As the National Hunt Racing season is underway Millie from our Henley-on-Thames office takes a closer look at what you need to consider when buying an equestrian property. Location Location is the main consideration when buying any property, as it’s the one thing you can’t change once you have bought it. Transport links need to be considered dependent on your needs i.e. easy access for a livery business, motorway proximity for regular competing around the country or put simply even the distance from your local veterinary practice.
You need to consider how much land you actually need. The general rule is one horse per 1.5 acres, however it’s not quite that simple. You need to work out whether there is enough area for rotational grazing in order to prevent the land becoming overgrazed or ‘horse sick’. But be warned, too much land can be a burden if not managed efficiently and too much rich pasture can be a laminitis threat. Shade, water and horse-proof fencing are also factors not to be overlooked.
Are there any stables on the property and if so, are they fit for your needs? Most traditional stables are constructed from timber, so you also need to consider their age and lifespan as they may cost you more money down the line. American barns are becoming ever more popular over traditional stables, as they utilise the space by keeping everything under one roof. If there aren’t any stables on the property, check out the property’s planning history and whether any previous owners have tried to obtain planning permission, as this can be a good indication of your chances.
Every equestrian would love a fully equipped yard with an equine swimming pool, Olympic size manège and an allweather gallop, but unfortunately this usually comes with a very large price tag. Be realistic as what to you actually need. It may be that the property has no facilities but offers you a blank canvas to achieve your dream yard.
Hacking is an important part of keeping your horse fit. Investigate whether there are any bridleways near the property or whether you’d be limited to the public roads. It may also be worth looking to see whether there are any private farms close by, where you can pay to go off-road hacking.
Equestrian properties are scarce and as such, different types of buyers have different priorities when it comes to living accommodation. Whether you’re a lifestyle buyer or a professional rider don’t be put off by the standard of the house. A house too small can be extended and a house too grand can be split for additional groom’s accommodation, if the property does not already have this facility.
Security is a big element to factor in too, especially in rural areas or properties that are exposed by an adjacent road. Can fencing or trees be used to screen the property, or are there already CCTV cameras installed? Protecting your horses as well as your property is imperative, so you will need to factor in these costs if the existing security measures on the property are insufficient.
The more narrow your property criteria is, the harder it will be to find your dream setup. Be open minded, the property may not have all of the facilities that you require, or a house as big as you would wish for, but subject to the relevant planning permissions these are things you can change at a later date, as long as there is an adequate amount of land to work with.
Be realistic with your budget. What can you actually afford? Begin looking at properties comfortably under your budget, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
How Simmons & Sons can help?
Our dedicated Rural Team, some of which are keen riders, have a thorough understanding of the local equine property market.
Our equine specialist services include sales, lettings, property management and RICs Red Book valuations including for tax planning and probate.
For more information please contact our Rural Team on 01491 571111 or check out our rural land and property for sale on our website: https://www.simmonsandsons.com/search?tags=rural