Lori De Pucci
Realtor® | Phoenix Award Recipient | Top Sales Associate

Buying a horse farm?

grindle barn close up

Every horse owner dreams of owning their own horse farm and waking up each morning to the pleasures of enjoying your horse at home and hear him softly nicker for his breakfast. Of course, along with caring for your horse at home comes a lot of dedication to barn and property maintenance. When looking for the ideal property to keep your horse, keep a few things in mind…

 1. Inspect the barn.  When it comes to purchasing a home, all buyers hire a home inspector. But few, in my experience, actually take the time to have the barn inspected for safety. A home inspector can inspect the structure of the barn, but the same codes that apply to residential homes do not necessarily apply to an agricultural barn. In fact, there are few codes, if any that apply to barns. So, most importantly:
a. Have the electrical inspected to ensure all wiring is in conduit and there are no exposed wires that critters can chew.
b. Is the barn clean and free of cob webs at the electrical outlets, and are the outlets covered with metal plates to keep dust out? (Dust is extremely flammable and any arch or spark can ignite.)
c. Fans – are the fans closed motor fans and rated for outdoor use?
d. No extension cords!! If lighting or fans must be operated with extension cords, you know you’ll need to have the proper wiring installed.
e. Plumbing – are all plumbing lines underground and/or insulated properly so that you won’t have broken pipes and left without water to the barn in the coldest days of winter?
f. Check the roof! Leaks and dripping water can short out electrical and cause a fire.
g. Make sure the stalls are safe and free of any protruding hardware that could potentially harm a horse.
h. Where will you store your hay and shavings? Storing hay and shavings in the barn is not a good idea, as they can ignite easily and fuel a burning barn. Is there room to build a small structure to keep hay and shavings stored away from the barn?

2. Inspect the fencing.  Make sure you check the fencing that will house your horse and keep him safe in his pasture. Are the posts pressure treated and set in concrete? How many of the boards are rotted or broken? Any wire that might need to be taken down or replaced? Barbed wire is dangerous for horses. Replace it with horse wire or board fencing.

3. Greener pastures?  Are the pastures full of weeds? If so, you’ll need to take a season or two to kill off weeds with a safe herbicide and over seed with fescue in the Fall.

 4. Negotiating equipment?  A lot of buyers will negotiate to keep farm equipment in the transaction, however, few, in my opinion, ever check to see if that equipment runs or need repair.

Of course, there will always be repairs to be made and upkeep to manage, but at the end of the day, there will be a soft nicker to warm our hearts!