Real Estate September 19, 2022

You’ll Lose Money When You Overprice Your Home

You are probably asking yourself, “did I read that right?”

 

Yes, yes you did.

 

It is normal for sellers to want to get the most money out of the sale of their homes. It feels safe to list your home at the price you are desiring to get, but the reality is listing high might actually do your pocketbook more harm than good in the long run. Follow along as we explain why.

 

RISKS OF OVERPRICING YOUR HOME

 

You are drawing the attention of the wrong buyers.

 

Most people begin their home purchasing journey by searching which homes are available in their desired location online. Consider this. Your home is worth $500,000, but you list it for $575,000. When buyers are looking online, they filter to find homes within their price range and typically by $25,000 increments.  The person looking for a $500,000 home will never see yours and if they do they will believe it is out of their reach, and when the buyers looking in the $575,000 range see your home and compare it to others in that range, they will get the impression it is not worth it, and there are better options.

 

Fewer people will see your home.

 

When your home is overpriced, the issue can be detected by buyers just by looking at your online listing and will pass on viewing it in person. The more showings you have, the more legitimate interest there is, and the more likely your home is to sell. Showings give potential buyers an opportunity to see the home first-hand giving them the opportunity to imagine themselves living there.

On the other hand, if you get lots of showings because your photos look better than reality but no offers you’ve wasted your best shot at getting the right buyer through your home and you there are no redo’s for first impressions. This leads us to our next point…

 

You are sending the “I’m an undesirable home” message to the public.

 

As people continue to look for a home and new buyers enter the market, they might see your home online, but by that time they will also see the “time on market”. The longer your home sits on the market, the less attractive it becomes psychologically to everyone. Nobody wants the home that nobody else wants. Once it has lost its appeal the damage is done. You’ll find yourself beginning to reduce your price and often end up at a price less than what the home could have sold for if it was priced right the first time.

 

In conjunction with price reductions, the longer your home sits on the market, the more expenses you incur. Consider mortgage payments, utility costs, lawn care maintenance, seller’s fees, and more while you are trying to move out.

 

Your buyers won’t be able to finance if it doesn’t appraise.

 

Perhaps you drop the price just enough to intrigue a buyer but still above market level. Maybe you’re lucky enough to hook a buyer. Then the appraisal comes back low. Now you either have to come down in price or lose the buyer and start over again, with 20-30 days more on market…

 

If you are considering selling your home and would like a complimentary analysis to determine the correct value of your home in this market connect with us to be paired with an experienced Windermere agent that can help you with your unique situation and avoid all the overpricing pitfalls.

Real Estate September 12, 2022

What to Expect When Selling Your Home

Selling your home can be overwhelming and feel like a full-time job… which is why there are realtors! Good realtors make the process so much smoother and less intimidating. To keep your mind at ease and prepare you for what will happen throughout the sale of your home we are sharing 10 top tips to get you from listed to sold in no time!

Discover what to expect when selling your home

1.       Select the right agent the 1st time

It is of the utmost importance that you pair with a full-time, knowledgeable agent who can best represent you through the process. This should be your number one priority. Studies show that homes listed with an agent sell for more than those listed without, and this is for good reason. Great agents dedicate their lives to keeping up with economic changes, are masters at negotiating and getting things done, and know all rules and regulations. This will pay off immensely in the long run if you trust their process. If you are unsure where to start, ask your friends who they trust and about their experience with them but don’t stop there. Interview at least two, preferably three brokers, and the differences should be immediately clear. If you still need help, Windermere has a full-time manager that will ask you pertinent questions about your needs, personality style, and specific goals to make the perfect real estate agent match. Windermere’s ultimate goal is not the sale of a home but to give you a real estate experience you want to share with others! When you are ready to pair with an agent connect with us and we will match you with the perfect broker.

2.       Set your timeline

A timeline is valuable in that it will keep you organized throughout the entire selling process. Anticipate that your timeline might change depending on circumstances and your local housing market conditions. You may need to adjust a couple of times, but the purpose is to keep you on track toward your end goal. SOLD! Your timeline will help guide you there. Know what the average days on market are for your home and price range (click here to determine Whidbey Islands) then add an average of 30-45 on that to get an estimate of how long it will take to sell once you go live. Work with your agent to build your unique timeline.

3.       Determine your home’s value

The SECRET to selling quickly is pricing your home right the first day it hits the market. Overpricing can create serious problems like not being seen by the right buyers, less traffic both in person and virtually, and worst of all becoming less attractive to buyers the longer it sits resulting in lower offers than if you priced it attractively, to begin with. Your agent will provide you with a (CMA) Comparative Market Analysis which compares your home to others in your local area that recently sold and/or are actively pending. This formulated analysis will assist you in properly determining the best price for your home. Discuss this with your agent. They will help walk you through the process even if you aren’t sure you’re ready to sell yet.

4.       Identify issues & execute the plan

This is the time to tackle any unfinished projects and address needed repairs. Talk with your agent to see if a pre-sale home inspection would be advantageous for your unique situation. Begin by creating a list of repairs you can do versus those needing to be hired out. Your agent can help you determine which will be the best use of your time, offer the largest return on investment, and help you find vendors and hire out projects. If money is tight it may be in your best interest to apply to our Windermere Ready Program which gets you cash for fixing up your home to list. Ask your Windermere Agent about how to apply.

5.       Put your best foot forward

First impressions go a long way! Start with curb appeal. Clean up your gardens, mow your lawns, clean out gutters, and add a pop of color to your flower beds. If you have any cracked or peeling paint, apply a fresh coat. Make sure to declutter the inside of your home. The best rule of thumb is to remove personal effects and present your home like a hotel in which the buyer could envision themselves living in the space. Talk to your agent about the possibility of having your home professionally staged.

6.       Get your home seen

Your realtor will help maximize the exposure of your home. They can list with the MLS, will get your listing on all major sites like Zillow and Redfin, and will be listed on their Brokerage site in addition to their own. These are just a few of the many ways in which your listing can be seen. Be sure to discuss the option for virtual tours with your agent. When it’s time for in-person showings, we suggest that you not be present so that the potential buyers can freely walk the home with their agent, ask questions, and ultimately have the space to imagine it as their new home.

7.       Reviewing offers & negotiating

If you price right, you might see more than one offer on your home because we are still in a strong Seller’s market. The offers may be at or above the asking price. When reviewing offers, you have three options: 1. Accept the offer, 2. Make a counteroffer, 3. Reject the offer. These should ALWAYS be made in writing, and you should always give the buyer a short time to respond. Whether you are selling or buying, you will likely find yourself in negotiations. It is important for you to discuss negotiation strategies with your agent ahead of time. At Windermere, we pride ourselves on negotiation tactics grounded in psychology and win-win strategies.

8.       Budget for closing costs

Closing costs include things like title insurance, recording fees, government taxes, lender fees, broker commissions, and numerous other things. Be sure to discuss this with your agent ahead of time and throughout the transaction so you don’t feel blindsided at closing and are adequately prepared.

9.       The inspection

It is common for offers to be contingent on a professional home inspection. Your agent can prepare you for what to expect from a home inspection. Typically a home inspector will look at things like the foundation, structure, roof, plumbing and electrical systems, floors, windows, doors, and signs for things like water or fire damage.

10.   Closing

You finally made it, but before you can officially close there are a couple of things to do. Ask the buyer to release any contingencies, sign the title, and close escrow before releasing the keys. Your escrow agent will help you through this process. Talk with your agent about questions you have about legal documents and settlement costs.

 

If you are considering selling and would like to speak to an experienced Windermere Realtor for more specific information connect with us by clicking here.

CoupevilleThings to Do on Whidbey July 25, 2022

Fort Casey State Park: Unique History and Breathtaking Views

Located on Whidbey Island, Fort Casey State Park is a great place to visit for those looking to explore the Pacific Northwest and Whidbey Island. It’s hard to pick just one thing that makes this place so special! So we picked three!

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#1 The park’s location is perfect for history buffs who also love the outdoors. There are miles of trails winding through forests filled with towering Douglas Fir trees, open grassy fields, and dotted throughout are all the historical infrastructure. It affords several unique photo opportunities from the expansive water views, military relics like the large cannon guns, the infamous Admiralty Head Lighthouse, and fauna like bald eagles and deer.

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#2 There are so many stories associated with this one location. History buffs will learn about the Civil War-era military fort that was built here in order to protect against a potential invasion via water from Japan or Russia during World War II with the “Triangle of Fire. The Admiralty Head Lighthouse adds another slant of historical intrigue. The original lighthouse, which was built in 1894 and first lit on January 21st of 1895 could be seen as far away as 14 miles with a focal plane of 128 feet above the high tide line. You can now visit the lighthouse in its expertly restored state and learn from the volunteer docents that keep the small museum housed inside. Learn more here http://www.washingtonlighthouses.org/data/lighthouse_ah.html

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#3 So many ways to stay! If a day trip is not long enough to soak it all in you can book a campsite at the base of the bluff on the Southern end of the park. It’s located on a bit of a sandy plateau right next to the Ferry landing that serves the Washington State Ferries Port Townsend to Coupeville route. In fact, a neat feature of weekend camping here is that you can walk on the Ferry and explore the historical Water Street in Port Townsend! Grab an amazing meal from one of Port Townsend’s excellent restaurants just don’t miss the last ferry back! If that sounds too risky then head over to Callens Restaurant for some of Coupeville’s best food and drink. If camping accommodations is not your thing you can stay at Camp Casey with a variety of accommodation types. Check it out here https://casey.spu.edu/staying-at-camp-casey/lodging/

Whichever you choose, a day trip or an overnight stay at Fort Casey State Park is sure to leave you with some one-of-a-kind memories!

CoupevilleNeighborhoodsReal Estate May 30, 2022

Admirals Cove

Located on the West side of Whidbey Island just South of the Port Townsend – Coupeville Ferry Landing discover Admirals Cove. It is the largest congruent neighborhood within the Coupeville zip code. Admirals Cove offers some of the most affordable properties in Coupeville, with a wide variety of homes built in various stages from the 1960’s to today, along with a plethora of amenities. It might come as a surprise as you enter the neighborhood from highway 20 to discover waterfront properties as you head down the hill. Want to learn more about the neighborhood? Click here.

Equally surprising, Admirals Cove does NOT have an HOA. Interestingly, the neighborhood operates as a club.  In 2011 it was ruled that Admirals Cove could not be an HOA because it allows people to be associate members when they don’t own property in the community. Property owners however do not have an option to opt out of being a member of the club. Their dues directly impact projects like their latest one shoring up the bulkhead between the pool and the beach.

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Admirals Cove is the Place to be if You are Looking for Amenities

We spoke about west facing properties before in our article, “What View is Best on Whidbey Island” where we explained why West-facing properties are some of the most sought after on Whidbey. The extra sun exposure in West-facing neighborhoods explains why the neighborhood includes amenities like a pool, beach access, shelter, playground and more to soak up the sun when others do not.

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The Community Pool

Admirals Cove is recognized as one of the few community pools on Whidbey Island. Intriguingly, the pool is right on the beach and has been here for over 50 years. It has recently been remodeled and is open for use between May 28 – September 5 in 2022. As an added benefit, they offer swim lessons in the summer for members and non-members.

Beach Access

Park next to the pool and enjoy the beach just a few steps away! Check out the latest tide heights here https://www.tide-forecast.com/locations/Admiralty-Head-Washington/tides/latest.

Shelter and Playground

Next to the pool is a spacious shelter/enclosed gazebo that is available to rent for parties if you are a member. Restrooms, Wi-Fi, grills, picnic area, horseshoe pit, firepits, and a nice playground are all included.

In the Surrounding Area

Admirals Cove central location creates an opportunity for all sorts of adventure. Less than five miles north includes places like Fort Casey State Park, Crockett Lake, Price Sculpture Forest, and the Port Townsend Ferry with Greenbank Farm just over 5 miles south.

Does Jet Noise Bother You?

Keep in mind that OLF or the Navy’s Outlying Field is nearby. The noise from jets practicing their touch and go’s is not for everyone so we encourage people considering Admirals Cove to experience it for yourself. You can see what the upcoming schedule is on this website https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/installations/nas_whidbey_island/news/news_releases/field-carrier-landing-practice-at-nas-whidbey-island-complex-for.html

For more information visit the Admirals Cove neighborhood website here https://www.acbc-whidbey.org/index.html.

Find Admirals Cove on

 

CoupevilleDestination WhidbeyThings to Do on Whidbey May 2, 2022

The Ferry House

When overlooking Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve  in Coupeville, it is easy to spot the most iconic building in the reserve. The Ferry House. The house was built by Isaac Ebey’s family shortly after he was killed to help support Isaac’s sons. From the early 1860s to around 1900 the inn operated as a tavern, post office, grocery store, and hospitality inn for people traveling through Admiralty Inlet and to families who claimed Whidbey as their home. The National Park Service acquired it in 2000 and is committed to its preservation in partnership with Friends of Ebey.

 

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HomeNeighborhoodsPlacesReal EstateThings to Do on Whidbey April 4, 2022

The Whidbey Island Guide and Neighborhood Deep Dive!

When you are preparing to move to a new location or to buy a home for the first time, you are likely eager to learn literally EVERYTHING from the home buying process to everything about the area and what it has to offer when you arrive.

Whether from pure excitement or overwhelming nerves you are likely to find yourself up well past your typical bedtime researching things like:

What cool things are nearby?

Which neighborhoods you can afford.

What those neighborhoods are like.

If you can imagine yourself living there.

Where the best spots are for a cup of coffee.

and probably… where the most iconic location for a picture that might make you Instagram famous might be.

Luckily for you, some real estate brokers are obsessed with this same level of need-to-know. There are a handful of brokers who have created incredibly in-depth online guides to their area. Many go as far as to include information on individual little neighborhoods that will make your search and transition that much easier.

Where it all started:

We were inspired by Marguerite Martin to go all out on neighborhoods and provide rich local content just as she has with her page Move to Tacoma.

It brings us great pleasure to announce that here at Windermere Whidbey Island, we recently unveiled our very own Neighborhood Guide. We couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! Our first release takes a deep dive into 26 neighborhoods from Oak Harbor to Greenbank. We will continue expanding over time. Each page includes written descriptions, images of the homes and neighborhood features, quotes from neighbors, a map with key attractions nearby, median sales price, links to active, pending, and sold homes, commute times to schools and nearby hospitals, and blog posts on a whole suite of topics related to that neighborhood.

Looking for more?

If you are looking for more lifestyle information, check out our umbrella page The Whidbey Island Guide. The guide offers local events, links to government and public sites/resources, collections of articles on things like hiking, restaurants, and so much more.

Remember, these pages represent just the tip of the iceberg on what our brokers know about living on Whidbey Island. If all this information just leads to more questions give us a call! If you have suggestions on information, you wish we would add please tell us, we are all ears.

Connect with us:

Connect with us and expand your search by following us on Instagram at @Windermere_Whidbey_Island where you can find reels on the various neighborhoods of Whidbey.

If Facebook is more your thing you can find us here!

Destination WhidbeyReal Estate March 7, 2022

Coupeville Waterfront

Long before European Explorers discovered Whidbey Island, Penn Cove hosted one of the largest native populations in the region. The Coast Salish People used the well-protected cove with easy access to the rest of Puget Sound for ample trading opportunities while the nearby prairie produced bountiful crops. As settlers came, Coupeville remained the central trading location on the island and by 1881 was the Island County government seat. The town prospered due to shipping fish, produce, lumber, and timber to the mainland via the Coupeville Wharf. Unlike many other historical towns, Coupeville’s historic waterfront buildings remain remarkably intact.

Check out the rest of Whidbey’s beautiful destinations from this series here.

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HomeReal EstateStats February 21, 2022

We are NOT in a Housing Bubble: Here’s Why!

Home buyers are beginning to believe we are heading into a housing bubble. It is easy to acknowledge this premonition, as year-after-year home price appreciation has continued to remain in the double digits.

However, we are here to put your mind at ease as this market is very different than it was during the housing crash 15 years ago. Follow along as we explain four fundamental reasons why today's market is nothing like the market was back then.

1. Houses Are Affordable Unlike During the Housing Boom

To understand this, one must understand the affordability formula. The affordability formula consists of three parts: the price of the home, wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time of purchase. Conventional lending standards suggest a purchaser should spend no more than 28% of their gross income on their mortgage payment.

Fifteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%.  While today's  home prices are high, wages have increased significantly, and despite the latest spike, mortgage rates are still well below 6%. This means that todays average buyer spends less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than buyers did back then.

In the latest Affordability Report by ATTOM Data, Chief Product Officer Todd Teta speaks to this stating, "The average wage earner can still afford the typical home across the U.S., but the financial comfort zone continues shrinking as home prices keep soaring and mortgage rates tick upward."

Undeniably,  affordability is not as strong as it was last year, but it is significantly better than it was during the boom. The graph below demonstrates that difference:

How did so many homes sell during the housing boom with such prohibitive costs?

2. Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed During the Boom

Getting approved for a mortgage loan was significantly more attainable during the housing bubble than it is today.  According to credit.org, a credit score between 550-619 is considered poor. They define  those with a score below 620, by stating that, "Credit agencies consider consumers with credit delinquencies, account rejections, and little credit history as subprime borrowers due to their high credit risk."

While buyers can still qualify for a mortgage with a credit score within that range they are considered riskier borrowers. If you are in that range, read our How Long Does it Take to Save for a Down Payment article here. Below is a graph illustrating the mortgage volume issued to buyers with a credit score less than 620 during the housing boom, in compression to the following 14 years.

Mortgage standards are significantly different than they were last time. Buyers that obtained mortgages during the past decade are better qualified for the loans. Lets look at what that means moving forward.

3. Foreclosure Are Completely Different  Than They Were During The Crash

The most obvious difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. The Federal Reserve issues a report showing the number of consumers with a new foreclosure notice. Here are the numbers during the crash compared to today:

 

 

 

Undoubtedly the 2020 and 2021 numbers are impacted by the forbearance program, which was created to help homeowners facing uncertainty during the pandemic. Keep in mind, there are less than 800,000 homeowners remaining in the program today, and the majority of those will be able to work out a repayment plan with their banks.

Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President of RealtyTrac, explains, "The fact that foreclosure starts declined despite hundreds of thousands of borrowers exiting the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program over the last few months is very encouraging. It suggests that the ‘forbearance equals foreclosure' narrative was incorrect."

Why are there significantly less foreclosures seen today? Well, homeowners today are equity rich. They are not tapped out.

During the build-up to the housing bubble, some homeowners were using their homes as personal ATM machines. We saw a plethora of people withdrawing their equity the moment it was built up. When home values began to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation where the amount they owed on their mortgage had surpassed the value of their home. Many were faced with the decision of walking away from their homes. When that happened it led to a rash of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at huge discounts, thus lowering the value of comparable homes in the area.

Homeowners, have since learned their lessons. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over 40% of homes in the country having more than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like they had previously, as indicated by the fact that national tappable equity has increased to a record $9.9 trillion. With the average home equity now standing at $300,000. What happened last time will not happen today.

As the latest Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogic explains, "Not only have equity gains helped homeowners more seamlessly transition out of forbearance and avoid a distressed sale, but they've also enabled many to continue building their wealth."

There will be nowhere near the same number of foreclosures as we seen during the crash. What does that mean for the housing market today?

4. There is Not a Surplus of Homes on the Market – We Have a Shortage

The supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation. The following graph demonstrates, the surplus of homes for sale between 2007 to 2010 (many of which were short sales and foreclosures). That caused prices to tumble. Today, there is a shortage of inventory, which is creating the increasing home values we are witnessing today.

Inventory is drastically different in comparison to last time. Prices are rising because there is a healthy demand for homeownership while at the same time there is a shortage of homes for sale.

At the end of the day,

if you are worried that we are making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, the graphs above show data and insights to help alleviate your concerns. If you are considering buying or selling and would like to dive deeper into this subject we would be happy to schedule a consult with you. Call us today at 360.675.5953. 

Real Estate January 24, 2022

7 Tips for New Horse Owners

Horses have been a prominent animal throughout history, dedicated to their human’s side. Many would go as far as to suggest that horses, just as dogs, cats, and other pets can be man’s best friend. Like other pets, horses can contribute to the health, wellbeing, and happiness of their humans so much so that there have been people that contribute overcoming their mental illnesses to using a technique called Equine Horse Therapy. Likewise, many children have found companionship in their horses and have grown to learn valuable life lessons from them.

While we as humans receive so much from these amazing animals, it is equally important that we pay attention to their health, wellbeing, and happiness as well.

If you are new to the equestrian lifestyle here are a couple of tips to keeping them happy:

1) Consistent Exercise:

Horses, just like us need daily exercise to stay healthy and fit. A daily workout helps to reduce your horse’s stress and allows them to release pent-up energy. While it might not look like the typical gym workout, working out with your horse by training can be beneficial for both you and your horse.

2) Keep Vaccinations Current:

Like humans, horses also need vaccinations and it is important that they stay current, or like humans, they can get sick. Having the proper vaccination in a timely manner helps you keep your horse healthy, fit, and happy.

If your horse gets sick, it will take a lot of energy for it to fully recover. Keeping your horse on a vaccinations routine not only will help prevent your horse from getting sick but will also help your horse to recover against the more serious diseases more easily.

To ensure you are providing your horse the best care and keeping regular on its vaccinations, you can ask your vet for a list of vaccines he/she suggests you give to your horse and which ones are most important for your horse to have. If you don’t currently have a vet, click here for a list of ones in our area.

3) Your Horse Needs a Safe and Comfortable Environment: 

Here’s one that lies near and dear to our hearts. As real estate agents, we know just how much we as humans want our homes to keep us safe and comfortable. Similarly, your horse not only deserves but needs housing that not only keeps him safe from things like storms and prey but also makes him comfortable. If your horse lives in a barn, provide them a stall and protection.  If they live outdoors, they need some way to get out of the sun. Often a run-in shed, or shady trees can give them protection from the elements they need. Additionally, you will need to provide them with a dry walking area, grass, rubber mats, and hoof care.

Not all properties are created equally. When looking at properties, it is important to make sure it is sufficient for your horse and easy for them to maneuver and permitted for horse use. If you need help determining whether or not a property is viable for your equestrian needs reach out to our equestrian advisors here.

4) Good Nutrition:

We know that when we eat junk food, we feel, well like junk. Similarly, your horse requires a diet that can fuel the energy they need to stay fit and healthy. The digestive system of your horse is designed to process large amounts of fibrous foods regularly.

To keep the horse’s digestive health and increase their energy level, you should include grass, hay, and grains in their regular diet along with a lot of fresh CLEAN water. Including traditional mineral blocks into their routine will help your horse maintain an optimal diet. Check out these great places on Whidbey to purchase food for your horse.

5) Your Horse Needs a Dentist Too!

Have you ever been petting your horse when he decides to give you a big lick across your face?! We have too. That’s how we know it is of the utmost importance for your horse to have a dentist too. You should anticipate a checkup about once a year. Like humans, horse teeth grow. However, unlike humans, horse teeth continue to grow and could potentially become damaged by opposing teeth if not properly taken care of. Because their teeth continue to grow it is important for them to be filed regularly to ensure the horse is comfortable when he eats. Could you imagine trying to eat if your teeth hurt you?

Without regular dental check-ups, your horse could develop problems that could lead to more serious problems like colic and choke.

6) Their Hooves:

It is important to take care of your horse’s hooves, by cleaning them and trimming them regularly. Like humans, every horse is different. The growth at which your horses’ hooves grow may be vastly different from that of another’s. However, it is often common for hooves to grow in between 4 to 8 weeks. You can begin trimming them after that.

7) Visit Your Horse Regularly:

The bond between you and your horse should be very strong like the friendship between you and a best friend. You will develop this bond over time by spending adequate time with them. You should expect to visit your horse daily if possible.

But also, like humans, your horse needs equestrian friends too. So get out and make friends with similar interests as both you and your horse.

At the end of the day…

… if you have been considering buying property for you and your horses – let’s connect to determine what is best for all of you. Email us or call us today!

Real Estate November 22, 2021

The Search for Equestrian Property

Buying property suitable for horses is no small task. It is certainly not the typical home buying experience. There is so much to consider from what kind of property best meets the needs of your horses to what kind of home will best meet your wants and needs. Speaking from experience, the horses’ needs are typically the priority.

Working with an experienced Equestrian Advisor/Realtor will also help ensure your home search and purchase go as smoothly as possible. You can find one here.

The Property has Acreage:  Is it Suitable for Horses?

The search for equestrian properties

Any Equestrian Advisor/Realtor will be the first to tell you that, just because a property has plentiful acreage does not mean it will be a suitable property for your horses. The best property will be flat to gently sloped with good drainage, open areas with grass for grazing, with few trees, and wet areas. Horses weigh 1000 to 1500 pounds on average, which puts a lot of weight on the ground. Therefore, horses can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.

The priority is finding an Equestrian Property with useable land – meaning not acres of unusable gullies, steep edges, or too many bodies of water. More land doesn’t necessarily mean it is better, the useability is the priority.

Amenities:

The search for equestrian properties

Housing horses and livestock on your property can be done with ease with a few convenient amenities. It is important to consider these amenities as they add value to the Equestrian Property:

  • Barn – Does it have an adequate number of stalls for your needs and the right size for your type of horse? Horse stalls can measure from 10 x 10 to 12 x 12 or even larger. Does it have the capability to increase the size of the stall to make foaling stalls?  Are the stalls matted? Are there runouts (sacrifice paddocks) off the stalls?
  • Hay Storage – What style is the barn? If it is a Monitor style barn, does it have a hayloft? How much hay can be stored in the hayloft? If there is no hayloft, is there adequate storage for hay elsewhere?
  • Tack Room – Does the barn have a tack room? If so, is it insulated? It is important to be able to store tack, brushes, and other items in the tack room without them getting damp and moldy.
  • Tack Area and/or Wash Bay – While one can do without this amenity it sure is a bonus to have it.
  • Quality and Safe Fencing – Fencing can be quite costly (please watch for our future blog on fencing). It adds a lot of value to an Equestrian Property to have good quality and safe fencing. Equally important is how well it is laid out on the property. Is the property fenced and cross-fenced?
  • Arena (Indoor and/or Outdoor) or Training Round Pen with good footing – It is a huge bonus to find a property with an arena, especially an indoor arena. Indoor arenas are getting increasingly more difficult to get approval to build and depending on the size can cost well over $100,000 to build. Outdoor arenas are great but have their challenges.  It becomes difficult to manage the footing due to weather. Footing in the arena is something to really consider.  Each discipline has its own preferences for footing type and depth.  But any equestrian will agree that poor footing can cost you a lot – cause lameness in your horses resulting in expensive vet bills and not to mention the time to rehabilitate the horse from injury.
  • Water source and location of water on the property. Are there ample spigots to the pastures/paddocks and arena?
  • Electricity – Does the barn have electricity running to it?

Your Routine:

The search for equestrian properties

Transitioning to an Equestrian Lifestyle is a big adjustment.  Make sure you are taking your daily routine into consideration when looking at properties.  Consider the layout of the Equestrian Property. Does it seem that your daily routine will be seamless i.e., bringing horses in and out from pasture/paddocks to the barn?  Are there turnouts off the barn that make it easier on your daily routine?  Where is the manure kept? Ultimately, as an Equestrian, you want to be able to leave your property and know that your horses will be safe and sound while you are away.

Barn(s) and Outbuildings Should be Inspected Too:

The search for equestrian properties

You have found your Equestrian Property.  It will cost you extra, but it is important to have your inspector inspect the Barn(s) as well as the Outbuildings.  Your horses are part of your family, and you want to make sure that they will be safe in their surroundings.  It is important to have a professional evaluate the Barn and Outbuildings for structural issues, electrical issues, or other potential problems.

Zoning Regulations:

Do not assume that the property is an approved horse property just because the owners or prior owners have had horses on the property in the past.  Part of the Inspection process will be to do a little research with local city, county, and/or HOA regulations for agriculture and livestock. Do not let this lack of research cut into your dreams of owning an Equestrian Property.

Let us help you make your dreams of owning an Equestrian Property a reality:

To be honest this is all just the tip of the iceberg when searching for an Equestrian Property.  It helps to have someone working for you that has done this before.  Let’s get you connected. It would be an honor to help you make your dreams a reality.