Owning your own horse farm can be a dream come true. But if you’re new to purchasing property for horses, you’ll want to make sure you consider all the variables involved in choosing the right property for both you and your animals.
Your "why" is a crucial factor in finding the right property. Is it a hobby farm or do you plan to offer boarding and lessons? Will you need an arena with a jump course? The answers to these questions will guide your options.
For horse owners it's important to consider the old saying: location, location, location. There is much more to consider beyond the ideal neighborhood. If you plan to run a business, you'll want visibility and accessibility. You'll also want to consider your family needs for shopping, school, and community events.
Before setting your heart on a particular area, be sure to check the following:
Horse property buyers must be extremely careful to make sure that the property they're considering complies with local zoning laws. Ordinances will depend on your location and how you intend to use the property.
Some questions to ask:
Double check when you’re told that the number of horses is "grandfathered" into your deed. It's possible that, if there's been a stretch of time with no horses on the property, you no longer qualify for the exemption.
The average horse drinks approximately 5-10 gallons of water per day, so a convenient, reliable and plentiful source of potable water is vital not only for the family home, but for your four-legged friends as well.
If there is an existing septic system and well, have both systems inspected, including the septic tank, leach fields, well pump and any associated equipment. Inadequate drainage can cause land to be muddy, which may increase falls or health problems. Ideally, visit the property shortly after a rainstorm to see where water accumulates.
Investigate water features and waterways to understand water rights and easements for this property. Protections may be in place for natural bodies of water that will require certain setbacks and fencing regulations.
Residential development and urban sprawl can put pressure on land use, so be aware of your preferred community's plans for development. Trail upkeep and land use regulations currently in place are subject to change. Make sure to check for any recent decisions that will impact your ability to use your horse property the way you want.
The number of outbuildings will depend on your plans for the farm. Here are some options to consider:
And of course, there's your house! What type of home is best for your family? How close to the barn would you like to be? There's no standard for residences on horse farms. You're only limited by local regulations.
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding areas offer a variety of horse properties for sale. Whether you prefer a neighborhood community built especially for horses or are looking to purchase extensive acreage, there are plenty of great opportunities to find the property best suited to your needs.
These neighborhoods are established as equine communities. They foster a country feel while maintaining close-to-town convenience.
With locations near both Raleigh and Durham, the Black Horse Run communities offer an ideal place where you can have it all. Homeowners have access to a community barn (although many residents have private barns on their properties) plus a riding ring and riding trails. The neighborhoods are equestrian-focused but offer other common resources, such as a pool, clubhouse, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds and picnic areas with grills.
Portofino, located in Johnston County, is a gated community with amenities including a swimming pool, clubhouse, and over seven miles of trails. The Portofino Equestrian Center is adjacent to the community and offers boarding, training, lessons, and events and shows.
Other communities that support horse ownership include The Trails in Chapel Hill and Saddle Run in Fuquay Varina. See below for a complete list of current active inventory as well.
As you can see, horse farm ownership can be complicated - it’s a very specific niche in real estate! Fortunately, we have a real life horse farm specialist on our team, Malia Jarrett.
Malia grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and has been riding since she was 2. “I’ve been riding and showing horses my whole life,” she says. She currently lives on a horse farm in Person County with her husband, four children, two horses, goats, and a pony.
“I love to put on boots and a ball cap and go visit a property and check out every inch and every acre,” she says. “What I offer my clients is a keen eye for detail. I never want my clients to say, ‘oh, I wish I had known that.’ My goal is to make it as easy as possible for clients.”
Listings provided courtesy of Triangle MLS, Inc. of NC, Internet Data Exchange Database. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. © 2021 Triangle MLS, Inc. of North Carolina. Data last updated .