Finding an equestrian property can be one of the most exciting times of your life. It’s a little like dating – the pursuit, the “getting to know you” period, the proposal (aka “offer”), and the marriage (aka “closing”). If you don’t want your relationship with your horse property, you need to know a few things before you fall in love.
1. Know thy numbers.
You’d be surprised at how many equestrian buyers start their property pursuit without really knowing what they can and can’t afford. Avoid being disappointed later by getting preapproved for a mortgage before you even get started. And be sure you know the difference between being “prequalified” and “preapproved.” You can be preapproved only after a lender has reviewed all your financial information and has told you how much the bank is willing to lend to you. Being pre-approved will let sellers know you’re a serious buyer, and it will also prevent you from falling in love with a home that is financially “out of your league.”
2. Love the area, not just the property.
It’s easy to get caught up in how perfect a property and forget that the property is only part of a bigger picture. for you. Spend as much time researching the area as you do checking into all the nooks and crannies of the house. Regardless of whether or not you have kids, ask questions about the neighborhood’s school district since that will impact the property resale value. And be sure to drive through the area at various times of day to make sure you’re not missing any “deal breaker” factors.
3. Beware the lure of the low ball offer.
Even though buying a property is a financial decision that involves legal contracts, that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of emotion. If you’re tempted to make a low ball offer on a equestrian property just to see what happens, be aware that some sellers will be so offended that they won’t entertain future offers from you. It may be a business deal, but this is still their property – and that’s personal. Make an offer based on the selling price of other homes in the same neighborhood and then determine what the average price per square foot is for that area. Also, make your offer number an odd number instead of a round one. For example, an offer of $352,500 sounds like you put some thought into it based on real calculations, whereas an offer of $350,000 sounds more like a shot in the dark.
4. Get a home inspector’s “blessing.”
Similarly, you’d be wise to seek the counsel of a qualified home inspector before you make things official with a new home. If the property has hidden baggage, a good home inspector will find it, which gives you the opportunity to decide if it’s something you’re willing to deal with or not.
By following a few simple guidelines and leading with your head instead of your heart, your destiny with a new equestrian property is much more likely to end with “happily ever after.”