An Interview with Nick Hole Jones
There are many different types of equestrian property – how do I know which best suits my needs?
To know which type of property best suits your needs, it entirely depends upon which equestrian discipline your focus is on. For example, if your passion is Carriage Driving, you will require entirely different facilities and land topography than an individual whose passion is eventing. Should your yard have boxes for four horses, you won’t have the supporting facilities to be running a livery establishment.
Ultimately, it’s about finding the right property with the right facilities to suit you and your horses.
What location factors should buyers consider when purchasing an equestrian property?
For many of the top three day eventers, it is a necessity to be close to the motorway networks. Early starts and long days call for easy access to road links so as to be boxed up and away to an event. Wiltshire and Gloucestershire consistently remain popular among the equestrian communities as they are at the centre of the country. The M4 corridor (East, West) and M5 (North/South) are also key locations. Events such as Pony Club, Dressage events, Point to points and Gymkhanas will centre on the local hunt and will thus be close to the property. Pick a location where you know others will share the same interest as yours and you can’t go wrong - local intelligence is very valuable.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a home with equestrian facilities?
It is extremely easy to outgrow an equestrian property very quickly, so I would always advise any equestrian client to go for the best that they can afford at the time. A thorough look into the condition of buildings and fences is also a very important consideration, as is the layout. Another vital issue is to understand is whether the owner will have to cross a road to get to their land, as this could pose a potential security issue for horses and equipment. It’s therefore really important that proper measures are in place to safeguard both. Finally, convenience for any owner of an equestrian property is key. Make sure that the property and its facilities cater completely to your needs and that it will stand the test of time so that another move is not on the cards anytime soon.
Are there any extra costs to be aware of that are associated with an equestrian property?
Apart from the usual costs that come with owning an equestrian property, other expenditures that may tug at the purse strings include commercial council tax, metered water and staff accommodation. The purchase of an equestrian property is unlike any other residential sale due to the associated costs that come with owning a home with facilities. For this reason, any would-be buyer should draw up a full list of costs that could incur from owning such an establishment and from there confirm if the estate is a viable option.
What creates value and adds a premium to an equestrian property?
Up-to-date facilities are perhaps the most coveted item on a buyer’s checklist. Today’s purchasers do not have the time to spend renovating or installing new equestrian features and as such, will favour properties which do not require any work or additional finances put behind them to create a well stocked equestrian establishment. Costly items such as a horse walker, watered well-fenced paddocks and existing good quality buildings that have been maintained will all save the buyer from having to obtain themselves. Overall, the more kit the better.