Time to buy your dream property – where you can watch your horse(s) graze peacefully outside your family room window. Make sure you work with an equestrian expert because there are many factors that should be considered and priority amenities that you should have or budget adding. A property with a large lot that is advertised as having “Equestrian Potential” may end up being much more expensive than the property that already has these key equestrian features.
Most equestrian properties will have some kind of fencing, primarily to safely contain your horses. Fencing is expensive, so make sure the property has the best kind of fencing based upon how you plan to use the property, or budget the cost to add or change out the fencing.
- Wood. Highly visible, strong and aesthetically pleasing. High initial cost and high maintenance due to horse chewing, weathering, etc. If a horse breaks through it when spooked – nails & splintering can present a hazard.
- PVC. Highly visible, strong and aesthetically pleasing. Higher initial cost, but ongoing maintenance cost much lower. Internally ribbed PBC boards resist breakage, but are designed to break away when pressure is applied.
- Steel Pipe. Exceptionally strong and long lasting, not as aesthetically pleasing. Planning must be exact and modifications difficult once the fence is completed. If a horse runs into the fence it can suffer damage since there is no give.
- Smooth Wire. Lower cost and typically coupled with electrical systems to create a deterrent effect. Visibility can be a problem – although you can get the wire wrapped in PVC coating in a variety of colors to help.
Here are some features you should think about when looking at barns – existing or budgeting to build.
- Barn access & proximity – to the main road, the house, and onsite outbuildings. In general, you want to make sure the property location is easily accessible for deliveries and horse trailers via reliable and well-maintained roads.
- Structural Soundness & Safety.
- Barn Age – while an older barn might look picturesque – you want to make sure it is safe and in good repair.
- Lighting – electricity to the barn is important for day to day needs and safety, especially in the case of an emergency.
- Construction – solid wood or cement walls that go down to the floor with no gaps are the best bet. All stall floors should be non-slip and preferably matted.
- Size – a 12×12 stall is optimal and more comfortable for large horses, however a 10×10 stall will accommodate standard horses & ponies or do you need a foaling stall?
- Use – optimal size depends on use – will you have one or multiple horses, plan to breed or board horses.
- Safety – make certain gates and stall doors are in working order and there isn’t a way for horses to escape, injure itself or another horse.
- Feed & Equipment Storage. Make sure there is enough storage for hay, grain and equipment to meet your needs in the barn or in an outbuilding close by.
Other things to consider depending on the type of riding you like to do and how you will use the property: Arenas – outdoor, covered or indoor. Water – availability in the barn and the pasture. Pastures & Turn Outs – sufficient space for the maximum number of horses that will be there. Access – are there riding trails nearby?
Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications. Sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.
When you go to sell your home that has a unique selling feature – such as an equestrian property – make sure that your home is staged to sell this lifestyle feature and the marketing information is designed to sell to the buyers that want this feature.
- Lifestyle Marketing Literature & Feature Sheet
You are selling a lifestyle so make sure the verbiage online & your marketing brochure paints a picture of what a buyer’s life could be like if they buy your property. Share the convenience of having your horses onsite instead of boarding, easy access to trails, the joy of drinking your morning coffee while watching your beloved animals out in the pasture, etc. In addition, make sure you have a detailed marketing sheet that lists out all of the equestrian features and if possible the cost and/or value of those features. Help buyers compare the full value of what you have with another property they may be considering – especially those that say “equestrian potential”. This will also help ensure that when you sell your home for maximum value it also appraises at that value.
- Equestrian Curb Appeal & Feature Staging
Make sure all of the equestrian features you have are staged so prospective buyers appreciate their value in addition to your home & property. For example, white vinyl fencing should be pressure washed so it sparkles, your barn should be organized & free of cobwebs as well as your tack room and other outbuildings, and your pastures should be cleaned and in good condition. Have laminated feature cards throughout your entire property providing the information when people are most curious.
- Professional Photography with Aerials
Aerial photography that shows your entire property is a must. You aren’t just selling your house – show your home as it relates to your pastures, barns, riding arenas, and driveways for hauling and trailer parking. It is also a nice touch to take pictures of the barn with your horses in them – or goats, chickens, alpacas, donkeys or whatever you have!
- Customized In-Home Marketing Materials
Home books are created by your Broker to answer questions for agents & buyers so they don’t leave your home unsure as to the details. Generally, they include things like the public schools relevant to your home, information about restaurants & parks, preliminary title, seller disclosure form, septic as built, well information, etc. An Equestrian Home should have an additional section with local trails, riding clubs, local veterinarians & farriers, area feed stores, etc. so that they know the service providers they will care about are convenient.
- Work With An Equestrian Specialist
Many brokers can sell your home but make sure you work with an equestrian property specialist to sell your “whole” property. They can speak the language and know what buyers care about, they can answer questions, and can provide you with service provider recommendations to help you prepare your whole property.
Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications, sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.