We are considering land ownership. Started looking well to look We have found something by dumb luck that we are both super interested in. The land is 10 minutes from our house. Close to friends with horses. The drive way to the property is a dead end, ends up at the barn. Already has a "barn" - probably a gut to the beams job. Fencing/water/creek and electric. It has been since I was a kid 20 some years ago that I had land and did not board. 2 horses (easy keepers) on 4.7 acres. What equipment? Cost (besides hay/grain/shavings)? Protection? We plan to be out at least every other day. It is between hubbies work and our house. What about getting a Mule/Donkey for protection? It backs up to a large horse farm. What did you not know prior to getting your own place that you wish you had? That shocked you? Going with the realtor, who has horses, Monday so we can see the back pasture(s) and inside the barn. The property does currently have horses on it. One day 3 - 5 years we would build a house there and sell the current one.
Get the details on the well. How deep, quantity it produces, how old is the pump and when was it put in? Steel or plastic pipe? Find out WHO drilled the well, some companies are better, follow all the rules in doing their work. They can give you other information about the well. Here in MI all well work is registered in the County, for checking by other folks or later property buyers.
Hand dug shallow wells often ignore safety, correct procedures for installations. Easy to get contaminated with rain runoff or other things.
Get the water tested for contamination, any minerals it might contain. Some minerals just make water smelly, while others, salt or contamination in the aquifer, make the water unusable for drinking. Might be someone else getting things into the ground water, but that will affect YOU and your water. VERY important to have good water in QUANTITY from your well.
Water is the most important factor in country living. Not having any at all, small quantity or any GOOD water, will be a big deal for you.
Walk the place, see what kind of fencing it has, will it take any horse abuse and stay upright? Or just the old 3stand barb wire on rotten posts, that needs constant attention? Will you need to install your own fencing? This might be needed to keep your animals away from the fencing with animals on the other side, so no fighting over a fence.
Even just electric will cost. Do you have power already installed at the location, or will you have to pay to bring it in that long driveway? Additional cost, with long distance to run wiring costing by the foot from power company. Is what power is there in usable condition, good wiring, not just cobbled together or worn plastic over wire?
Any local wildlife, neighboring cattle or horses, that might run thru your fence or electric fence, breaking it down? Stuff like that lets your animals out. Are your horses branded? Identifiable to find later? How angry will the nearby neighbors be if your horses get out all the time? How angry will YOU be if other horses beat yours up when they get out? Vet expenses could really add up with a couple wire cuts.
Which brings me to the last area. Horses are dumb, and those left alone for long times can get into big trouble. Only being checked on every other day is asking for trouble. Outside circumstances can cause huge problems, not the horses' fault, that get them damaged. Such time spans mean they could be hurting or gone, for a very long time before you even noticed a problem to help the animals. Or you could go to daily checking, you said the property is on the way to work or home.
Donkey is only protection from other predators, like dogs. Not going to stop horse thieves or other animals coming onto the property. I would not get a donkey for horse protection.
Look at those neighbors around the place. What kind of shape is their place? Snug sheds, tight fences, shiny animals on nice grazing? Or a fairly western setup, barbwire mostly tight, lots of dirt ground, scruffy animals with lots of junk stuff around the barn or yard? Loose dogs running over to visit you on your property? Some folks care, others do not. Keeping a place even "sorta nice" takes time and energy. Do you want to look at their places for the next 10 years if it is a dump? Don't-Care people are VERY hard to live near.
So a suggestion would be to go ahead with land purchase, but maybe rent it out to someone else who can do the daily checking needed for livestock. You can save your money for house building, then put the horses on the property when you live there.
I don't know about where you are, but on the home I'm buying it's in the buy/sell contract that the well had to pass testing. That meant for safety AND flow--the best water does you no good if it's not coming out. Also, has there ever been a house on the property? Or a trailer? Find out about old septic fields and such.
Personally, I'd never keep horses at a place where there weren't humans there. They get into far too much trouble.
What's the weed situation at the property? Are there local laws regarding weeds and weed removal? Spraying for weeds is not cheap and where I live I'm required to keep certain ones in check. We knew about the weeds going in (it's required by law here to disclose them) but controlling them cost a lot more than we thought.
My absolute biggest shock is how freaking expensive fencing is. I just got a quote for 14 wood posts and their installation, mind you this is just posts, and it's $600. If the fencing isn't adequate, or you think you're going to want to change it soon, figure out how much that's going to cost before you buy. I could build a new barn for the cost of redoing my perimeter fence.