A farm property can be an ideal place to live, especially if you want to escape from a busy city and enjoy the peace of the countryside. Whether you’re building from scratch or purchasing an existing farm, you need to ask questions and check some resources before buying. Here are some of the things to check.
Check the Water Resources
When you purchase a barn, water is an essential resource to remember. Water bylaws and permits can be nuanced and you need to be sure that you know your rights and will be able to get the appropriate permits before making a decision.
Make sure you read the water certificate, speak to the water master, and learn your water rights date back to what year. You need to have the land surveyed and check the functionality of present or future wells and other water sources.
Always check your water source for any pollution and see if treatment is needed. Before you purchase your property, the most important thing you can do as a land buyer is to understand the complexity of your local water laws.
Check the Land
Not all land is conducive to horse-keeping. Steep slopes, heavily wooded areas and marshy places with poorly drained soil are all undesirable places to put a barn.
Steep slopes can result in drainage issues, cause injury and put undue strain on delicate tendons and ligaments. Heavily wooded lots will give your horses less pasture to graze on. Marshy areas are a nightmare for drainage, while soft soil can cause rotting and weakening of hoof walls. In addition, rocky soil can cause the tender sole of the hooves to be bruised and the hoof walls to be strained and cracked.
Standing water farms can be mosquito breeding grounds that can potentially transmit fatal equine diseases. Make sure you do your homework as well as find out what the water levels on the property are throughout the year.
Check for Termites in The Barn Wood
The appearance of mud-like material in irregular pattern lines in the galleries can be caused by termites. Termites can excavate wood in such a way that only a skinny layer of wood remains on the cavity surface and outside. Later the layer is broken; mud-like material may cover the openings used to make the tubes. This is a mixture of dirt, feces and saliva.
Another indication of a termite problem is the presence of a swarm of what you would call “flying ants,” particularly in the vicinity of light sources. A “swarm” is a group of male and female adults who abandon their nest to form a new colony. When a colony reaches a certain size, swarming occurs. Most swarmers appear during the day, most often on warm days after a rain.
Outdoor swarmers found near tree stumps or railroad ties are not an indicator that the barn is infested; they might only present on the outside. Having swarmers indoors, on the other hand, also means you have a termite infestation in the barn.
Swarmers and ants look similar at first sight but can be differentiated by some physical characteristics. Termites have straight antennae, broad waists and four wings of the same size, while ants have elbowed antennae and a thin, pinched waist, with two large wings and two small wings. If you’re looking to buy in an area where termites are common or if you love the property but suspect a termite infestation, you can call a professional for inspection and extermination of pesky pests.
Check the Road Access
Horses need a lot of people to make them comfortable. Your farrier will need to trim equine feet and fasten shoes every four to six weeks as required. Vets will need to visit for check-ups and vaccines at least twice a year and many horses will need additional helpers like dentists, saddle fitters, chiropractors – you name it.
It’s a must to have a way for them to access your barn easily and then have a well-lit place to work comfortably, maybe even late at night. Horses somehow know the most challenging time to get sick. All these people need a place to work on your horse. They also need a place to park their trucks where they can easily access their tools. Owning a dirt track to the barn that turns into eight inches of shoe-sucking mud in the spring will make for a very grumpy veterinarian if they get their vehicle stuck on your dream property.