Winchester, VA area--is homesteading possible?? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My husband is considering a job in Winchester, VA but the area seems to be quite restrictive as to what you can and cannot do on your land. We now live in SE Ohio where there are no building codes or restrictions at all. Is it possible to homestead in this area of VA? A realtor laughed at me when I told him I wanted to have chickens. How far away from Winchester do we have to go to be able to have animals and garden? Thanks for the info.

-- Sharon Frey (, July 04, 2001


Hmmmmmm..... I"ve see a LOT of homesteads in the Winchester, VA area while traveling through and visiting there. We lived 2 and 1/2 hrs away in Victoria, VA. Its sometimes difficult to find a good realator. Have you tried United Country? How far from Winchester do you want to be? I will say this, when we first moved to VA from NYS in 93 it was difficult to find a place too, we were in Colinial Beach at the time and we ran into the same difficulties, restrictions and if we did frind a place it was tooooo much. But i do recall we checked into the Front Royal area and wichester and found places but they were too far. Its hard when you get close to the DC area.

good Luck!


-- Bernice (, July 04, 2001.

Sounds like maybe you should switch your realtor. Unless you are buying into a subdivision with a lot of covenants and restrictions, you shouldn't have many problems. I live in Rappahannock County (about 30-45 minutes from Winchester)and have found that rural sections of Northern Virginia generally are pretty much "live and let live" unless you are looking into suburban-type developments. Much success to you in your search.... Liz Rhein

-- LizRhein (, July 04, 2001.

I live about 30 minutes away in Lovettsville, VA, near Leesburg in the neighboring county of Loudoun. I have chickens and my neighbor has goats and our county far more restrictive than Clarke county (I think that's the county winchester is in.). My step-grandma lived in winchester for a couple of years. Very big place for apples! I think as long as you don't live right in town, you shouldn't have too much trouble. Good Luck!

-- Elizabeth (, July 04, 2001.

Having lived in Manassas about mid way between Winchester and Wash.DC I do recommend bringing lots and lots of money.

-- mitch hearn (, July 04, 2001.

Whoops! Sorry, Winchester is actually in Frederick county. And yes, it is very expensive to live out here (not quite as bad in Winchester as in Leesburg, though).

-- Elizabeth (, July 04, 2001.

Winchester is not far from the West Virginia border. Land is cheaper there and worth looking at.

-- walt (, July 05, 2001.

I live in Stafford County Virginia which is about an hour and a half from Winchester. I would suggest that you go on the internet for their county (Frederick) and ask what their zoning restrictions are. The Virginia Cooperative Extension Service will give you a link. I suspect, they are like Stafford, in that if you live in an agricultural zoned area you can pretty much have any animals you want. That is what we have here and the only exception we had was to get a breeding kennel license to allow us to have a lot of dogs. Otherwise, farm animals are fine. It is a little pricey in that area as is all of the areas within commuting distance of DC. Winchester is just on the outer reaches of the commute. Your best bet for land is to buy west or southwest of Winchester or, like as has already been suggested, go into West Virginia where the land is definitely cheaper. However, keep in mind that you are going into moutains and the commute in the winter may not be the best for your Hubby. Suggest you try to find some people who live in that area and ask them about the commute from West Virginia in the winter. Just pick a public facility such as the library or the courthouse and just ask whoever answers the phone. Be friendly and chatty and you will probably get the full scoop. Good luck.

-- Colleen (, July 05, 2001.

I grew up in Front Royal which is about 20 minutes from Winchester. There is still lots of farmland there (Warren Co) but it has gotten very expensive because of all the DC folks wanting to have their country homes! Rappahanock Co would probably be cheaper and WV as already suggested. Most areas seem to be pretty relaxed about chickens etc as long as you're not right in town. Definately look for a more like-minded realtor!

-- Cindy in NY (, July 07, 2001.

Hi - I live in Frederick County, but actually 9 miles west from Winchester. We bought 6 acres for 25,000 and rebuilt the house that was on it. Now are property is worth 120,000! The taxes are alittle cheaper than most counties too - but they are slowly going up. Its beautiful here! The people are friendly, but at times it can be hard to find employment. There are also quite a bit of people moving to this area too from the bigger cities. It is an easy commute to Northern VA too where the pay rate is more. GOOD LUCK!

-- Novella Pelzer (, January 15, 2002.

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