How to own a LSB, but not have to do much work... ? (4HA)

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5 years 5 months ago - 5 years 5 months ago #529753 by MoNk
Hi :)

My wife and I are wanting to buy a lifestyle block - but more-so a property not in the suburbs, with no neighbours, and land to play with our dogs on.

It seems in Canterbury (Selwyn area) we will be forced to buy 2-4HA, with 4 being 90% of properties we are looking at.

Any ideas on what you can do with that much land but not have to deal with associated work looking after the land? I was trying to find if people would lease paddocks, but haven't found much about Selwyn. Certainly nothing listed anywhere.

My in-laws have 11HA, and have a small flock of sheep - but they sound like more trouble than they are worth.

FYI this is just my wife and I. Both working full time+ already. Not looking to profit off the land at all (unless you count growing our own vege/fruits).

Thanks!
Last edit: 5 years 5 months ago by MoNk.

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5 years 5 months ago #529757 by LongRidge
We have leased most of the neighbouring properties on an informal basis for 20 years, while the owners decided to do something else without having the hassle of caring for animals.
I work on the basis of returning the land in a similar condition that the owner would have. I prefer to pay on the number of animals that I am able to run, rather than a monthly lease. That way, the land owner is encouraged to spend the rental on fertiliser and weed control, which I will do at a reasonable rate.
My biggest problem is the stock running out of water, which I believe is the land owners responsibility to have an idiot-proof system.
Another problem is being restricted by which animals I am permitted to put onto the land. Grazing different species, when done properly, improves soil and animal health.
Another problem is the land owner thinking that he has free access over his land, and can dump or spread whatever he likes wherever he likes whenever he likes, without telling me. I lost a couple of thousand dollars by one owner having a fire which smoked the animals. Another couple of thousand was refunded by the owner after he left a broken lead-acid battery where the cattle could eat it. Owners wanting to walk their dogs through the animals is another thing that the owners cannot grasp.
The following user(s) said Thank You: MoNk

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5 years 5 months ago #529760 by MoNk
Sounds like they are harder to maintain than the land!
We are of the belief that is the land is being leased or taken care of by somebody else, I wouldn't be going onto it without permission.I would certainly never take my dogs through livestock.

The property we are looking at today has reasonably good divisions, and looks like it has good separate access which would be a plus. They currently have horses on half of it.
Some good tips about water, I didn't think of that at all.

So do you think it would still be a cost to the land owner in the end (if everything is done to your satisfaction), or the leaser?

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5 years 5 months ago #529773 by LongRidge
If that is a State Highway rather than a council road, then the stock owner will be forced to use a truck to get the stock on and off your property. Unless he is a neighbour, so that a gate can be put in the boundary fence. Using a truck needs yards and a loading ramp :-(.
With farming there is about a 10 year profitability cycle. So 2 years of big losses, 3 years of breakeven and improving, 2 years of big profits, then 3 years of reducing profits then small loss. And it is very difficult to know which part of the cycle you are now in. If you lease for short term, less than 3 years, the stock owner has to take a big risk that the market is not dropping. With a long term lease of more than 10 years, the land owner sees that the tenant is making a profit for 5 years, but does not notice the losses in the other 5 years. Then, the land owner gets tempted to halt the lease and do it himself, thus leaving the tenant only the poor years to be using your land :-(.
If you are a really nice land owner that does not mind being rung up at any time to ask you to check something, you can expect a lease to break even over a long term. The profit is having time to do non-farming things while living on a farm.
Good luck. It can work. Leasing for horticultural purposes can be a bit more profitable but you have to put up with sprays and noise.

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5 years 5 months ago #529796 by MoNk
Appreciate the advice.
No not state highway, and did have good separate access.

However the house was horrible. Relocated 1910 villa and somebody unskilled had 1/2 relined the place. Some rooms were like stepping into a Chch Museum exibit.

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5 years 5 months ago #529803 by hilldweller
Another low maintenance option (for a different property) is to get it made into hay or baleage each year and sell the baleage to the contractor who will sell it on. Not the best productive use of the land and won't bring in a lot of money but it will keep it tidy and prevent it becoming a fire risk. For that you need reasonable quality pasture and paddocks that are flat enough for the contractor's machinery and easy to work in - good access, bigger paddocks rather than lots of little ones, no junk lying around etc.

hilldweller

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5 years 5 months ago - 5 years 5 months ago #529895 by G n T
'How to own a LSB, but not have to do much work...'

Hahahahahhahahahahaha!!!

(we work our butts off- (literally, one cannot eat so many pork chops without needing to do a bit of hard labour from time to time), but we have great fun doing it)
Last edit: 5 years 5 months ago by G n T.

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5 years 5 months ago #529896 by MoNk
Lol. I should just concrete 3.9HA . Leave a little bit of lawn for the dogs to piss on.

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5 years 5 months ago #529902 by Anakei

MoNk wrote: Lol. I should just concrete 3.9HA . Leave a little bit of lawn for the dogs to piss on.


It did strike me when reading this thread, that by the time you have leased out the suitable paddocks which then become unavailable for your use, you might just as well stay in town and find somewhere with a big garden. Far less trouble!

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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5 years 5 months ago #529903 by tonybaker
MoNk is sort of working in the right direction!
A number of LSBers take on too much to start with and get disillusioned. I think the zenith of LSB is to having the luxury of choosing what jobs to tackle, rather than being a slave to the block.
When I started out and was working full time, I leased my land to a local butcher. He kept me in meat and a bit of cash and I was able to concentrate on building a house and getting the vege patch going.
Nowadays I utilise the whole block and feel that I am in control and not always on the back foot!

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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