Are you a horse enthusiast? Are your finances finally good enough for you to consider following your dream of purchasing an estate country horse ranch? If you've never purchased any horse properties before, here are some things that you should be thinking about:
Use equipment as part of the negotiations. The seller may include all the equipment on the horse ranch as part of the deal. However, if any of the equipment will need to be replaced soon, you may be able to use this fact to offer a lower price to the seller. Additionally, you should check each piece of equipment to make sure that you will actually use it once you have possession of the ranch. For example, if you plan to keep trotting horses, you may not need equipment for training rodeo horses.
Examine all polyethylene water tanks for cracks and damage caused by freezing weather. If the stock tank has a de-icer or heater, make sure that the thermostat works and that it has a shut-off element to prevent overheating. If stable or turnout blankets are part of the deal, make sure their fasteners still close and that there is no fraying or damage at the edges.
Inspect fencing. If the property is extremely large, you'll want to check the entire length of fencing to make sure that your horse ranch will have no escapees. If it's been a while since livestock was housed on the property, some of the fencing may have fallen or decayed. If some or all of the fencing is barbed wire, you may want to replace it with a gentler type, such as no-climb wire. While barbed wire may be fine for containing cattle, a horse that inadvertently gallops into such a fence could wind up injured in such a way that its show career will be ended.
Check local zoning. If the current owners keep horses, you may take this as a good sign that you'll be allowed to as well. However, there is also the chance that the current owners were grandfathered in when local zoning was changed. When they sell their country estate horse ranch, the rights to keep horses may not be conveyed to the next owner, which could be you. Avoid heartache and expensive legal issues by checking to make sure that the ability to keep horses will stay with the property. If the results of your search are unclear and you can't stand the thought of passing up the property, make sure to have your real estate agent add appropriate wording to the contract. This contract addition should be worded so as to allow you to get your money back from the seller in the event of being unable to house horses on the property.