Where We Live: Equestrian estate is a slice of farm life in the city

  • The Mane Focus Equestrian Stable on the Hansen Farm. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The ranch home's backyard (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The "man cave" in the property's steel structure. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • Inside the stable's converted second story. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • Inside the stable's converted second story. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm ranch home's interior. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm ranch home's interior. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm ranch home's interior. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm ranch home's interior. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm ranch home. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm ranch home's interior. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm ranch home's interior. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • A gazebo attached the the ranch home. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • The Hansen Farm's greenhouse. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

  • An aerial view of the Hansen Farm's 10 acres of land. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty)

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VIRGINIA BEACH — Life in the city can be busier, louder and faster than the simple pace of country living. But a ranch home on 10 acres of deeded agricultural Virginia Beach farmland may be a way to enjoy the best of both worlds.

This equestrian estate on London Bridge Road is on the market and features a four-bedroom ranch home, a horse stable that doubles as an apartment, farmland and a greenhouse for growing fruits and vegetables, a large steel structure that’s converted into a “man cave” and more.

“We’ve been here for 25 years and we’re getting older … when my husband is 70, I don’t want to be cutting 10 acres of grass and I don’t want to be teaching riding lessons,” homeowner Kelley Hansen said. “This was the best thing for our family, but it’s time for another family. It’s time to not be greedy and pass it along to someone else.”

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this property is the 16-stall Mane Focus Equestrian stable, which is where Hansen keeps her horses. Hansen has operated her horseback riding education business from it for the last 15 years.

“The picture of the pony is based on a pony we used to have,” Hansen said about the stable’s aesthetic design. “He sketched out the pony, and then our friend came over and they started laying out eco-foam, they carved it, and we had another friend who painted the foam to look like rocks.”

But this stable isn’t a usual animal storage area.

Hansen said she, her husband and friends converted its second story into a 2,000-square-foot apartment with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room and two lofts. It also features exposed beams and natural wood. Hansen said her husband and friends did all of the work, and the materials used to renovate structures on the property are made in the United States.

The farm’s ranch home was built in 1968 and Hansen said they gutted it to give it an open floor layout. It features hardwood and tile floors and custom cabinetry and countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms.

“It’s cute and quaint, and we love it,” Hansen said. “What you see now is the second transformation of the house. We did everything local.”

Hansen said her favorite room in the ranch home is the kitchen because it’s the best place to multitask.

“There’s a table I can sit at in the kitchen and see the main two living rooms of the house,” Hansen said. “I can have people in one room having a conversation and watching TV, I can have people in the other part playing a board game and I can talk to both of them. It’s kind of nice.”

Next to the property’s greenhouse is a large steel structure with a “man cave” on its upper level.

“Let’s see, there’s a pool table, a Foosball table, a poker table, a dart board, big screen TV, theater seating for six, a refrigerator, freezer, a coffee maker, a bathroom and a shower,” Hansen said about the game room.

The rest of the steel structure was recently used for hydroponic farming, Hansen said.

With this much space and an agricultural deed, this property could provide the means to start a business, an ecosystem that works for its owners and maybe even save people a couple trips to the grocery store. The agricultural deed allows goats, pigs, chickens, cows, horses and more to coexist on the property, too.

Hansen said she and her husband Mark are willing to stay for a while to teach the property’s new owners how to operate the tractor, cut the grass the way they do and other tasks they do themselves to keep it in shape.

“This was a purpose driven farm, and now somebody else with a vision can do this as well,” Hansen said.

This home is available for sale by realtor Misty Brownell at Atlantic Sotheby’s International Realty. Contact her at 757-340-9482, Misty.brownell@atlanticsothebysrealty.com or her website.

Where We Live is a  feature looking at the homes and unique places to stay. Do you have a Southside home — on or off the market — that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let me know at justin@southsidedaily.com.