Things to Consider when Buying an Equestrian Property
Any horse lover can tell you that they have a special vision for what they want their horse property to look like. Wild and happy galloping horses running free across acres of land, grazing freely, with some solid stables and a nice barn, and perhaps a few other choice features. Whether your priorities lie in landscape or outbuildings, water sources or acreage size, here are some tips to help you buy your dream equestrian property.
Don’t rush it
Horsekeeping requires special circumstances and the right place, so be sure you do not fall in love with a place only to realize after it’s too late that you should have purchased a property that was more practical for your horse’s and personal needs. Take time to look around and really search for what you want, relying on a list of priorities that are 1) necessities, and then 2) wants/desires.
Choose your real estate agent carefully
Every horse owner knows their needs, and it is important that your real estate agent also understands those needs, as well as your vision for what you want in an equestrian property. Be sure to communicate that well, and you can even provide your agent with a list of things you are looking for. A great agent is worth their weight in gold.
Lay of the land and other features
When you start looking for properties be sure to check out the lay of the land. Is it sloping or flat? How is the drainage? Trees or open spaces? Is there a natural source of water such as a spring, creek, river, pond or lake? Will it overflow in the rainy season? Where will the horses go when it is sunny, or rainy, or snowing? Are there depressions that could get muddy or old fences or objects that they could get caught in or wind up hurt? Are there plants or trees that they could get sick from if your horse decides to nibble on them? Do the stable or barn doors allow a breeze to blow through when needed, or will it rob them of heat during winter due to leaks or problems? Keep these things in mind when you search for properties, including privacy and neighbors.
Property size and long-term plans
Think long-term. Think location. Buying an equestrian property probably means that you will have it for a while. One thing is for sure, you cannot make your property bigger. Be sure that you get a property that can grow with your horses if you plan to have greater numbers or board horses for others. Adding size later on would require buying more land, and finding such property adjacent or close by is often tougher than it seems, especially in areas where people tend to stay a long time. It might be better to buy something with a few extra acres if you think you will add horses later.
House and barn
Make sure that even if the yard and barn is exactly what you want, that you find the house that goes with it as something you can live in for a while. The perfect house with a horrible equestrian situation, or vice versa, may not be in your or your horses’ best interest in the long run. Although you can always make compromises on a few small things that are non-issues, be sure you are happy with the house and the barn overall.
Other things to consider
Zoning is everything. Having good well water is another plus. Pastures with good drainage is also important. Well maintained buildings, driveway layout for pulling in (and out) trailers, room to build, neighbors and horse supplies stores, smells coming or going from/off the property, and even trail systems and local wildlife could all be important aspects to consider when buying your equestrian property.
Not only should you look to get a good price when you buy your property, but also think resale down the road. You never know where life may lead and if you might decide to move later on, so consider what brought you in, and what might bring in another buyer down the line. If you build a horse facility will it pay off when you sell it later? The same goes for the house or any additions you make.