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Guys - So the wife forced me to buy another house. This new house is 1.5 ac on a lake with about 1ac flat yard. There is plenty of work with the new house. The existing house is 12 ac in rugged steep - even dangerous - country that has about 2 ac in yard and 10 ac that I’m starting to pioneer. There is plenty of work remaining with the existing house. The houses are 140 miles apart. I have a 28 foot double axle covered car trailer that can be used for transport and an Expedition to tow it. I also have a 5x8 single axle that could carry implements. They are both in residential neighborhoods, so upkeep is important.

If I tow - well, you guys know the problem. Basically it will add 3 hours to a weekend in terms of loading, driving, unloading, more fuel, more wear and tear, and more transport risk.


I tried mowing the new property with my old Lowes purchased JD D160 (I think it is a 48 inch cut). Just not do-able in any reasonable time frame for me. In fact, the wife cut it mostly the first time - but I doubt this will be sustainable. So if I go with more equipment, it will have to be a more capable rig than a 48 inch lawn tractor.

You can see from my signature I have been buying plenty of accessories for my 1025 FLB.

Considerations: 1. I really don’t want to buy another tractor (my wife will be a hard sell because she wants furniture/rugs/crap)
2. I really don’t want to tow it all the time.
3. Reuse of implements would be awesome.
4. More diverse capabilities (like Ventrac kind of handling for the hilly property) would be awesome.

Possibilities: 1. A yard service for both properties (getting poorer by the minute here).
2. New equipment and swap locations based on need/capabilties/mission.
3. Keep making the wife cut it (yeah right).


So if I buy additional equipment, what would you buy? Zero turn, Ventrac, bigger tractor, smaller tractor, etc.?

Any suggestion no matter how crazy are appreciated.
 

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I cant say with any more certainty without studying on it some more and with a whole lot more information or actually seeing both properties, but I believe if it were me, Id probably look for a good, used, commercial zero turn for your smaller property and leave the rest at your place.

You may need to learn to be a good project planner if you arent already (Im certainly not), but if you can do that, you could easily plan ahead for any projects you want to tackle at the new place and transport what you need over the course of a trip or two over a few weeks/months depending on what you will need at your old place.

I used to want to own a few different Deere GTs from different eras, but after having done that a few times, to me, its more of a hassle than its worth.
Sure I like them, and do my own work on them, but if they arent getting used regularly, they can get cantankerous.
Its more maintenance too, and that can be time consuming. Maybe too, as I get older, the less "extra" stuff I want around.
Right now Im down to my Exmark for mowing, my 318 for little jobs and for the kids to use to help out, and the 2025.
Thats about my bare minimum, mostly because the 318 wont ever get sold. My Grandfather bought it new, and Ive been using it since it was new.

I suppose that would be another option, depending on the work needing done, a nice garden tractor with a 54 or 60" deck. Doesnt have to be new, obviously. You wont be able to use any of the 1025 attachments on it, but it might be worth looking at, or maybe not.

Another possibility based on buying used, Ive seen several 2305s around fairly cheap, along with other older SCUTs. You likely could use most attachments on that.
I suppose to make it worthwhile, youd have to find one near the cost of a decent Zero Turn. That may take a bit of searching and waiting, but could be the best solution since it would be able to use the attachments.
 

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Which property would you be utilizing the TLB at more often?

Is it mostly mowing duties at the new place, or a bunch of loader/backhoe work that needs to be done?

If you're looking at just mowing, I'd vote for a zero turn. If you need to pull anything, snow removal, mow, then I'd vote for a X series machine. If you're looking for more serious attachments and capability I'd vote for a 4044R with cab and A/C, or even a 1025R or 2025R.
 

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Personally, I'd vote for just getting a yard service at whichever house you'll be at the least. As much as vacation homes are nice to have, IME, people don't get to them as often as they think they will. What happens if you can't get there for a month? At first it seems like that will never happen but then 4 or 5 years later... yeah, don't want to do that drive on the big holiday weekends. Or you decide that you want to go somewhere else for 2 weeks to get a change of scenery. You end up showing up one weekend and the grass is a foot tall and you spend the whole weekend mowing and raking. Blah!

I used to own a 2nd house up in Maine on a lake. The 1st year I mowed it myself. But I was the only person that did that. There was one guy that lived there year round and he mowed everyone else's lawn. I ended up hiring him for $20/week to do mine too. The next 15 years went a lot easier.
 

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We were in a near identical situation. The bride accepted a new position three hours away. I dug my heels in about purchasing another home until we sure the new position would last after the honeymoon was over. So a year later we started looking and spent the next 6 - 8 months and finally bought a foreclosure on a lake for her.

I really like the concept of having the same tractor at both locations. At the time I had a 455 AWS and purchased another for the second home. That worked for a year or so, but the second home just had more landscaping work than the 455 could do and the #2 shovel and I are just not the dance partners we once were. So long story short, I purchased a 1025R FTLB. I did well selling the first 455 and its attachments (actually made money vs what I paid for it) so I decided to sell the second and purchase another 1025R. The first unit I purchased with the 0%. I cashed out the second and purchased it with the mower deck and snow blower, as JD had a two implement/attachment promo running at the time. I did get the salesman to agree to sell me the balance of the quoted attachments, FEL, MCS20, Cozy Cab, etc) at the price quoted with the tractor until the end of the calendar year. So as I sold off the 455 attachments, which supplied the cash and freed up space, I acquired the balance of the attachments.

I was still residing at the other home, so the bride had to mow and blow snow with the 1025R, which she actually enjoyed doing. Between getting the two setup, I had to rotate them out, so she did manage to wipe out all four tail lights on tree branches (just lenses or pulled nut inserts). I just leave them on the cabs now.

Well. 3.5 years after acquiring the second home, the bride decided she didn't like that job and accepted another 30 minutes from the first home. With the repairs/improvements I made to the second home, we actually did quite well. However, I now have a second 1025R in storage. We're contemplating another move when she can retire in three years, so I'm vacillating between just continuing to store it until we get to that point, in the event I need it, or taking the beating on the initial depreciation and selling the second unit now. I just installed the FEL on it January and have yet to use it---all the paint is still on the bucket bottom.

I actually had both tractors at the second home when I was doing the big piece of the landscape improvements. It was real handy not having to swap out implements....AND when I got one stuck in the mud..more than once.
 

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Some folks seem to handle owning a second property well, others don't. I'm one of the ones on the "don't" side. When I was away from one, I spent many a sleepless hour wondering about it. Was there a water leak, a fire, a break-in, etc.?

So my thought on your question is to keep all your equipment at the larger place where you need it the most. For the second, smaller place, hire someone to take care of the exterior maintenance. Install a decent security system. When you go to property number 2, that should be your time to relax. Maybe twice a year, load up the trailer and take the heavy equipment to the second property, and spend a week doing those things you want to do by yourself. Otherwise, just enjoy the place.
 

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Guys - So the wife forced me to buy another house. This new house is 1.5 ac on a lake with about 1ac flat yard. There is plenty of work with the new house. The existing house is 12 ac in rugged steep - even dangerous - country that has about 2 ac in yard and 10 ac that I’m starting to pioneer. There is plenty of work remaining with the existing house. The houses are 140 miles apart. I have a 28 foot double axle covered car trailer that can be used for transport and an Expedition to tow it. I also have a 5x8 single axle that could carry implements. They are both in residential neighborhoods, so upkeep is important.

If I tow - well, you guys know the problem. Basically it will add 3 hours to a weekend in terms of loading, driving, unloading, more fuel, more wear and tear, and more transport risk.


I tried mowing the new property with my old Lowes purchased JD D160 (I think it is a 48 inch cut). Just not do-able in any reasonable time frame for me. In fact, the wife cut it mostly the first time - but I doubt this will be sustainable. So if I go with more equipment, it will have to be a more capable rig than a 48 inch lawn tractor.

You can see from my signature I have been buying plenty of accessories for my 1025 FLB.

Considerations: 1. I really don’t want to buy another tractor (my wife will be a hard sell because she wants furniture/rugs/crap)
2. I really don’t want to tow it all the time.
3. Reuse of implements would be awesome.
4. More diverse capabilities (like Ventrac kind of handling for the hilly property) would be awesome.

Possibilities: 1. A yard service for both properties (getting poorer by the minute here).
2. New equipment and swap locations based on need/capabilties/mission.
3. Keep making the wife cut it (yeah right).


So if I buy additional equipment, what would you buy? Zero turn, Ventrac, bigger tractor, smaller tractor, etc.?

Any suggestion no matter how crazy are appreciated.
Amen brother
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is all very good advise. And I now realize because of your great responses that I will not be a very enthusiastic second property owner. My wife of nearly 40 years wanted the house to be near my daughter. She claims she will be up there the majority of the time. At best, I will be there every other weekends. The property is in the middle of a suburban area so their might be competition for the work.

I think the best thing is to get a yard service at both places. That way, I do have a bit of freedom left and when I work at either house, it will be because I CHOOSE to do so. Then I don’t mind “project planning” for a project and managing the tractor and equipment moves. The big chores like areating, spraying, fertilizing, etc., can be managed by the tractor on a periodic basis.

But I do want a pioneering type setup like a ventrac with a mulcher. Or maybe a bobcat with a mulcher.
 

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As was said before, and you've agreed, I'd pay someone to maintenance the second property. I wouldn't want to have to drive 140 miles to a "vacation home" only to know my first few hours are going to be spent doing the same chores you have to do at the main place. It wouldn't be enjoyable, and like was said, what happens when something comes up and you don't feel like going? I like your idea of paying someone to maintenance both properties (being Ohio I'm assuming this means snow removal as well). It's bound to be cheaper than paying another tractor payment. Moving the tractor back and forth every weekend? I use my 30' v-nose enclosed inline trailer (snowmobile hauler) for transporting my 1025R with my truck. I average about 7-8MPG when towing with it in this configuration, and as you said it becomes a pain because there's only certain places you can stop, and navigating traffic with almost 60' of truck and trailer is a joke sometimes. I'd much rather just have the truck by itself, and get 3x the gas mileage.

With that said, I would consider upgrading the 1025R to something a little bigger if your plan is to work the 10 acres at your primary house. If you've never used one, you'll be amazed what a skid steer can accomplish, and the amount of attachments you can have on them. If you want to stay with a tractor, look at the John Deere 4 series with cab like was mentioned before.
 
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