So you decided to move to a little Californian paradise of your own! Maybe you are retiring, or just looking for a healthier environment for your family? Whichever the case, deciding to build a home shared with horses is definitely a step toward a beautiful setting, and California offers some stunning equestrian real estate. Here are some things to look out for when you are browsing the properties available for sale.
Where is the property located?
Deciding on an overall region is a good start, but you need to think about the specifics of your property’s location. If it is hours away from everything, the travel costs might just end up higher than the initial price of the land.
There need to be stores nearby where you can buy food and supplies for yourself, as well as for your horses. The property needs to be accessible, to allow for deliveries and veterinarian visits. On that note, make sure there is a vet clinic in the local area as well. Training facilities, riding schools, and stores for feed and tack should also be within practical distance. Check online to see if there is a horse property for sale in Northern California that matches all these requirements as well as your own preferences.
What is its current condition?
Buying property always costs more than the property itself, because there are bound to be additional investments necessary. For example, if your barn was originally used to house cows or some other kind of livestock, you may need to adjust it, or completely renovate it, for your horses. You may need to add or replace fences, gates, and auxiliary space. All of these will cost time, labor, materials, and permits, which is to say it will cost you money. Make sure to visit in person and thoroughly inspect the property’s condition before you close the deal.
Is it properly secured?
In California, stealing a horse is considered grand theft, and you can read more about that at this page. Even if you are not much worried about horse thieves, you want to make sure that your property – both the land and the animals – is safe and secure. There are some simple tips to follow toward that end.
Make sure your property is clearly visible from your house. Go and check up on it regularly, and look for anything out of place. If it is removed, install some CCTV cameras, alarms, or electric gates.
What are your opportunities for riding?
Keeping a horse but never riding it is not only dull, but extremely uncomfortable for your animal. A horse needs proper exercise, so make sure your property is large enough to allow for it. If, however, you cannot afford a property that big, look into some nearby alternatives, like a round pen or a local arena.
What is the soil quality?
Since your property will be your horses’ primary residence, you need to make sure you can sustain them properly. This means you will need a steady supply of rich grass for them to munch on. Do a soil test to determine its pH value and fertilization needs. The earth of your estate has to be able to grow healthy grass all year round. Learn more about quality grazing at this link: http://horsepasture.com/info/selecting-a-grass.html#.W5uKVegzaHs.
Is there a proper water supply?
Just like humans, horses need water – about five to ten gallons of it each day, per horse. Therefore, make sure that your new property either has a water source of its own, or a convenient and portable one somewhere nearby. A direct supply is better than a shared water source, as it will directly influence your horses, plants, and optional caretakers.
What is the community like?
Since this will be a long term investment, consider your new neighborhood. Do the locals have horses too, or will you be the first one to keep them? Is there someone who hates horses in the area? Does the neighborhood have adequate space for them to roam around without feeling threatened? Also get acquainted with the community’s internal rules in addition to relevant state and county laws.