Real estate in The Woodlands, Spring, and Magnolia, we have it all! In this Magnolia Minute, Utah “turned the reins” over to me, her horse loving, Realtor sidekick! As a person who has owned and developed several horse properties I know from experience that there are several critical elements that impact the enjoyment and use of any acreage.
To begin with, you need to be sure that you will be able to use the property the way you intend. You may see the terms “restricted” or “unrestricted” when property is listed. Chapter 202 of the Texas Property code defines a “Restrictive covenant” to mean any covenant, condition, or restriction contained in a dedicatory instrument, whether mandatory, prohibitive, permissive, or administrative. A real estate agent can be aware of these designations, but I always advise buyers and sellers to consult an attorney if they have any questions regarding how restrictions, if any, impact the proposed land use of the subject property.
The challenges of keeping a horse on two acres of land vary in degree from those on twenty acres. However, there are some common concerns. Once we “pass go” on the land use it is important to look at how the land lays relative to access and drainage. If the road into the property is aggregate/stone/dirt, I check for signs of ruts or low spots that could limit access during rainy periods. I envision how a horse trailer or delivery truck could enter and exit the property. If improved, I note where the house and barn/paddocks are located to assure that there is positive drainage away from all structures. Here in Texas, we sometimes have more rain than can easily drain from a property. Standing water is a breeding source for mosquitoes and kills out grass. There needs to be some area on the property where an animal could stand up out of water and mud.
Next, I consider the improvements. I look for the functional layout of paddocks and perimeter fences, the type of materials used, and if the structures have been maintained. On smaller acreages the issue of manure disposal is a very practical concern. When properly managed neighbors will welcome a ready source of premium compost for their yards and gardens. If not managed, it can become a source of run-off pollution, nuisance and unhappy neighbors.
I have only touched on a few of the practical concerns when assessing acreage and encourage buyers and sellers alike to enlist the services of an experienced real estate professional to assist in the assessment.