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Finding the Right Texas Horse Property

By Tabitha Naylor

Finding the right horse property can be difficult depending on what you plan to do with the property. Are you keeping a private horse for occasional riding, running a riding or jumping school, do dressage, or do you want a roping arena? Your needs will dictate the types of properties you should consider.

One of the best things you can do is to work with a real estate agent experienced in buying and selling horse properties in Texas. Look for someone who understands your needs as well as the values of the horse properties you want to explore. This means understanding the differences between a dressage arena and roping arena or covered arenas and round pens, zoning restrictions, water rights, easements and accessibility, riding trails, pasture lands and overall terrain as well as the buildings.

A good first step is to list out what type of property fits your needs. For example, do you need acreage with sandy loam soil for your horses? Do you want trees on your property? Do you need grazing pasture land? Do you want all flat land or rolling terrain? Do you want a house on the land? What type of barn or protection do you want for your horses? Do you need an arena? If so, what type?

The next step is to identify the areas where you want to search for your horse property. Take into consideration year round weather, distance to your jobs, distance to nearby cities and amenities, and schools (if you have children).

If you work with a realtor, he or she will help you with many of the details you need to consider but if you choose to go it alone you need to do a lot of research into each property you are considering to avoid any potential problems, The following items should be thoroughly investigated prior to purchasing a horse property.

It is important to know if the property has a water source and where it comes from. If you are not on a city or county water line find out if the property has a private or cooperative well. Check out the water quality, reliability and if it is a cooperative well make sure you get a copy of the membership agreement and have it reviewed by a legal professional so you clearly understand the terms and agreements. It is also important to have the construction and mechanics or the well inspected.

Many properties with enough acreage to support a horses are on a septic system. Research the type of tanks, the age of the tanks, the location of the tanks and where the distribution field is. If you are planning to improve the land or perhaps add a pool it is important to verify that the septic system will not interfere with future expansion or improvement projects. The septic system should also be thoroughly inspected prior to completing any property purchase.

Check out the accessibility to the property. Does the property have road front access or do you access the property through an easement. Is the access road maintained by the state, county, city or is it the property owner's responsibility? If it involves an easement is the easement recorded. Is the easement shared with any other property owners and if so, is there a road maintenance agreement recorded also? It is important to check out if there are any third party easements in place that affect the property and how the property is affected by those easements.

These are the major items you need to consider when searching for the right horse property but don't forget about your own living needs because rural properties often have limited access to services such as broadband. With proper research and a real estate agent experienced in buying horse properties you are certain to find the perfect Texas horse property.

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