What to Look for Before Purchasing a Horse Property in Wisconsin

What to Look for Before Purchasing a Horse Property in Wisconsin

  • Karine Sewart
  • 05/2/23

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or highly experienced in the process, starting the search for a horse property certainly comes with its fair share of issues to tackle. There’s much to learn about purchasing equestrian property, from selecting the right land for your needs to evaluating its functionality and soil quality.

If you’ve got your heart set on buying Wisconsin horse properties for sale, read on for an expert guide from the Sewart Group before moving forward.

Select a property with enough acreage for your needs

The first question you should have for the landowner should concern the number of acres that are for sale. But beyond that opening question, you need to know what kind of land you’re buying. The acreage needs to be flat or gently sloping so that your horses can easily graze and access the food and water that they need.

Also, make sure to pay attention to the portion of land on your chosen parcel that is usable versus unusable. The distinction is important, as unusable land includes sharp declines in the terrain, water features, or gullies that horses will have trouble crossing.

Pay attention to the zoning laws in your area

The zoning restrictions in Wisconsin vary across the state, so it’s essential that you meet with a qualified real estate agent who can provide you with the proper information on your potential plot. Not all property is zoned as approved horse property.

You need to be certain that your land will be approved for horses, so check with an equestrian advisor ahead of time. They will help you to be clear that you’re not overstepping your local homeowners’ association laws for livestock. These regulations can vary from city to city. Keep in mind that you’ll likely incur serious financial issues if you neglect to look into these zoning standards.

Inspect the stable and storage facilities

Depending on the number of horses you plan to house on your property, you’ll need to ensure that the stable is fit for your purposes. First of all, get a clear idea of how many horses you wish to bring on the land. One standard is to keep one horse per acre on your plot, but this figure will likely change if the soil conditions and other factors differ.

When you inspect the stable and barn, take a professional along with you. Check to see how much room is available for hay or tack. Look closely at the condition of the outbuildings. You may have to pay additional fees upfront to have a professional help you evaluate its condition. However, a thorough assessment can save you funds in the long run, as you’ll be aware of any damage to the barn. Don’t forget to look at the electrical system, any potential heating problems, and other amenities included with the horses’ storage.

Decide which additional amenities you’ll need

Speaking of amenities in the barn and stables, you should also inspect the other amenities included with the equestrian property. Horse owners all have their own unique needs and goals for their stock of horses, so you should take account of what you’ll need early on in the process to avoid paying extra later.

Some of the more common additions that horse owners usually require on their property are listed below:

  • A training area or arena for horses
  • A basin or pool for washing
  • A center for horse medication with refrigeration
  • A tack room with extra horse supplements
  • Grass watering facilities or spigots, preferably ice-proof
  • A comprehensive hay storage area
  • Horse waterers in the stalls with water heating

While it’s unlikely that a given horse property will include all these features, you can make your search much quicker by listing out your necessary amenities first. Contact potential sellers and let them know which features are a must-have and which ones you’ll be willing to buy on your own later on.

Assess the water supply and septic system

A big part of owning and running a horse property is understanding how to manage your water supply. Therefore, it’s important to ask the current owner about the state of their water supply and inspect it yourself.

Ask the horse property owners for maps that show where natural water lies on the land. Make sure that they own the rights to that water, as you could incur heavy fees if not. Any given horse drinks up to 10 gallons of water daily, so you must protect that valuable resource.

Next, inspect the septic system on the horse property. Owners of an older property or those who only use it for raising horses from time to time may have let these systems go into disrepair. If your property has a working well, you might be in a good position.

Nevertheless, bring a professional along with you when inspecting these facilities. Lastly, check the drainage system. You want to avoid muddy land during rain, so the best plan of action is to visit the property after a heavy rain to make sure that the land remains stable for horses’ footing.

Check the soil and pasture health

The last thing to look for before buying Wisconsin horse property is to inspect the health, incline, and stability of the pastures and soil. Check the pastures to ensure there’s enough space for you to manage the horses, rotate them for grazing, and other concerns.

Next, get a professional to inspect the soil quality of your land. The higher the quality of the soil, the more likely it is for dense, healthy grasses to flourish. While you inspect the soil and pasture, take a look at the rest of the natural habitat. Ensure there are no weeds on the land that could be toxic to horses. Get professional advice on whether or not the pasture is healthy and likely to support your horses.

Contact a local real estate agent today

If you are looking into Wisconsin horse properties for sale, reach out to an expert team who knows how to get results. The Sewart Group is a market leader that offers full-service, customized plans for each of their clients. Reach out today for more information about equestrian properties and to get started.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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