Finding the Kizden

I'm moving back to the east coast in August, and while I do have places to live, both will only be temporary. I've already begun searching for my future, permanent home, but I won't be able to really scope things out until I get back to New York. In the meantime, if you have any leads or know of a realtor in the areas below, please let me know!

Location

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Oswego or Oneida counties have the trails and snowfall I’m looking for. However, I’m also keeping an eye out in Onondaga, Madison, Otsego, and Lewis counties. I’m willing to move further from a trail system if it means more affordable acres within my property to run. I can always drive to trails on the weekends.

There should be no dog laws or limitations in the area. I’ll also want to keep chickens with the option to incorporate other farm animals. 

A veterinary office and emergency vet should be within 30 minutes. I also shouldn’t have to drive more than 30 minutes for groceries, a home improvement store, or a hospital (I hurt myself a lot).

I work from home and rely on the internet to communicate with my colleagues. I’ll need a stable internet option for video chatting and screen sharing. Nothing off the grid!

Lastly, I’d like to be within five hours of central New Jersey/New York City, so that I can visit family and friends.

Land

The dream house would be on 20+ acres, with a few acres of cleared space for the dog yard and play area. A pre-existing fence would be amazing, but I assume I’ll need to put my own up. The rest of the acreage should be flat, wooded land with the ability to make my own trails. 

During the week, I only have 1-2 hours before or after work to run dogs, so I’d like to get a couple miles in directly from the property. In a perfect world, my land would border state forests and connect to a larger trail system (Winona State Forest, snowmobile trails). 

Ultimately, I want to be able to run five or six miles straight from my door, either on my own property or a connecting trail. I'll compromise on the lot size if there's trail systems available. 

I’d also like enough free space for a large garden and chicken run—separate and out of sight of the dog yard. 

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House

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The inside of the house isn’t as important as what's outside, but I do have some requirements. I need a bedroom, an office, and a room for dog stuff. An additional room for a guest bedroom would be a nice bonus. This could be solved by a four bedroom or a three bedroom with a large mudroom, finished basement, or enclosed porch.

A finished (or half finished) basement with walk-out access to the backyard would be ideal. I could set the dog room up down there and allow them to go in and out as they please. It would help contain dirt and hair, if I need to keep the dogs out of the primary living space.

I like to cook and entertain, so a large kitchen with plenty of counter space would be ideal. Appliances should be fairly new—fridge, microwave, range, and a dishwasher. A dining room isn’t a necessity, but an eat-in kitchen should be large enough for a decent sized table.

I do a lot of laundry and will need a washer and dryer, preferably in their own room or the basement, and not wedged into hallway or bathroom.

The house shouldn’t be more than 50-years-old. The roof and windows should be in excellent shape and not require any work to be done. The less carpet, the better. The interior should be more than 1,000 square feet. 

Central AC would be nice, though not a deal breaker if the windows are suitable for window AC units. 

A fireplace or wood burning stove would also be nice.

Outbuildings

I have a lot of gear and will need storage. The dream house would have a large garage, at least one shed, and a large barn with a tall door. I plan to convert the barn into dog kennels and would like to drive my dog-vehicle directly into the barn to load and unload.

The Quick List

  • Minimum of 5 acres (if connected to a trail system, more acres if not)
  • 3 bedrooms or 2 bedrooms with a mudroom, finished basement, or enclosed porch
  • Fridge, dishwasher, range, and microwave
  • Washer and dryer
  • Garage, shed, and barn
  • Within 30 minutes to civilization (vet, hospital, groceries, home improvement)
  • Within 5 hours to central NJ