Whether this is your first time looking for an equestrian property, horse farm, or raw land to build your dream equestrian lifestyle home, or you’ve enjoyed the equestrian lifestyle for many years, it is important to know what to look for before you buy. Our equestrian property specialist, Melinda McBrayer, has put together the following list to help you get started.
Work with an Equestrian Property Specialist
Finding the right property for not only yourself, but your horses, too, takes knowledge, experience and an innate passion for horses and the equestrian lifestyle. If you can work with someone who has all of both vs. an agent who is unfamiliar with not only satisfying human needs, but those of your horses, you will be way ahead of the game. Few agents understand the unique needs of specialized properties such as home and stable design, zoning requirements, local development regulations, the permit process, septic systems, wells and water systems, and other land issues. You don’t want to waste time looking at properties that just aren’t feasible for what you really want!
Have a long-term plan for your property
It is not uncommon for those looking at purchasing an equestrian property to focus only on their short term wants and needs. But, as an equestrian myself, I can tell you that as time goes by you may find that you want to enlarge your existing home, barn, pasture, or arena. If you haven’t planned for that possibility, you may be disappointed. You should have a clear understanding before you buy as to not only your options for expansion, but also how local development plans might impact your property. For example: Is there planned expansion and development in your community? And, will any expansion impact water availability, affordability, and quality? These things and more can dramatically impact the possibilities for your property in the future.
Choose a topology that matches your planned use for your property
When it comes to equestrian properties, the land you purchase must be able to withstand the wear and tear of large animals, as well as that of a variety of weather conditions. The property you choose should match how you intend to use it or you will spend a great deal of time and money trying to optimize it for your needs. Flat pastures can often become swimming pools in rainy weather so you should look at how the property is graded to allow water to flow away from barns, livestock, and structures. Large sloping hills can often cause challenges for motorized equipment access and maintenance. Having a nice mix of both is optimal but this is where an equestrian specialist can really help you determine if the property is going to work with your plans and dreams.
Understand setbacks and other restrictions
If you are planning to build on raw land, you will definitely want to be knowledgeable about setbacks for adding a home, barn, building, or other fixture on your land. There are minimum distance requirements for spacing buildings from parcel boundaries, creeks and storm drain easements, roads and utilities. Not knowing setbacks in advance can not only frustrate your future plans, as they will dictate development and building, but, can cost you significantly in fines if you build without the proper information. Your equestrian specialist will help you obtain all the information necessary to identify setbacks, easements, restrictions or encumbrances that may impact your planned use of the property.
Although there are many other things that must be considered when purchasing an equestrian lifestyle property, the most important tip I can give is: learn as much as possible about the area, its economy, its growth plans, weather, and business resources, too. Get a Preliminary Title Report, and make sure your purchase contract includes provision for all inspections that you’ll want performed. And, of course, make sure all details are written down and formalized so there is no guesswork, or disappointments along the way.
If you would like help finding an equestrian property, horse farm or raw land for future plans, it would be my pleasure to help you. I have been an equestrian myself for a very long time, with two wonderful horses of my own. I love sharing my knowledge, experience and passion for the equestrian lifestyle with others. Please give me a call at 770-688-0404 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!