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A question only horse people would understand - house or horse facilities?

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  • A question only horse people would understand - house or horse facilities?

    I am currently looking for new digs, and in my limited price range, have found houses that have JUST the house. I want a garage and also large corral (or dirt paddock for most of the US people!). With just a house, I figure I'll need to buy a shade (I'm bringing some panels to make a corral for my horse and will add to them later to make it bigger) and then a garage, around $13k total. I'll need to put some bucks into any of the houses I'm looking at - $5k max, I'm thinking.

    However, I looked at a place the other day that HAD the garage (heavenly - room enough for the horse trailer AND tractor AND truck!) and also a nice three pens with full shade with room for turning out. The house, on the other hand, is a mess. I'm thinking at LEAST $15k-20k for repairs on it.

    Sooooooooo, what would you do? Sink your money into garage/horse facility, or house? I need some equine people prospective!

  • #2
    Can you afford the repairs in the first place? So it's just a question of putting up a garage and pens vs fixing the house?

    My thought goes like this: if the house value reflects the cost of repairs, if the house is in a desireable location, if the house has a good floorplan or the floorplan has an intuitive improvement you can make during the repairs and if the horse set up suits you just fine, all the pens are well located, all the fences are in good conditon and safe, water and power and all the little things, good drainage etc etc., then get the fixer if you have the skills and experience.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    • #3
      Do you shed (as in leanto shelter) or shade as in shade from the sun ( you live Arizona or Australia)?
      Also, I think any house will have unexpected surprises that will cost you $, even if you think they are in good shape (boilers, plumbing, foundation, leaks, drafty windows etc).


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Chall View Post
        Do you shed (as in leanto shelter) or shade as in shade from the sun ( you live Arizona or Australia)?
        Also, I think any house will have unexpected surprises that will cost you $, even if you think they are in good shape (boilers, plumbing, foundation, leaks, drafty windows etc).
        OK, I live in either AZ or Australia??? Those are quite extremes! I got a giggle out of that! I do live in AZ, and we need shades. I agree - there will be those unexpected surprises, which I'm hoping a pre-purchase exam, or I guess it's called a home inspection for houses, would uncover.

        ReSomething - hmmmmmm, trying to think how to answer. These are all manufactured homes, so any repairs I do won't really add value to the home itself. Adding a garage and horse facility would. Does that help? The horse facilities suit me fine, no problem there.
        Last edited by JumpQH; Feb. 17, 2013, 04:18 PM. Reason: forgot to add part of answer to Chall


        • #5
          Actually I think improvements to the house (even if manufactured) holds more value than adding horse facilities. I have constructed a large 6 stall barn, four shed run-in, small covered arena, and fencing of 8 acres. All that added NO value when I had my place appraised for refinancing!! However, putting new fixtures in my bathroom and kitchen did. Putting in laminate flooring did. And my house, although not manufactured, is essentially a stick built double wide...nothing fancy. And I live in a super horsey community so you would think all the horse facilities would count. I think they would if I put my house up for sale but appraisers do not know how to value them. All that makes things difficult at resale as the property must appraise for the selling price.
          Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


          • #6
            Agreed that the non-horsey improvements are the smart investment. I bought a run down house with a bit of land for the horses...the vast majority of the resale value came from the improvements I did to the house and cleaning up the yard. The stable area and paddock didn't really interest any of the potential buyers.

            We're currently considering a larger acreage with just a barn on site. Our real estate market is pretty strong, but it's been for sale for many years. It is now advertised at half the original asking price, I think because it's really only going to appeal to someone who has horses or livestock and the desire to build a house. It's a beautiful property and I'd be willing to bet it would have sold many times over if the original owners had built a small house instead of a giant barn!


            • Original Poster

              Very, very interesting! I knew I came to the right place for advice! Thank you for your insight........major food for thought.


              • #8
                In AZ I would go more for the house. In fact, here in Montana I am trying to find the right balance between house/horse facilities. So much of the year you're in the house more than outside but then again, if you have good facilities you can be outside more. I have family in New Mexico and I'm always struck by how much easier it is to keep a horse there!
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                • #9
                  Non-horse improvements will always be the best investment. That said, I still poured my money into the horse facilities rather than the house. *But* I don't plan to sell any time soon, so it's just a question of what I can live with rather than how I can get most of my money back out of the property.


                  • #10
                    Terasa is right. House over horse facilities give the most bang for your buck. There is no guarantee that a future buyer will want to use the barn and outbuildings for horses. Your buyer might be a llama or alpaca farmer, someone who turns the barn and indoor into a giant garage, or someone who raises or boards dogs. You also don't know if a future buyer will even use the barn and outbuildings for anything either. Some people just want land, but don't want to use it for anything besides privacy and space from neighbors.

                    And over-improving the house is almost always a mistake. You don't want to limit your buyer's pool by doing a very trendy decorating style that will be come dated very quickly. As a buyer I prefer well done, comfortable neutral decor that I can add my own touches too, instead of something like bright colors that will take many coats of primer and paint to redo.
                    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                    • #11
                      I agree with everyone, however I recently purchased horse property and I went with the place with the good horse set-up for the reason of convenience. I only had to add additional good perimeter fencing (for my sanity and my insurance company's sanity) and replace some rotted stall boards before I was able to bring everyone home. The house is livable, and so over time the SO & I can make updates as we see fit, and without pressure. As an HGTV fanatic, I've learned there really are a lot of considerations when upgrading a house! Anyway, I didn't want to have to do self-care board somewhere else while having to make horsey upgrades at my own place. The thought of moving into a place and having to build an entire barn, or re-do a "dog kennel barn" to be suitable to horses was just too much for me.