At first glance, an equestrian property search can seem quite intimidating. As well as narrowing down your own requirements, you have the welfare of the horses to consider. Obviously, this should always remain a priority. Whether you are a first time buyer, someone looking to expand an equestrian business or even downsizing, it is worth bearing the following criteria in mind. Like all property searches, you will need to remain open to compromise but this list may help guide those decisions.
Location, location, location- it may be a cliché but the old adage holds true for any equestrian property search. Quality of access is paramount as horse boxes are rather unwieldly vehicles at the best of times. Check the level of visibility at the property’s entrance and whether you can comfortably manoeuvre a horse box around the drive and stables.
If you regularly travel to equestrian events you’ll want a good local road network, preferably close to the motorway. However, you’ll want to balance this with the quantity and quality of bridle paths, depending on how often you like to go out. Other elements to consider are the distance from the local equestrian vet and whether there are any tack shops nearby.
In any equestrian property search, the quantity and quality of land is going to be a major consideration. Ideally, you purchase 2 acres of land per horse, with 1 acre as the absolute minimum. The last thing you want is to over-graze the paddocks.
Whilst the type of soil on the property isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it is certainly worth aiming for a free-draining site. This will save you a lot of time and effort on maintenance during the colder winter months. Soils to try and avoid include heavy clays and sandy soils. Heavy clays can easily become waterlogged and sandy soils present a risk of colic to horses.
Water consumption on an equestrian property is significantly higher than average. Ideally, you want running hot and cold water in the tack room and stables. It is worth inquiring about whether the water supply is shared with other properties and how difficult it would be to add additional pipes. The tack room itself needs to be a good size, proportional to the number of horses and riders using the property.
Given the amount of expensive equipment and materials present on an equestrian property, it is worth considering your security. Fortunately, adding CCTV isn’t too difficult a task so don’t rule out a property on that basis.
If you’re looking to buy a more run-down or smaller property, with plans to renovate or expand the facilities, there are some additional considerations. More substantial changes are likely to require planning permission. Furthermore, these properties are often listed and so you may face even greater restrictions.
Finally, if you plan to run an equestrian business from the property, it is certainly worth researching the local areas to gauge a level of interest and identify any competition.
County Homesearch have proven experience in finding the perfect equestrian properties. Contact us on 0333 939 8300 to discuss how we can help you.