The cowboy is an enduring icon of the American dream. After all, nothing stirs up a sense of freedom and independence quite like the image of a lone horse rider crossing the plains.
The good news is that you can live your cowboy dream by purchasing a horse ranch. But you don’t buy a horse ranch on the fly – property of this nature requires careful consideration. Here are some things to think about before living your dream:
As with any real estate property, location is paramount. What you want is a tract of land that’s relatively flat and has ample space for horses to roam. Avoid
mountainous or swampy land – terrain like those can pose risks to your horses. If you don’t plan to live on the site, the horse property has to be reasonably near your home so you can check on them regularly.
See if the land you choose has the needed resources for your horses. Is there an abundant source of water? Are there nearby farms that supply hay to feed your horses with? Is there tree cover where horses can take shelter from the heat? If these crucial resources are not found within or near this horse property you’re eyeing, then it’s not one worth investing in.
Consider the close relationship between the size of your operations and the size of the property you intend to buy. Own a few horses? Three or four acres should be more than enough land for pasture. But if you plan to run a commercial horse barn, you will need significantly bigger land. Note also that the bigger the land, the more expensive it is and the bigger the maintenance costs will be.
Space for facilities
Be mindful of the space needed for crucial facilities, as well. For example, there should be ample parking space for trailers and tractors. You’ll also need a sizable lot for a barn to be used as storage for hay and equipment. Lastly, you also want enough room for an arena where you can take your horses out for a ride.
New or existing?
For first-time owners of horse properties, it’s a genius move to buy existing operations because all the facilities you’ll need will already be in place. But if it’s an existing property that needs massive repairs, then be wise enough to say no to the offer. You don’t want a property that, in the long run, may cost you more for repairs.
But if you still want to build a horse ranch from scratch, then go for it! Just make sure to hire a consultant to guide you through the process.
Shortlist and compare
A word to the wise: never purchase the first horse ranch you see. Even if it seems like your ideal property, take a look at other ranches first so you have something to compare it with. A good real estate agent will shortlist several properties for your viewing and will advise you on each one’s pros and cons.
Horse property is a significant investment but a worthwhile one if your operations are well-managed and your horses are healthy. If you need more guidance on selecting the best one, we – the White Oak Realty Group – can provide expert advice. Contact us at 828.782.0472 or via email at pat(at)whiteoakrg(dotted)com.