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Author Topic: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?  (Read 30868 times)

missnearlyvintage

  • Joined Oct 2012
Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« on: October 13, 2012, 05:41:08 pm »
Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie from the midlands, and an aspiring smallholder, but I'm struggling to work out how my family and I will ever be able to afford this lifestyle. I am a housewife with a young son, and my husband earns a decent wage, but this doesn't even seem to scratch the surface in terms the funds needed to rent or buy a smallholding, let alone run one. So, I'm wondering whether there is a secret so that the 'average' family might be able to afford this, or if I should give up on this dream if it isn't realistic.

I'd be really interested to hear other people's experiences with this and what your thoughts are.

My dream is to have a modest 2/3 bed house, with maybe 2 acres of land, so not massive, but still not seemingly attainable.

Thanks!
Voss Electric Fence

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 05:46:54 pm »
Hello - welcome to TAS. I'm also midlands (Worcestershire)

I think you will hear a broad range of answers to your question! I would consider our family as fairly average apart from the fact we are an extended family with my disabled mum living with us.  When we bought our holding (a very run down holding I should add!!) there was my husband who had a fairly good wage, myself a stay home mum and 4 small children.

Nearly everything needed sorting out before we could buy animals, grow veg etc. We've had to 'make do and mend' mainly.   Nowadays I run a small business making goats milk soap but we are still far from rich!
We have found that the rewards of smallholding have been to make us well off in terms of health, happiness and satisfaction at what we can achieve with our hands/grow etc and cheesy as that sounds, we are much happier than before.  The house is a long way from being renovated but now we have re-established the old veg patch, planted new fruit trees, had proper stock fencing put in around a couple of acres - still quite a few to do when we can afford to, added 2 livestock sheds and learnt how to make plum wine  ;)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2012, 05:48:30 pm »
you can still find properties to rent in wales and scotland that could be used for smallholding, you have to try and make everything atleast pay for itself, if not make profit.
hi from cornwall! :thumbsup: :tree:

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2012, 05:54:40 pm »
To buy one - I think the short answer is yes. Neither I nor my wife have ever earned over the average wage in this country (21K).


To rent..... it depends how you go about it. If you need the holding to be joined together then they do seem to be making a premium. However, you could rent some land near a/your house. I live on an arable farm and live in a semi, 2 bed with my wife and daughter, she works full time (PA) and I do the farming and mind my daughter. I now rent just shy of 200ac in various blocks of short-term grazings, with no SFP entitlements. on this, I run about 350 sheep. This makes me a part-time income and is a part-time job which suits me looking after the littleun, so it can work.


I don't know about pigs etc, might be harder to rent ground for them, but I know a feller who does a similar thing with cows and lives in the middle of town. We have poultry in the garden - farmers as landlords tend to be more relaxed about this than townies who have bought a place in the country and are waiting to retire into it, cos they seem to apply 'town rules'.

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 06:10:10 pm »
Get your name down for an allotment while you search for your smallholding.

I don't think you need to be well off,  you have to be persistant and lucky. Search and ask everyone everywhere. We were lucky to find our farm in Mid Wales. The house is small but it has all the buildings and land that we need.

Good Luck

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 06:45:17 pm »
 :wave:  Hi


If you are able to re-locate then you may find you get more for your money. We moved from Midlands/Shropshire area to Mid-Wales about 3 years ago and have a bigger house than we could afford in that area, plus 2 acres and a small orchard. We are in a similar position in that we chose for me to give up work and stay at home once we started a family so only one wage coming in for many years now.


Like Plums, we have been doing things gradually and still have much to do inside and out. However, it is well worth it .... would never want to go back. A beautiful place to live and our farming neighbours are great. They help us out with experience we obviously lack and are really welcoming. Think it is possible if you don't long for material things ..... which we don't. A lot of farming stuff can be picked up at dispersal sales for good prices ..... just come back from one today with some goodies  :excited:


Good luck

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 06:49:40 pm »
Get your name down for an allotment while you search for your smallholding.

Depending on what part of the country you are in - you might well be dead three times over before your number comes up in that game! But you can always hope... Luck is definitely a part of it.

And at least you have one advantage: you are not alone. Single woman, middle-aged, no decent income - no chance in hell! I've been trying for many years to save up enough cash to buy something very small and rundown outright, as I know I'd never get a mortgage. Every time I have a few thousand in  the bank (not through earning a lot, but through working like hell and spending next to nothing), I lose my job and have to live on my savings. But even I was lucky to get a council house with a little garden...

RUSTYME

  • Joined Oct 2009
.
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 07:08:16 pm »
In the main , for every person that replies here , you will get a different answer .  What one person thinks is well off , another thinks it poverty . It is the classic " how long is a piece of string ?" .
Too many variables to answer off the cuff really .
Do you own your own home ?
Do you have experience with livestock ?
Do you 'both'  really want a smallholders life ?
Can the wage earner still earn once you get a holding ?
Can the other one cope with all the work and the kids on the holding ?
I could go on forever !
If you own a reasonable house worth £300,000+ you may find a smallholding somewhere for a similar price , if you are lucky , but the variables come in again . Is the land any good ?
Can it cope with livestock ?
Depending on area , is the growing season long enough for all your veg crops ?
My reply is not intended to put you off in any way , just to say that ultimately , only you can answer the question , based on what you want out of life and your own perceptions .
Read as much as you can on tas though . The alternate view , ie without rose tinted specs , is on here , for those that want to see it anyway .
The best thing you can do though is what you have done , ask questions , and apply the answers to your situation .
Good luck anyway .

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 07:17:16 pm »
Rustyme is right .... but ..... you don't need £300,000  :excited: :excited: :excited: . Think you have to search long and hard and some areas are more affordable than others and yes there will be compromises to make .... depends how much you want it.


My hubbie was lucky enough to get a job working from home and then we were off. If we had known we would have moved sooner and he would have commuted.

ballingall

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 07:45:49 pm »
You have to hold onto your dreams. It can be possible, but it means scouring property for sale, accepting that you will have to compromise on something, whether that is location, house condition, size of land etc.


Property is still more affordable the further "out" you go, Wales and Scotland are cheaper. In Scotland cheaper property is found in the south west, borders, highlands etc. of course, the trouble is that jobs are harder to find in those places, so it may depend on what your husband does for a living. Do you need to live within commuting distance of a big town for example.


Beth

missnearlyvintage

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 09:46:48 pm »
Thanks everyone, your replies are really interesting!

I don't think we could move to Scotland or Wales as my husband works for a big computing firm in the midlands and there isn't a lot of work like that out in the sticks I shouldn't think! But the thought of buying/renting a nice house, with a piece of land nearby sounds promising as an introduction to the lifestyle and something I hadn't really thought about before.

We won't be in a position to move somewhere new for about a year as we're tied into our current rental (nice enough end terrace, pretty back garden, but not allowed to create a veg patch/keep chickens and on the edge of a city), and with a very young son I won't be thinking about anything more than chickens and growing my own produce for a couple of years after that so a separate piece of land might be the way to go.

Wow, £300,000 is a lot of money! I don't think my husband is ever going to earn enough for us to afford that kind of money, it is good to have realistic answers though.

It's such a hard thing juggling my husband's commuting needs, with the ideal childhood I would like for my son, and ofcourse also keeping the finances in the black!

Thanks for all your ideas and advice, it's really good to talk to people who know about these things!

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 09:59:43 pm »
I think it is a bit harsh to flatten my advice about putting your name down for an allotment. If you don't put your name down you will never get one!!!! :knit:

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 10:48:10 pm »
getting an allotment would be a good way to start, allotment availability varies through the country, theres a few pivately run schemes down here in cornwall. worth lookng into.
its amazing how  much food you can provide from pots and window boxes if youve only a bit of space.

missnearlyvintage

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2012, 11:02:18 pm »
I am on a waiting list where I live for an and have been for a little while, but have been told that they don't think an allotment will become available for me before I leave this constituency next year. There are allotments about 5 minutes walk from me so I regularly go and peak through the gates to see what lovely things everyone is growing!
This probably isn't the place for this side-shoot of conversation, but I was also wondering what low maintainence, low budget plants I could grow too - we're trying really hard to save for a house deposit so living very frugally, but feel it would be nice to have a purpose in the garden, and maybe grow things that would be more expensive to buy in the shops too. I have a few big terracotta pots, and tools but little else, or any compost (garden soil is awful and contains a lot of rubble), and I can only start planting around Christmas when the little one get's a little more self sufficient. Any ideas please?
 I was hoping to plant garlic about now, but really don't have the time at the moment with bub practically stuck to my hip. Any ideas where I can get good value seeds/plants/compost from as well? The area I live in doesn't have any good garden centres nearby so I think I would have to order things over the internet.
Sorry for getting sidetracked, and sorry for being a novice as well. I knew I should have listened to my mother (with her degree in horticulture) when I was younger!


princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: Do you have to be 'well off' to buy/rent a smallholding?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2012, 11:34:08 pm »
we moved to scotland specifically to afford land. it wasnt acheivable where we lived in hampshire. there are lots of people who rent fields to keep there livestock whilst they live in town etc.
farming comes in all disguises, we went to yorkshire once to collect some young birds from a breeder who advertised in a national magazine and found he lived in a busy town and literally had a 8x10 garden shed from which he sold young chicks. his broodies were kept on the allotment.
you can give yourself a good supply of meat from a couple 4 tier rabbit hutches. or keep quails in them for meat/eggs. most gardens can support a couple of hens.
we sometimes do a scheme where people can keep a pig at our farm and help with its care etc until d-day.
whatever u do, every "project" has to pay for itself or u cant expand.
a couple of weaners dont need much land at all, u might be able to find a tatty corner somewhere.
do have a garden? properly run u can grow alot from a veg patch, greenhouse and containers.


In the main , for every person that replies here , you will get a different answer .  What one person thinks is well off , another thinks it poverty . It is the classic " how long is a piece of string ?" .
completely agree!




goodluck, and dont give up

 

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