Is it expensive to keep a horse in Virginia?

Is it expensive to keep a horse in Virginia?

Few places in America are as naturally suited for horses as Virginia’s Piedmont. Rich, well drained pasture, four distinct seasons and a thriving equestrian culture and history make the Charlottesville area ideal for the equine enthusiast. People often ask, is it expensive to keep a horse in Charlottesville, Virginia? That question has a wide range of answers based on the horse owner’s desires and experience.

I keep two horses, Rosie and Billy, on our property of thirteen acres and spend about $1800 per year on our farrier, $1500 a year on feed, (Triple Crown Senior), about $500 per year for hay and maybe $500 on meds, fly spray and carrots. They have a run-in shed for shelter and about 8 acres of good pasture. That’s about $360 per month for two horses who are happy, healthy and used just for trail riding. 

On the other hand, a competitive show hunter or three day event horse might cost $50,000 to purchase, require professional training and lessons at around $2,000 per month, require an $80,000 tow vehicle for your $40,000 gooseneck horse trailer and regular vet visits just because.

Somewhere between those two extremes is your answer. Horses are very self sufficient and easily pleased with nothing more than good grass. Have a look at some Virginia horse farms for sale today and feel free to get in touch with John Ince with any questions you might have.

Frascati and Orange County, Virginia

Frascati and Orange County, Virginia

Orange County was established in 1734 and was the largest county that has ever existed in America, “The states of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia were once part of Orange County. Over time, its boundaries have contracted to an elongated county of approximately 37 miles by 17 miles.” (via VA250). Few, if any, counties in the United States have witnessed the formation of this country as has Orange County. Two Presidents were born here, including James Madison who wrote the Constitution at Montpelier. Hundreds of antebellum homes still exist in Orange County including several important estates built and owned by our founding fathers with several directly influenced by Thomas Jefferson, a neighbor and colleague in nearby Charlottesville. One such example is Frascati which was built by Jefferson’s mason, John Perry, who also worked on Monticello and the University of Virginia.

Frascati is proudly offered for sale by Wiley Real Estate and is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a National Landmark in Somerset, one of Virginia’s most exceptional estate areas.

Orange County is a delightful place to live with a decidedly rural flavor and two small towns, Orange and Gordonsville, both offering small town charm and an honest taste of Americana. One could easily fill weeks touring historic sites, visiting wineries, or enjoying the many outdoor activities in Virginia’s piedmont. As a long time resident of Orange County, I am convinced that we enjoy a near perfect situation where we thoroughly enjoy the intimacy of small town living as both Orange and Gordonsville are just 10 minutes away and Charlottesville, one of America’s most charming University towns, is just 30 minutes south. Learn more about Orange County >

Please give me a call if you have any questions about Frascati or Orange County and if you’d like to visit for a weekend or a week check out Maple Crest or any of the other delightful short term rentals in Orange County.


John Ince
434-981-3011
john@charlottesvillecountry.com

Orange County Office
132 East Main Street
Orange, VA 22960
Phone: 540 672 3903

Charlottesville Office
503 Faulconer Drive – Suite 6
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Phone: 434 293 3900

wileyproperty.com | charlottesvillecountry.com

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.

Farms and Estates for sale >

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

Historic properties for sale, Charlottesville, Virginia

Historic properties for sale, Charlottesville, Virginia

Historic properties abound in Virginia. After all the “First landing” that became Jamestown in 1607 was more than 400 hundred years ago marked the beginning of the colonization of America. Virginia has been the birthplace of eight United States Presidents and Charlottesville, Virginia is home to three of the first five including Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and James Madison. Each of their final homes, Jefferson’s Monticello, Monroe’s Highlands and Madison’s Montpelier are national landmarks and open to the public. Thomas Jefferson was certainly the most influential as far as shaping an architectural style found throughout Virginia’s piedmont. From his iconic Monticello which dubbed Charlottesville with its moniker Nickletown to the spectacular grounds of the University of Virginia with it’s serpentine walls and classic rotunda to the many important plantation homes like Frascati, Somerset Plantation and Barboursville that were built for his friends and colleagues by the same craftsmen that built his private home and his University of Virginia.

For those with a love of history there is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the most significant historic properties to bear the hallmark of Thomas Jefferson. Frascati was built in 1823 for Supreme Court Justice Phillip Pendleton by John Perry, Jefferson’s trusted mason who worked on both Monticello and the University. It stands today much as it did when completed in 1823 and remains a “Monument to the Piedmont”. Frascati is in excellent condition and is perfectly positioned on 62 acres in Somerset. Frascati is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Historic landmark.

Call John Ince at 434.981.3011
MLS 637878

frascati.charlottesvillecountry.com

Frascati, Somerset, Virginia

Frascati, Somerset, Virginia

Here’s your second chance to acquire an iconic historic property in the heart of the Somerset estate area. Our buyer had a change of heart and sadly retreated from their commitment in the 11th hour. Frascati is now back on the market and ready for its next chapter with many recent improvements. Don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of history in this most hallowed ground of Orange County.

Call John Ince at 434.981.3011
MLS 637878

frascati.charlottesvillecountry.com

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!

Historic Somerset: A Chance to Own a Piece of History

Historic Somerset: A Chance to Own a Piece of History

Historic Somerset: A Rare Opportunity to Own a Piece of History

When Frascati was completed in 1823 in Orange County, Virginia for Phillip Barbour who had just retired as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Somerset was already a pretty good neighborhood. Less than two miles away as the crow flies was Montpelier, the home of James and Dolly Madison where the United States Constitution was drafted. Madison had been retired since his second term as president ended in 1817. Five miles south was Somerset Plantation built for Thomas Macon and his wife Sarah, sister to James Madison. Somerset Plantation was the largest home in Orange County at the time and was situated on a commanding hill overlooking the Piedmont and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just to the south was the home of James Barbour, Phillip’s brother, a lifelong statesman having served as Virginia’s Governor during the War of 1812 and then as Senator and Secretary of War from 1814-1825. Thomas Jefferson designed Barboursville and indeed influenced all four of these remarkable homes all of which employed the craftsmen he used to build Monticello and the University of Virginia.

The Frascati Estate is a chance to own a rare piece of history

Frascati c. 1823

Somerset plantation c. 1803

Somerset Plantation c. 1803

Montpelier c. 1760

Montpelier c. 1760

Barboursville Ruins c. 1822

Barboursville Ruins c. 1822

Today, Montpelier, Frascati and Somerset plantation still exist much as they did in the 19th century. Barboursville was gutted by fire on Christmas day in 1884 yet the ruins remain and are preserved by Barboursville Vineyards, one of Virginia’s premier wineries. This unspoiled part of Orange County is still entirely rural and each of these historic properties still command significant acreage. A drive through Somerset on Route 20, (Constitution Highway) or Route 231, (Blue Ridge Turnpike) will wind through rolling farm land, past antebellum estates and simple farm houses. You’ll catch your breath as each curve presents new vistas of grazing horses and cows and crops like corn, soybeans, alfalfa and sorghum with the Blue Ridge Mountains always present to the west.

 

I had the occasion to enjoy a gathering at Frascati with my wife this winter and as we sat in the magnificent parlor listening to someone playing the piano we imagined what other gatherings had listened to music in this very room. Surely, Phillip’s brother James, their neighbors James and Dolley Madison and the Macons of Somerset Plantation would have been regular guests. Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe were also contemporaries and friends and would probably have been overnight guests after a 20 mile carriage ride. History lives vividly in these important houses which are just four of the the 37 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Orange County https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/068-0304/.

 

Frascati is an historic treasure and the rarest of of opportunities to acquire to such an important home in museum quality condition in one of Virginia’s most beautiful estate areas. Frascati is proudly offered for sale through Wiley Real Estate.

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Frascati Estate for Sale

Frascati Estate for Sale

A rare opportunity to acquire a significant historic estate in a superb location just 30 minutes from Charlottesville and the University of Virginia.

 

The house is described in the Virginia andmarks Registry as well as in the National Register of Historic Places as “one of the outstanding architectural monuments of the Piedmont.”

 

Click below for the full description of this amazing property! To go directly to the listing click the button below.

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