit with bridges and other fun stuff for the children. No troughs though (which would cost some money to install but I would have my own water). Good paddock fences as well. There is a school 3km nearby, which is a very good school. But it's not as easily accessible from the main road, so if I want to start getting "customers" to come, it would be a bit more difficult. Although there could potentially be good access from the kids when they finish school.

So that's where i am at. I am keen for this next step in my life to undertake a project like that. I am lucky to not have any issues as yet with money. Only thing is I am a single woman in my 30s with no family and hence I am also weighing the pros and cons based on my current situation. Do I really want to be isolated from the main town at this stage in my life (although circumstances may change - you never know!)?

Anyway, what do you guys think? Any advice you would give me? Would you go more for the 17ha or 56 ha?

Thanks heaps for your help! And please no negative comments about my project !
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I think the second property sounds much more promising. I think for your kind of business idea, "walk in" customers are not important - people will find your place because you tell them about it (marketing), not because it's right by the road. Later on you might find out if someone with a place by the road will let you put up a sign pointing the way to your place.

 
Sunny Baba
Posts: 69
Location: Northern New Mexico, 7600'elevation, 24" precip
3
chicken goat hugelkultur
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Hi... yes I agree.. you do not need to be close to town or on a main road into town... that second property has soooo much more to offer you and people that will come to see what you have created there... much more diverse... and a much healthier Eco system.... and not as altered from its original state as the first one.......... plus having those live streams is so valuable..... for sure I would go with the larger second one... and being 18 km from town will not be that far for you to get what you need..... at any age.... You are so lucky to be able to afford to purchase such a large pristine property..... on that beautiful island..... go for it girl...!!
 
Michael Bushman
Posts: 144
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Easy decision. Horses are a destination business meaning people don't just drive by, see a place to board horses and go "hey, lets buy a horse!" The people who own horses want to ride them, are they going to want to ride on land next to an industrial park or in a beautiful country setting.

Get the pretty one, KEEP it pretty and slowly raise your rates as more and more people discover you.
 
Carla Seigneur
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Thanks guys so much for your feedback and lovely positive notes. I thought about it throughout the whole night (very little sleep) and thought the same thing when I woke up. My heart is I think more weighing for the second one. Just checking title legality at the moment. Thanks again!
 
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