Just like buying any other property, buying a horse ranch is hard work. There are a lot of factors to consider when browsing the market. Not only does the house have to meet your needs – the area, land quality, size and horse barn do, too. But remember, it is the beginning of an exciting new chapter of your life. People are buying horse ranches because they want to be around the things they really like – animals and nature. According to statistics, Maryland is a hidden gem of land and rural real estate for sale, comprising about 85,000 acres of land at affordable prices. And of Maryland’s 24 counties, Charles County had the most ranch properties available. If you play your cards right, you will find a property that will meet all your expectations and more. Follow these tips to buy a horse ranch in Maryland with ease.

Why Maryland?

Although it is one of the smallest states, Maryland is home to many beautiful amenities. You will get the chance to enjoy the best crabs in the world, great sports teams and iconic landscapes. Most noteworthy, its position right next to the capital city offers its residents all the perks of D.C. without the pricey living.  A great number of state parks, forests, and other state-run land areas offer various outdoor recreational opportunities. Maryland has always been a dream state for horse lovers, which 153,000 horses living in this state can prove. Due to a good and cost-effective offer of ranches for sale, that number will continue to rise in the future.

Plan your budget

In order to plan your budget properly, you need to know the market and what you can afford. Start by researching Horseproperties.net, where you can find listings and prices of all kind of rural properties. The prices of horse ranches in Maryland range from several hundred thousand to several million dollars. Of course, beside the price of the property, you need to include the work that needs to be done on it as well as moving costs.

If you are moving from another city, state or even country, research long distance moving experts in Maryland area and find the best solution for your relocation. Only when you have moving costs, property costs and repairing, remodeling or demolishing costs on paper can you make a proper budget.

In case you are working in the city and you are planning to buy a ranch in the countryside, you should plan your commute

In case you are working in the city and you are planning to buy a ranch in the countryside, you should plan your commute

The main factors you need to be aware of

  • The location of the property can dramatically affect the price and type of restrictions. In case you work in the city, but the house is located in the countryside, consider how far the commute will be.
  • Geography matters, too. Especially if you are getting horses – lots, swamps, and mountains are less desirable. Large grassy fields that slightly slope would be ideal.
  • Most importantly, the acreage greatly impacts how large your facility can be. While you are deciding which size suits you best, consider the number of animals you would like to keep there and how much space they need.
  • Evaluate the current condition of the property to see how much work is needed.
  • Are all resources available? Some areas need to consider water restrictions for livestock, while other areas may have toxic plants that have invaded the pastures. You need to be aware of these things when you decide to buy a ranch in Maryland in order to plan how to handle them.

Zoning and condition inspection

Imagine how disappointing would be buying your dream ranch, only to find out that it’s not actually livable. This could happen either due to zoning issues or soil contaminants that make living there a hazard. Unfortunately, people often buy a property, and then, a few years later, it goes back on the market because they realize they can’t actually build on it. Of course, if you are buying a property in Maryland that includes a house, you probably have nothing to worry about.

Make sure you check the zoning, grade and soil quality. And even if there is an existing house on the property, it’s important to check if zoning or soil quality have changed since that structure was built. A real estate agent familiar with buying property can help you with the due diligence process.

Are all the utilities on?

Before you buy a ranch in Maryland, make sure you check if the utilities are hooked up.  A dated house or undeveloped, vacant land may need additional work to enable it to reach utilities. This includes electric, gas and plumbing. If that is the case, you need to plan this additional work when establishing your budget. And it can be pricey, so try to evaluate it properly.

Select a team of professionals and make no room for mistakes

You will probably want to select your team of professionals even before you’ve purchased the land. This way, you will ensure the house you want is within your overall budget and is a fit for the property you’ve purchased. Your team should include an architect to design the house, a builder and subcontractors to complete each step of the building process.

Most noteworthy, rather than seek out each of these pros individually, you could hire a design-build firm, which employs architects and construction specialists. Already having their own electricians and carpenters, they reduce the need to hire more people and keep the process efficient and your budget on track.

Do your homework

Just like you search for any other professional, you should research a few design-build companies before moving forward with one. Ask your friends or coworkers who have had positive experiences for referrals, and research companies who operate locally that showcase examples of work online. You can even approach multiple firms to bid on your project – remember, you are the boss.

Demolishing the existing property

If there is a home or some other structure on the property that must be demolished, consider a couple of options. For example, a mechanical demolition with excavators and heavy machinery will take a house down faster but cost more, while a smaller demolition by hand will be cheaper but require more time. Before you demolish anything, select a team of professionals to help your house in the best way possible. In fact, a design-build firm often wants to retain a part of the existing structure and can help oversee the demolition.

Additionally, you may need to hire a separate contractor who specializes in demolition as well. An expert will ensure utilities are shut off for demolition and that you have all the necessary permits and have notified the local fire department.

The best way to buy a ranch 

As you can see, there are many factors you need to consider in order to buy a dream ranch and to do it with ease. But if you want to be on the safe side, the best advice is to hire professionals you can rely on, and let them guide you through the process. Good luck – we hope you will find what you are looking for!

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