Have you always dreamed of owning and living on a horse ranch? Are you thinking about making that dream a reality? Owning a horse farm can be an enjoyable experience for you, your family, and your friends. It can also be a moneymaking opportunity if you plan on breeding horses or renting out stable space. Of course, buying a horse ranch isn't the same as buying a home. While the quality of the living space for you is important, you also need to make sure the property is suitable for the horses. Here are a few things to consider when looking at properties:
Water source and drainage. Water is a major issue on horse farms, in a couple of different ways. First of all, you'll need a constant water supply for your horses, both to keep them hydrated and to keep them clean. If the property's water comes from a well, you may want to think long and hard before moving forward. A dry or blocked well can spell disaster on a horse farm.
The other water issue is drainage. Try to tour the property after a big rainstorm and take a look at how well the water is draining. Is it rolling down small hills, or is it pooling along flat land? You and your guests may not enjoy riding horses through wet fields. And all that moisture and mud can lead to extremely dirty horseshoes.
Manure disposal. Manure is a fact of life on a horse ranch. You'll have to deal with manure everyday, and likely a lot of it. The big question is whether or not the property has enough space for you to safely dispose of the manure in a secluded location. New horse owners will often make the mistake of putting a horse on a smaller property. While there may be enough room to graze, there's not enough room for the owners to escape the smell of manure.
Similarly, make sure the barn is downwind from the house and not the other way around. You don't want the smell of manure floating through your kitchen window, and you don't want all of the flies that tend to follow the smell.
Rights, restrictions, and growth. Check into all of the records on a property to make sure that its beauty and natural landscape won't be disrupted in the future. One big thing to look for is growth in the surrounding area. Is it possible that your beautiful horse farm will be surrounded by stores and cars in the future? Take a look at maps of the area from the previous ten or twenty years to see whether the nearby city is growing toward your property.
Also, look at rights and restrictions on the property. For example, does the utility company have the right to build electrical lines or boxes on the property in the future? Has a previous owner sold the property's mineral rights, allowing drilling on the property at some point in time? You don't want to learn about these issues after the fact.
A real estate agent who is familiar with country horse ranches can help you in your search. They can assist you in finding the estate country horse ranch of your dreams.