Farms for sale near Charlottesville

Farms for sale near Charlottesville

If you are considering purchasing a farm near Charlottesville or any of the surrounding counties you may be contemplating having a horse or two, maybe some chickens perhaps planting a vineyard. Ten acres would probably be plenty of land for that but you’ve just fallen for a house on 250 acres of pasture and woods with good fencing all set up for grazing cattle and making hay. You never imagined having to take care of so much land. Where would you start?

This is actually a quite common question and the answer is a win-win in most cases. Agriculture is still the most prevalent industry in these counties and most of it is handled by generational farm families that farm their own land and lease out additional land from property owners who are happy to have their property well cared for and even have some income while qualifying for land use taxation. The lessee is typically responsible for maintaining the land, fertilizing when necessary and maintaining fencing and farm roads and they have the machinery and knowledge to do that well. The property owner can farm vicariously from their porch and will often maintain a portion of the property themselves for any projects they have in mind. One needn’t be intimidated by too much land. Chances are the farmer in place would like to stay in place and pay you for the privilege.

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Give John Ince a call to talk about Farms for sale around Charlottesville, Virginia: 434-981-3011

Charlottesville Real Estate

Charlottesville Real Estate

Charlottesville Real Estate covers a lot of ground. From a four story condo with panoramic Blue Ridge views, to an historic plantation with roots to Thomas Jefferson, it’s all here. We are situated at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, Virginia’s Piedmont, and home to the University of Virginia and two major hospitals. Here you’ll find a vibrant city boasting a thriving downtown with charming old neighborhoods like Belmont interspersed with classy new ones offering every lifestyle like Belvedere and Lochlyn Hill.

Out in the spectacular countryside which surrounds Charlottesville one can find stunning Farms and Estates with acreage suitable for horse farms. Outside the City of Charlottesville in Albemarle County acreage is more affordable with country properties, large and small, available for any budget. The surrounding counties of Orange CountyGreene CountyMadison CountyFluvanna CountyNelson County and Louisa County offer great diversity in terms of geography, price range and proximity to Charlottesville while also providing access to such delightful small towns as Orange, Gordonsville, Lovingston, Madison, Stanardsville, Palmyra and Louisa. Whether you are looking for land for salea home in town, or a place in the country, it’s all here and I would love to introduce you to this part of the world and the wonderful opportunities that await you. 

New kid in town?

New kid in town?

When you’re 29 there are still a lot of new things that might be coming your way. The years were longer then and the end was not in sight. My 29th year with my birthday just a week away in May, 1982 found me driving through the night in my camper topped 68 Dodge step side en route from Lufkin, Texas to Afton, Virginia with all I owned in the truck bed and my fabulous German Shepherd, Jay Jay beside me on the bench seat. I’d been driving east into the night on I-64 with the excitement and trepidation of yet another beginning keeping me awake until finally, knowing I was close, I pulled into a rest stop, backed into a space and crawled into the back with Jay Jay. I slipped into my sleeping bag and with the smell of stale clothes and leather, a panting dog and dark starry skies I pondered my future. Tomorrow I would arrive at Akid Arabian Stud and take the reins as manager/trainer of an Egyptian Arabian breeding farm in Virginia, a state I fled as fast as I could after graduating from West Springfield High School in Fairfax county 11 years before.

I woke with the dawn on that auspicious day to a view over the Rockfish Valley from the top of Afton Mountain. This was not the Virginia of the DC beltway I fled. The sun was rising over the most verdant green valley I’d ever seen. Below was a patchwork of rolling hills, winding roads and streams, bright green pastures and hayfields dotted with farmhouses, and old, brick manor homes. From this mountaintop overlook I embraced this new to me world with heartfelt thanks and expectations of miracles yet to happen.

Now the years are much shorter and much of a life has been lived by that young fellow. Fate has smiled for the most part and miracles have indeed occurred. A forty year career in farm and estate brokerage has made me intimately familiar with those winding roads and the lives people live along them. Two children grew up safe, happy and well and like me have come to recognize what a special place we call home. I often pull over when I’m climbing Afton mountain on I-64 and take a moment to enjoy that spectacular view and give thanks. 

Charlottesville has grown in those 40 years, mostly well, but that view is just the same as is was in 1982. The promise it showed me those many years ago was kept and is being kept still for those who choose to embrace it.  

Call John to discuss Charlottesville Country Properties434-981-3011.

Now you need a tractor!

Now you need a tractor!

When I first looked at Firefly Farm in 1985 its 13 acres were overgrown with broom sage, vicious blackberries, and two foot tall cedars. I had walked it, carefully avoiding rusty barb wire fencing, truck parts, rows of abandoned dog houses and a three sided barn that was home to a very skinny holstein cow. The back pasture was a wide swale of about eight acres with a spring at the bottom of it and when I squinted my eyes enough I could imagine my horses grazing peacefully on its lush green pasture. It had a 1920’s asbestos sided farmhouse with no central heat, an old hand dug well and a two seater out house in the back yard. I was single, a wet behind the ears Realtor with five horses, a dog and a cat. This place looked perfect. A property I had just sold had a tractor I could buy. It was a 1953 Ferguson TO35 and came with a bush-hog, a blade and a boom. I got everything for $2500 and proudly drove it down Route 20 from Stony Point to Barboursville.

The first job for “Fergie” and I was with the boom. The boom attaches to the three point hitch and you can raise and lower it with your hydraulics. By attaching a good chain you can pull a fence post straight out of the ground and you can drag great loads out to a burn pile. Ours was over the out house hole. The boom is a simple implement and one of the most useful.  After weeks of clearing old fence lines and pulling out what debris I could find among the three foot high broom sage it was time for the Bush-hog.

The Bush-Hog is a brand name that is used for just about any rotary cutter. It attaches to the three point hitch at the rear of the tractor and has a shaft that attaches to the PTO (power take off), which powers the bush-hog or any other implement that requires mechanical power.  My bush hog was five feet wide with two heavy blades capable of cutting everything from grass to baby cedar trees and even occasional rock outcroppings. I still had no idea what my fields looked like under all the scrub so I carefully ventured forth with the bush hog in a fairly high position. I marveled as I glanced behind me to see clean pasture emerging pass by pass as Fergie chugged along in second gear. Finishing that back field was one of the most rewarding moments of my life as I gazed at the neat mowed rows with nary a blemish. No rocks, no unwieldy ditches, hardly even a bump as this hidden gem showed itself once more. I patted Fergie on her cowling as I would a horse after a good ride and marveled at my luck.

I lived at Firefly Farm for thirty years and raised two great kids in our old farmhouse which also cleaned up nicely. It really was perfect for that time in my life. One year I forgot to put antifreeze in Fergie’s radiator and a hard freeze cracked the block. I felt guilty for being a poor steward for this hard working tractor but she was done for. A neighboring mechanic took her for parts. On my 50th birthday, (2003), I gave myself a brand new Kubota L3400 (34 horse power). It’s a mid sized diesel tractor and came with a front end loader and a new bush-hog. Unlike Fergie, this Kubota is tinker free and now twenty years later still serves as well as when it was new. The front end loader is indispensable now and I could not imagine getting a tractor without one. I guess I’ve never named this “new” tractor but I have given it many pats on the neck after a good work out.

Today, Gaby and I live at lovely Somerview Farm just 10 minutes from dear Firefly Farm. We’ve just two horses now and grown, well settled kids and our first grandson. I still have pasture to maintain and firewood to cut and move and fences to take care of. Of all my passions and hobbies, those moments of working on our land, man and machine, with my tractor are a favorite.

I did not mean to tell a story but really just wanted to offer advice to anyone contemplating their first tractor. It means much more than just buying a tool. It means a new lifestyle. Congratulations if that’s you!

What are horse farms like in Charlottesville?

What are horse farms like in Charlottesville?

Is Virginia’s Piedmont horse country? You bet! With five active hunts, Olympic caliber trainers, some of the best equine vets in the country and all the assets any breeder, trainer or hobbyist could ask for, this is natural horse country.

A horse can live entirely off the land in Charlottesville with the lush fescue grasses

It’s no wonder that the Charlottesville countryside is well known throughout the world as one of the finest places to raise horses. The fertile fields and healthy climate have been home to generations of fat ponies and Derby winners. That said, all land is not equal when it comes to keeping horses. It is possible to find land in the Charlottesville area that is absolutely perfect for horses. It would consist of a nice deep soil with few if any rocks. It would be gently rolling and well drained and it would already be in good grass, your horse’s favorite food.

In Charlottesville, the type of land varies from soft lowland grass to slightly more rocky terrain closer to the mountains

This is horse country and a horse can thrive here and live entirely off the land for most of the year. It’s not all horse country though so do your homework. Up close to the mountains the pasture will be rockier and harder on your horse’s feet. That beautiful flat bottomland along the creek looks great when dry but will often be a wet soil that can be unhealthy for hooves. Clearing woodland to make pasture can be done but it takes years to build up the grass to compare with established pasture.

Finding a horse farm in Charlottesville that is already fenced in and has stables is usually the best buy

If you want to breed horses you’ll want to look at the type of grass growing in your fields. The fescue grass found in much of this area needs to managed if broodmares are grazing on it. Finding a place that is already fenced and has existing stabling is usually the best buy and finding a place that allows riding off the property can be a huge benefit in how you can enjoy your horses without trailering.

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What is like to live in Orange County VA?

What is like to live in Orange County VA?

I’d actually be a pretty good person to ask. I’ve lived in Orange County since 1983. I was a transplant from Sonoma County CA and never imagined I’d live here the rest of my life. But, here I am 40 years later having raised a family, grown a career and roots in one of America’s most beautiful terroirs. Horses are what brought me here. (Want a horse.docx) and a love and understanding of the land is what is what made me stay and be successful in country property brokerage in this area.

Horses are what brought me to the Orange, VA area.

Orange county was settled early in America’s history (1734) due to the high quality of the soils
for agriculture, the amenable climate and overall beauty of the this rich land in the piedmont of
the Blue Ridge mountains. In the 1820’s Orange County was home to President James
Madison at Montpelier, Supreme Court Justice Phillip Barbour at Frascati, Virginia Governor
James Barbour at his home designed by Thomas Jefferson (https://www.monticello.org/
research-education/thomas-jefferson-encyclopedia/barboursville/) who along with James Monroe lived just 20 miles distant in Albemarle County. It is likely that each of these statesmen would have enjoyed each other’s company at Frascati, a remarkable home in Somerset which is listed for sale for the first time in 45 years. Frascati (Somerset, Virginia) – Wikipedia.pdf.zip)

Orange VA is rich with civil war history

Orange County also played a pivotal role in the Civil War with the full armies of both the north
and south encamped in Gordonsville and Rapidan then culminating in the terrible battle at
Wilderness. Artifact hunting for civil war relics with metal detectors is a popular past time here.
It is said that any large shade tree extant during the Civil War in the vicinity between Somerset
and Gordonsville was a confederate encampment and and old horseshoes, buckles and bullets
are still found regularly.

Orange VA offers a quiet, simple, small town lifestyle.

Today Orange County is much quieter but still sublime with a character that draws those
looking for a simpler, small town lifestyle. There are two small towns in Orange County, Orange,
the county, seat with a population of around 5000 and Gordonsville with around 1500 residents. There are groceries, pharmacies and fast food if you are just passing through and a cornucopia of antique shops, taverns and fabulous old neighborhoods if you slow down and
have a real look.

 

I live in Somerset just 15 minutes from either Orange or Gordonsville and we do most of our
shopping locally. We can expect to see folks we know at the grocery store and walking down
Main Street. It feels friendly and inclusive. It’s also nice to know that Charlottesville and all it
offers; UVA, two major hospitals, hundreds of amazing restaurants and entertainment venues is
less than 30 minutes away.

 

For us, the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful, affordable life in the country and the small town
experience or Orange and Gordonsville coupled with access to one of the most exciting
university towns in America is the best of both worlds.

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