5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Horse Property
If you’ve spent years learning to ride and compete and you’ve finally decided that it’s time to take your love of all things equine to the next level, then perhaps you’re starting to look for properties that will allow you to buy and stable horses, or bring the horses you already own in-house, so to speak. But it’s not as though the average real estate listing is equipped for this sort of use. You’re going to have to seek out properties that meet certain requirements if you want to use them as a residence for your large-breed animals. Here are just a few things you’ll want to take into consideration before you sign on the dotted line.
- Zoning. You can’t expect to buy a house within city limits and park your horse in the backyard. You need to purchase a property that is properly zoned to support horses. Otherwise you could end up facing fines for having a farm animal on the land. Generally speaking, you’ll want to look for some kind of agricultural zoning, although it could differ from place to place. As it turns out, the size and location of a property could make a difference, as well, since some cities allow owners to apply for permits even in areas that aren’t necessarily zoned for the purpose. You’ll simply have to check local laws to see what options are available to you.
- Acreage. The rule of thumb for housing horses is 1 acre per animal, but there are a couple of reasons you might want to up the number. For one thing, horses eat and poop a lot. When you have extra acreage for them to roam and graze, you’ll not only have to feed them less hay, saving you some money, but you won’t have to pick up their droppings in order to keep a small living area clean. In addition, having more room for your animals means that you can let them loose to exercise themselves and you won’t have to deal with the type of bickering that occurs when you have too many large animals cooped up in a small space.
- Intended use. The usage you have in mind for your horses could have a marked effect on the properties you’re willing to consider. If, for example, you plan to open a school and rent out stalls in your stable as a means of paying for the property, you’re going to need to make sure that you’re allowed to run a business out of your home and that you have adequate room to house additional horses, as well as build the necessary structures to complete your setup. If, on the other hand, you’re merely keeping horses for personal use, you might simply be on the lookout for land that allows you to ride your horses regularly. The quality of the land could also make a difference; uneven, rocky soil, for example, could lead to injuries.
- Fencing. If you’re going to have horses on your property you’ll need fencing to keep them in, and it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. You may therefor want to look for properties that are already fenced and ready to accommodate horses as a way to spare some time and expense.
- Existing structures. Just because a property is zoned for horses doesn’t mean it is ready to house them. So unless you plan to build your own structures, you’ll want to look for a property that comes equipped with a stable, a tack room, and a barn at the very least (to hold animals, gear, and feed, respectively). But you might also want to look for a riding arena or lunging ring, depending on the size of the property and your planned usage. You’ll no doubt have to spring for new Treadall Horse Stall Mats & Rubber Arena Footing, amongst other things, but having the structures you want already in place can make your decision to purchase a little easier.