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equestrian communities

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  • equestrian communities

    Anybody got thoughts to share...on places like Three Runs, or similar? Can you describe amenities in more detail than the websites typically go into? Looking at Aiken particularly but also interested to know about any in the Pacific NW, with a hunter/jumper focus.

    Thanks!
    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by mortebella View Post
    Anybody got thoughts to share...on places like Three Runs, or similar? Can you describe amenities in more detail than the websites typically go into? Looking at Aiken particularly but also interested to know about any in the Pacific NW, with a hunter/jumper focus.

    Thanks!
    I do not have specific experience in the areas you are asking about. I do have some experience in evaluating such ventures.

    These are "niche" real estate communities. They appeal to a narrow (and in our time and activity, shrinking) demographic. This might not bother you but it has the capacity to seriously, and negatively, impact your heirs.

    Put another way, these can very difficult to resell.

    There are other "activity oriented communities." The most common and popular are golf communities. There are a lot of golfers so the demographic is pretty sound (at least right now; how many young people who grow up with Twitter as their most athletic physical endeavor will take up golf is an open question ). At the other end of the spectrum are fly-in communities, where the home are built around a runway. There's one near Ocala that specializes in airplanes and horses! Pilots are a very small demographic that has been getting much smaller. If you think horses are expensive, try keeping a small plane!!!

    I'd walk very carefully and research heavily any offering of this type. Read, and understand, the rules of their community. Some are convoluted enough that you might have to hire Lawyer Schuster from Philadelphia to decipher them for you. I've seen examples that boil down to "we, the management, can do whatever we feel like and you, the owner, follows our rules or we can sue you in an administrative court of our creation from which there is no appeal and when we win (as we always do) our judgement becomes a lien on your property." There are actually many folks comfortable with this approach; I'm not one of them.

    Good luck and do your research!

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with a lot of what G has said. On the upside, someone else is often responsible for arena grooming, paddock maintenance, etc. But the flip side is that if you don't like the way things are run, it can be that you are essentially stuck at a boarding barn that you have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to leave. Nightmare!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm one who will not tolerate being bound by CCRs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), and being that virtually all planned communities (including equestrian ones) have them, my advice is to go look somewhere else.

        Comment


        • #5
          Considering how crazy all horse people seem to be, why would you want to live with a whole bunch of them?
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          • #6
            Oh man, that sounds like a nightmare in every respect. I don't know anything about the OP's area, but here in Central Texas, before I bought Dreadful Acres, I shopped around at a couple of "equestrian communities." The acreage was limited, it was more expensive than comparable acreage outside the subdivision, the people were creepy, and there were all kinds of really horrible, oppressive rules governing everything from a ban on chickens to how much money you had to spend building your house. At one place everyone had to have identical, and if I may say so, really flippin ugly-ass entrance gates. Another one started out life with a high-end equestrian facility as its hub, but of course it didn't survive the recession so now it's a dump. The barns are all rented out to an ever-changing parade of trainers and assorted self-care boarders who may or may not be particularly tidy, the fences are falling down, and there's a CVS and a gas station in what used to be the polo field. I would be pretty sad if I'd shelled out for a house there only to see the main attraction dilapidate into a strip mall/shanty town for the hoi polloi.
            Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
              Another one started out life with a high-end equestrian facility as its hub, but of course it didn't survive the recession so now it's a dump. The barns are all rented out to an ever-changing parade of trainers and assorted self-care boarders who may or may not be particularly tidy, the fences are falling down, and there's a CVS and a gas station in what used to be the polo field. I would be pretty sad if I'd shelled out for a house there only to see the main attraction dilapidate into a strip mall/shanty town for the hoi polloi.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by caballero View Post
                I'm one who will not tolerate being bound by CCRs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), and being that virtually all planned communities (including equestrian ones) have them, my advice is to go look somewhere else.
                The best way to insure that a HOA does what you want is to get involved. This is the reason I'm treasurer of mine
                I wasn't always a Smurf
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                • #9
                  Personally I'd rather have my own place....maybe try to find some land where there are already a couple of established horsey neighbors?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                    The best way to insure that a HOA does what you want is to get involved. This is the reason I'm treasurer of mine
                    That is true, and I have done so in the past. Which is one of the reasons why I won't consider living any place that has one.

                    It is against my nature to accept rules. I'll do anything to lessen the amount of interference and control others have over what I do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wouldn't do it for the reasons that are mentioned above. You have to be careful of a few things.

                      One is who owns the equestrian facilities. There was one in VA that when the developer went bankrupt the residents found out that the equestrian facilities and golf course were separate assets. They went up for auction on the court house steps.

                      Two, if the HOA owns the facility how is it insured? Who is responsible for the maintenance? An equestrian facility is not cheap to maintain.
                      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

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                      • #12
                        You need to visit the communities you are considering and look at them for your specific needs. A horse community in a very horsey place like Aiken is going to be an easier sell or resell than in a place without a concentration of horse people. I think community barns are a recipe for disaster as everyone has different opinions on horse management, though I'm sure there are some exceptions that can make it work.

                        Communities where everone keeps their horses at home and shares community ammenities like trails, arenas, and jumps is a much better model IMO. A homeowner can gets use of a lot of facility for a fraction of the expense of owning and maintain it, which can be a great deal. Meet and speak with residents when you visit these communities, read the covenants backwards and forwards and make sure you can live with them and that the developer's vision is one you share and want to buy into. Look at what exists, not what is promised in case that's all that materializes. Search these forums for previous discussions. Three Runs has a lot of great ammenities and a broad variety of people enjoying them, from inexperienced to very experienced riders, trail riders, drivers, h/j, event, fox hunt and dressage. With four arenas, a xc area, and thirty miles of trails there is lots of community area to enjoy.

                        Be wary of communities that have house-sized lots that carry the same vote as a farm lot, as you don't want non-riders eventually out-voting the horse people in an equestrian community. And if you are a year-round resident, you will probably prefer a community with mostly year-round residents (like Three Runs) verses mostly seasonal residents.
                        Hindsight bad, foresight good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Badger View Post
                          Be wary of communities that have house-sized lots that carry the same vote as a farm lot
                          Wow, I hadn't thought of that one!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There is a horse community near me here in Florida that is lovely but because of the economy and real estate market there are very few residents at all and not all are horse owners. I heard some of the non horse owners are complaining about spending money on maintaining the horse facilities. I have a feeling it will get worse before it gets better. This is a very high end community that I am sure cost a lot to buy into and the fees are more than likely pretty high as well. Not worth the risk to me.
                            Last edited by bizbachfan; Feb. 16, 2013, 07:29 AM. Reason: sp

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                            • #15
                              I'd rather live next to a trailer park than next to a bunch of horsepeople telling me what to do with my house and horse.
                              “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                              St. Padre Pio

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by 4cornersfarm View Post
                                Considering how crazy all horse people seem to be, why would you want to live with a whole bunch of them?
                                This was my exact thought as I clicked open the thread!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I kept my horses in Bridle Trails neighborhood in Bellevue, WA growing up...and absolutely loved it. Yes, a lot of the houses don't have horses anymore...and a lot of homeowners don't use the barn....but this allowed me to rent out the barn and do self-care for my horse. We had trails to ride on, community arenas, and people to ride with. I loved it.
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                                  Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
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                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by caballero View Post
                                    I'm one who will not tolerate being bound by CCRs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), and being that virtually all planned communities (including equestrian ones) have them, my advice is to go look somewhere else.
                                    The new ones, yes can be more than interesting to endure but the older ones, they are classy. I grew up in an area where horses were common place and expected to a part of the community; even to this day those places are still at the top of the list of places to live

                                    the bridle paths that were put in a over a hundred-fifty years ago are still used today

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                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                      At the other end of the spectrum are fly-in communities, where the home are built around a runway. There's one near Ocala that specializes in airplanes and horses!
                                      Sorry to hijack, but WOW what is that community called? Sounds like my kind of place!


                                      In all seriousness though, I have to agree with those who say you're too restricted in those communities. I've seen a couple activity based communities in my hometown, one for flying and one for golfers, that started out looking pretty damn fantastic only to turn into dumps when the controlling entity went bankrupt in the recession. In both cases several families were out over a million dollars and ended up stuck. Proceed with caution and have a lawyer handy.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Clanter, what a neat area in Kentuck. Lived in Louisville for 4 years in the late
                                        1980's and don't remember the area. But didn't have a horse or even ride at the time.

                                        Lived in a horsey community outside of Denver. Five acres and up. A few covenants, $100 a year HOA fee, first homes were built in the 1970's. Still a few vacant lots. Very diverse homes. 4 horses per 5 acres with a couple of exceptions. No splitting of lots there.

                                        Looked at another one closeby....had been 4-5 acres, but some of the lots had been split. Did have a 35 acre common area in the center.

                                        South of Parker is the Pinery, originally horse properties, lots started getting split
                                        and more houses, now few horses. Another area closeby where we almost bought place recently began splitting the lots. Well, not recently, when the market was so hot.

                                        Another area near us called Saddlebrook didn't allow horses....friend of a friend bought there with intent to keep horses at home and they changed the rules. So his horse lived with friend.

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