The demand for quality equestrian properties – substantial houses with grazing and facilities such as an indoor school, stabling and proximity to competition venues – remains strong throughout the country.
As far as buyers are concerned, location and accessibility are key. Newmarket and Lambourn are the main hubs from a racing perspective, while parts of the Cotswolds and central and southern England are ideal for eventing and dressage. Whilst there is nothing you can do about your property's location, there are several ways you can increase its 'verge' appeal this spring. As all eyes will be on Aintree this weekend for the Grand National, here are five top tips for selling your equestrian home:
If it's broken, fix it
You may no longer notice the stable door that doesn't shut properly or the gate that was damaged in last winter's storms, but prospective buyers will. Now is the time to inspect all joinery and repair anything that is broken.
Check the 'ex decs'
It's a good idea to carry out external decorations every five years. While this can be expensive, doors and woodwork that have not been maintained will have to be replaced far sooner than those that have. A fresh coat of paint also gives prospective buyers the impression that this is a well-tended property.
Horses are notoriously hard on paddock fencing, cribbing on the rails or rubbing up against them, so make sure any damage is repaired. Now is also the ideal time to improve the strength and look of existing fencing. Think about using treated materials which will not only save you having to creosote new fences yourself, but will last longer.
Banish mud fever
Spring is a good time to tackle muddy gateways and any boggy areas. The best way to reduce excessive grooming and ailments caused by mud fever is to invest in drainage, adding hardcore and stone. A cheaper option is to buy road planings or screening (from £20/ton).
Mend the driveway
Your driveway is a buyer's first – and last – impression of your property, and many will be put off by potholes and bumps. Unfortunately, there's no quick or cheap fix, but having the driveway professionally repaired is easily one of the best ways to increase your property's 'verge' appeal.
Claydon horse walker, Loretta Lodge, Epsom, Surrey – Asking price £4,270,000
Witham Vale manège, North Acre Farm, Wincanton, Somerset – Guide price £1,695,000