I’m beginning to wonder if there is something bigger brewing here…

Hubby and I have been looking for a place to live in the Paso Robles, CA area for almost 2 years now (Hubby works in Paso Robles and it is 5 hours from where I live in Grass Valley).  At first we were trying to purchase… and we still are…but this is a big wine region and prices are high.  So far, we haven’t found anything we could afford that will work for the horses.

We then thought that we could rent… and still, nothing.

We even had renters all lined up for our home in Grass Valley which I thought was a great incentive and that we’d find a place any minute.  But eventually, our renters had to find another place…


Today, I was with Hubby on his birthday weekend and we received a call about another property that had just come onto the market.  The listing agent had made a mistake in the listing, so we were the only ones that knew about it – it was important to jump on it right away.

Luckily, we were both in Paso Robles, so we raced to the house.

The description was almost perfect!

Amazing Acreage! This is an outstanding opportunity! 12+ acres, Horse property with 2 stall horse barn, tack room and hay storage, fenced/cross fenced pasture with shelter. This Turn-Key Custom Mobile Home has a wood burning fireplace, vaulted ceiling, skylight, office and an open floor plan. A must see property with Black Oak, Pine, Olive trees and two seasonal creeks. NO HOA so bring your Horses, 4H projects, recreation vehicles. Has hot tub, full RV hookup and electric security gate. Solar panels result in no electric bill. Well producing 20 GPM. Call for an appointment to see this home before it’s gone.


Upon arrival, we noted that this property was hidden behind a huge scrap metal yard and a dirt bike race track that was associated with a large dirt bike shop…

Hubby and I walked the entire property.  It was all that the description said.  It had 12 acres, lots of trees, a barn,  it was pretty and it was mostly fenced.

What we couldn’t ignore was the continuous din of the motorcycle track, even though we were told it is ‘only really busy on the weekends’.

The other part that we couldn’t ignore was that the home was situated a few acres behind a very unsightly salvage yard.

But, to be honest, at this point, the right land might be worth motorcycles and unsightliness…

What really got to us was the loooooong, shared road into the property.  It would need to be paved – and soon!   The fact that none of the other owners have yet to pave it, and they’ve been there for years, made us wince a little.  The pricetag would be enormous – which is probably why it hasn’t been done.


On the upside, (I wish I had taken a photo…) the neighbor had a Jack Russell mix dog that ran over to greet us.  She followed along the entire viewing and Hubby fell in love with her.  The real estate agent kidded that the dog was part of the deal… but we knew better (otherwise, Hubby might have gone for it!).


After the viewing, Hubby and I sat in the car and discussed all of it.  Both of us feel like the clock is running out.  Here, finally, was a large property with fencing and a barn AND TREES, but we weren’t in love.

Hubby said that our needs are like a Rubik Cube… once one issue (side) is solved, several other issues (sides) need to be resolved.


At what point do we give up the dream in our heads and just find some place already?…

Or do we not give up our dream and keep searching until we find it?

Or, are we pounding on the wrong door?

The bottom line was that we wanted to feel great about wherever we lived… or at least ‘pretty good’ and sure that we could improve it and make it our own.

But does it really take this long?  Are we being too picky?  Does it matter that a property is behind a junkyard and a motorcycle track?


But, it just seems very odd to me that we still have not found a place to purchase or rent.

I just wonder if we are walking down the wrong path.  I wonder if our direction will change… How long can we NOT find a place.  Is it us?  Or the area?  Or the timing?

I suppose that in a year, I will look back on this post and have my answer.  Maybe.

It looked almost perfect in the photo!

It looked almost perfect in the photo!

CAN WE HELP ARACELY?  Our January Bucket Fund mare has a horrible infection on her face… it actually looks a lot better here.   We think the eye is out of danger as long as the infection stays at bay.  Click here to donate and read her story!

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8 comments have been posted...

  1. Diane

    Keep looking!!!! We bought our dream home without knowing that a neighboring property with a huge indoor arena used for equestrian events was also used for indoor dirt bike racing during the winter. The din is mind numbing!!! Luckily for us, they only used it during the winter when our windows were closed and after a few years they moved to new winter quarters.

    Alexis is spot on about reselling.

  2. sandy

    Yes, keep looking. You and the horses don’t need that noise from motorcycles. Part of horses and country living is the quiet and peace.

  3. Shanna Border

    If it helps, it took a solid year of looking at all kinds of potential acreages before we bought the one we live at now. And we don’t live in wine country! Don’t settle. If someone says it has “potential”, run the other direction! :-) The right place will come and you won’t regret the wait.

  4. dawndi Post author

    Great advice. (I love those huge trees in huge boxes… there is a nursery near where we live. Amazing.)
    We have not checked the FSBO site. We looked on Craigslist. That is a very good idea. Thank you for your wisdom.

  5. Alexis

    What you also need to think about is this: if you purchase, someday you may also want to turn around and re-sell. THE worst thing you can do is buy where there are clearly visible neighborhood problems – the kind of problems that strongly de-value your property. And junkyards and noise are among the worst offenders.

    Example: I had a property in an incredibly desirable neighborhood (small acreages, big custom homes with mountain views, adjacent to a 600-acre state-dedicated equestrian park) but the road noise was awful – the property had hundreds of feet worth of road frontage. After my house sat on the market for a year, when other homes in the area not situated along the road sold inside of 60 days, and the consistent complaint was noise, we invested a little over 10K in noise buffering berms, landscaping, and brought in transplanted trees that already were already at least 8 feet tall (hadn’t known that was possible! possible but very expensive) to cluster along the road. Instant silence. And within a week of completion of the project, a sale – at more than our asking price, which had been boosted to cover the expense of “exterior renovation.”

    If you haven’t already done so you might start looking at FSBOs rather than going through realtors. I’ve found, in years of investing in rural properties, that the FSBOs are often hidden and affordable gems.

  6. Andrea

    My life’s mantra………..if it’s meant to be, it will be easy.

  7. Ina M Ish

    Keep looking! It took me eight years to find this farm. The junk yard and the track would drive you and the horses mad, besides the yard and track are not good karma. Too destructive of Mother Earth.

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