By Deitra Robertson, Accredited Land Consultant, Deitra Robertson Real Estate
If you’re on the hunt for horse property, you probably don’t want to settle for anything less than perfect—and we don’t blame you. Maintaining equestrian property is a fair amount of work even with optimal conditions, and you also want to make sure that you have the very best environment possible for your horses. For those reasons, it helps to go into the process with some general guidelines, especially if it will be your first time buying in this market.
So, what do you need to know? Here are five helpful tips for making sure that you buy equestrian property you (and your horses) will love.
Tip #1: Work with an experienced real estate agent
Choosing the right real estate agent will be one of the most important decisions you make. An agent who has local experience and has helped clients buy and sell horse properties will be able to offer you insight and guidance that other agents won’t.
Tip #2: Outline your must-haves
What features do you need on your horse property and what features can you overlook? Do you have the time and budget to make improvements, or are you in need of turnkey property that’s ready for move-in? It’s essential that you know exactly what your property needs are so that you and your agent can narrow your search and not waste time with properties that won’t be a good fit. Factors to consider here include property size, accessibility, fencing, and the condition of the home and stables.
Tip #3: Study the soil
The quality of soil drainage on a property (or lack thereof) can make a huge difference in whether it’s suitable for the number of horses that you plan to house. In fact, it’s just as big of a factor as size when determining how many horses a property can “carry”. A topographical assessment will help you determine the slope and drainage of the property. Sandy soils are better for equines than clay and gumbo!
While your current needs are very important, keep your future needs in mind, too. Is this a piece of property that can grow with you? Is it going to need expensive upkeep or improvements above and beyond the norm? What about the surrounding area—is it expected to stay as is or are there plans for commercial or residential development? You can’t predict everything that might happen, but thinking long-term will give some context to your potential purchase and whether it’s a smart investment as well as suitable.
Tip #5: Account for water
You need more potable water for a horse property than a standard residential home. Check whether the property has a municipal water connection or is fitted with wells, and if it’s the latter, whether the capacity of the wells is sufficient for your needs (horses require about 10 gallons of water per day just for drinking). If there’s not enough water access at the moment—or if it’s raw land—look into water rights and the logistics of bringing in one or more wells before you commit.
Your perfect horse property is out there. Know what you want, take your time, and work with the right agent and you will be enjoying your horse farm before you know it!
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