NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: From Argentina and Completely Lost  (Read 510 times)


  • Joined Mar 2020
  • Bathgate, Scotland
From Argentina and Completely Lost
« on: March 22, 2020, 09:53:55 am »
Hi everyone,

Just found the website today and registered. Wanted to say hello and also hoping to get some sort of guidance :D

We're a family of 4 - me, my wife and our two boys (4, and 1). We moved to Scotland, just outside of Edinburgh, a year ago. The idea was to settle down here and then get a smallholding as a rental and eventually buy. The long term plan is to use have land where we can keep poultry, pigs and potentially a milk cow. Also, want to have a garden for vegetables and fruit.

In the short run, we wanted to start out with poultry to slowly learn as well as teach our kids how little chicks grow up and start laying eggs, etc. Where we currently live the landlord does not allow even a single chick to exist within the property so that is what restarted our search to look for a smallholding.

I have a software business where most of my work is remote but I sometimes do need to go into Edinburgh to see clients (once or twice a week at most). So the idea is to find a smallholding to rent in an area where it is easy to get to Edinburgh but also far off enough from city life so we can neighbors who have their own smallholdings. Problem is, we don't even know where to look (rightmove does not seem to be the ideal place for these kind of properties?).

Anyway, sorry for the long winded post. Hoping to get the ball rolling on this soon. Feel free to ask any questions you guys might have for me as well :).

Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some say it's in England.
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 07:32:47 pm »
Hi Nico.  I'm at the other end of the country and can't really offer you much advice about Scottish property, but just wanted to say welcome to this great forum and, if I may, ask why you have decided to emigrate from Argentina and settle with your family in Scotland. 


  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 07:46:31 pm »
hello Nico; welcome to TAS  :wave:

this estate agent might be useful to you


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 07:59:29 pm »

I think finding a smallholding to rent will be the hardest part. Whilst you might find a rental with a large garden where you could grow vegetables and keep hens, it would be unusual to find anywhere with enough space for pigs, cows etc. That said, some people have solved that by renting farmland and then separately renting a house nearby.

The two Scottish estate agencies it would be worth talking to are CKD Galbraith and Bell Ingram.

I Hope that's helpful!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 09:00:29 pm »
Very hard to find any smallholding/Croft to rent anywhere in this country I think. Buying is not easier unless you have quite a lot to invest I'm afraid. But it is certainly the best lifestyle you can have! So dont give up!
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 11:47:48 pm »
Hi Nico

25 years ago we were actively searching for a smallholding, whilst living in Edinburgh.  Within about 20 miles of the city, every possibility was bought up by builders to be renovated and sold for a whole load of money, to people looking for a house with land for their children's horses and ponies.  So we started looking further afield and found our place here in south Lanarkshire - we are near the town of Biggar.  Our smallholding was deemed to be too far to commute (back then) but we both did so and soon got used to the daily journey.  Now people commute even greater distances.  Our place was bought, and I must admit that I am unaware of smallholdings for rent.  However, the place to go for property sales and lets in this area is Lawrie and Symington in Lanark - they are auctioneers of livestock and other stuff, and also arrange land lets.  Try phoning them, but of course right now with everyone in lockdown they would not be able to do more than advise.  The area we are in is off the tourist routes and still very rural and beautiful.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined Mar 2020
  • Bathgate, Scotland
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 12:23:40 pm »
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and the helpful links and advice. Clearly, RightMove wasn't the right place to be looking ;D

@arobwk We moved here for various reasons.
  • I have (or had before this virus situation) a successful software consultancy and services business in Latin America. Saw the opportunity in the UK and decided to establish it here.
  • We specifically chose Scotland because we have friends here we've known for over 15 years. That helped us not be completely isolated.
  • I have a skin condition that does not allow me to be in the sun for too long so Scotland seemed like the perfect place, hehe.
  • Visited Scotland last year for the first time ever, was really impressed with how beautiful the country was so thought, why the heck not move here for a bit.

@Womble thank you for the suggestion about renting farmland separately. I do not have any experience in this but I assume that could tire you out with a full time commitments of the business as well.

We were looking at a house with a large enough garden and a paddock (another term I just recently, been a great learning experience this with differences in terminology in Spanish and English hehe) to rent but this lockdown has put all of that on hold.

@macgro7 You're right, definitely not easy. Before the virus hit I was in a much better position to buy. I'm pretty sure I can build it back up to the level and then look at buying next year. :)

@Fleecewife thanks for sharing the story. We have looked at South Lanarkshire but again using RightMove. So with these new resources that everyone kindly shared, we will be looking at it again.

Question in general:
Is it possible to buy land and then throwing a little portable house on it while we build a house? What would that entail here? Are there specific permissions and areas we would need to look at?


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some say it's in England.
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2020, 05:46:58 pm »
@nicodearg I was hoping not to be the member to offer disappointing news, but someone has to do it.  Don't get too optimistic about building a new house on your land:  gaining planning permission for new permanent accommodation on rural holdings is not easy*.  However, if one were to be successful with that, permission for temporary accommodation would likely be given to cover the build period.

*Development policies in Scotland might be different to those in the rest of the UK and someone might come along in a while to offer specific advice in that respect. 

However, if you can't afford/find suitable acres with an existing house, your other options are likely to be:

a) find property with a building of some kind that can reasonably be converted into living accommodation (although contact with Local Planning Department would be advisable before purchase);
b) find land very close to a village or town and buy an existing home there;
c) buy house in a rural setting and look to rent land nearby.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 05:49:43 pm by arobwk »


  • Joined Mar 2020
  • Bathgate, Scotland
Re: From Argentina and Completely Lost
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2020, 10:09:14 pm »

Thanks for the feedback. And I really appreciate the insight. It’s not disappointing at all. Good to know the challenges that exist so I can work out a realistic plan on how to achieve what I want. :)


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