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Home Truths: home for the horses

PUBLISHED: 13:43 10 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:43 10 March 2014

Hill Farm

Hill Farm

Archant

Savills equestrian expert Katie Baldwin gives tips on what purchasers and sellers should consider when looking to buy and sell property with facilities for horses

According to the British Equestrian Federation, there are around 4.2 million horse riders and carriage drivers in Britain. And with the pastime and sport increasing in popularity, the search, for many, for a home which can adequately accommodate their leisure pursuit is of paramount importance.

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Purchasers.

First and foremost, a buyer needs to evaluate their requirements and this will depend on whether he or she needs the equestrian facilities for leisure or business use, and at what level. Properties adequate for accommodating horses can range from a house with a couple of acres (which could be suitable for one or two small ponies) to a full equestrian facility including manege, stables, grooms’ accommodation and anything upwards of five acres of land.

At a very basic level, purchasers need to think about the quality of grazing and the drainage of the land – the latter of which can have an impact on the quality of the former. Not only is this important in order to determine the quality of nutrients in the grass animals will be grazing on, but it also helps to alleviate associated medical problems, including mud fever, seedy toe and rainscald, and the expense of treating them.

It is also essential to check whether or not there is a water supply, and if there isn’t, how easy it will be to extend a supply.

If there are stables, purchasers may want to consider whether there is hard standing or the potential to install hard standing in order to groom horses.

Other considerations include whether there is a manege already in place and what surface it has. Is there electricity to the site and does it run from the mains or a generator? If there isn’t electricity, can it be easily installed?

For anyone considering building stables or a manege, planning permission will be required (this is not the case for a portable field shelter).

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Sellers.

Owners of properties with actual or potential equestrian facilities should realise that many people looking at their home will be doing so for this reason. If there are any works required to bring the facilities up to standard, a prospective purchaser will be thinking about associated costs and this may reflect in the offer they make for your home.

As a result, it is important that the general maintenance and appearance of facilities is presented well. A splash of creosote paint, fixing any missing or damaged fencing and making sure the general vicinity is clean and tidy (for example the removal of old machinery which is no longer in use) will help to present things in the best possible light.

Appoint an agent who understands the requirements of horse owners and to whom applicants wanting equestrian properties come to and trust.

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Savills in Rickmansworth is currently marketing a variety of properties suitable for those with equestrian needs. Hill Farm in Chorleywood (pictured) comprises two cottages, extensive outbuildings including stables, and 20 acres of land.

The guide price is £1.75m.

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