Buying a horse property can be very exciting, as well as overwhelming. There are many factors to consider when looking at potential properties. One of the most important considerations to research is whether a potential property you are interested in is in a Home Owners Association or HOA as they are commonly referred to. I would recommend staying away from anything that is within an HOA if possible. Typically, the restrictions placed on you within an HOA are not reasonable or feasible for horse owners.
If you do find yourself considering a home in an HOA, be sure to find out what kind of fence they approve of. Some horse friendly HOA’s actually do not have the horses safety in mind when they restrict the types of fencing you may use on the property. HOA’s will sometimes restrict fencing allowed to a couple of kinds, and this will be based on the looks of the fence, not the safety, cost, or effectiveness of the fencing. Be cautious of this, you do not want to end up living in the most beautiful place you could have horses, your dream horse property, only to find out the only fence the supposedly “Horse Friendly HOA” will allow you to put up is something as ineffective, expensive, and dangerous as snake lodge pole fencing. This is a common occurrence in some horse developments around the Telluride, Colorado region. I have lived in several areas with “Horse Friendly” HOA’s that have ridiculous rules such as this. Thankfully, we were only renting! Some HOA’S will even go so far as to force you to get approval on where you can put up your fence, and how much fencing is allowed!
There are many considerations you have to look at if you are considering purchasing a HOA horse property. Here are some important factors to consider at each property you look at:
Find out if your allowed to have farm equipment, yes some HOA’s will Real Estate American Tower not allow you to have a tractor even though you are on an acreage.
If the HOA claims to have miles of riding, make sure they have access easements throughout the development. There are “horse friendly” developments that border National land, but these developments do not have easement’s to access the national land. So unless your good friends with a neighbor, you may not even be able to access the trails and be stuck to riding on your property or the road. Many people are cautious about allowing others to ride on their property due to liability reasons.
In some HOA’s developments, an acreage will have plenty of room for horses, but you cannot use the land. They require that you must Real Estate Marketing Salary keep your horses in the community barn facilities. They even charge you extra for that privilege in most cases on top of that.
Find out how many parked vehicles are allowed to be stored outside, because your truck, horse trailer, and car may put you over the limit of vehicles that can be stored outside in some HOA’s.
Find out how many outbuildings are allowed, you do not want to buy a property with a house and nonattached garage to find out you cannot build a barn or put up a hay barn.
Can you have a compost pile or not? Some HOA’s will require a trash disposal company hauls off all manure.
Does the HOA only allow specific building styles for additional buildings?
Does the HOA require approval on every potential improvement you make on the property?
Does the HOA allow you to have dogs? How many horses does the HOA allow per lot?
Are you allowed to operate a business from your home if you desire to?
There can be many restrictions living in an HOA; most of these restrictions are put in place with no research or planning. It just looks good on paper to the developer and has no basis to it. Most of these developers who create horse friendly developments also have no idea what is required to accommodate the horse owners that will be purchasing these properties. This is why you will see so many ridiculous restrictions in some developments that make no sense.
Read the HOA bylaws, as well as the amendments to the bylaws prior to even looking at any horse property within an HOA. Be cautious contacting the sales office in the development or asking your real estate agent about the HOA’s bylaws, they are out for the sale. Real Estate agents often times do not completely research all of the HOA bylaws. If you do not understand, the bylaws give a copy to your attorney to go over and have them explain them to you. Educating yourself is the best defense you have. Real Estate is an expensive investment and it is always cheaper to find out prior to investing in a property rather than after the investment is purchased.