San Diego County is a wonderful area for outdoor and equine enthusiasts. With its mild and sunny climate and ocean side breezes, it’s a popular choice for people with active lifestyles. Unfortunately, real estate prices can tend to be high and good recreational and horse properties can be difficult to find.
Whether you’re looking for a property with small or large acreage, these unique properties do exist. The trick is knowing where to look. Most people find it beneficial to work with an agent who is familiar with farm property in San Diego. North County has many options, and an experienced agent can help narrow down your options.
Pamela McDonald of Ferrari-Lund Real Estate offers the following advice for buyers looking for horse ranches and farm property:
1. Use an experienced realtor®. Agents who primarily sell farms and horse properties are more difficult to come by but are well worth the effort in finding. An experienced land realtor® will know the right questions to ask, which properties are on the market, and can help narrow your search significantly.
2. Wear comfortable clothing when viewing properties. Because you’ll likely be in undeveloped terrain, you’ll want to wear long pants and comfortable footwear. Although San Diego is generally mild and sunny, plan ahead and bring rain gear if necessary.
3. Set aside plenty of time. Farm and horse ranch properties tend to be in remote areas and can take longer to get to than residential properties. Combined with San Diego traffic, you could easily expect an hour commute or more to visit a property. Plan ahead and make sure you have cleared your schedule to allow ample time to view all possible listings.
4. Walk the entire property border line. This may go without saying, but make sure the seller is clear with you about where the property begins and ends. Many first-time land buyers are not familiar with judging acreage and may not always immediately know what land is included in their listing. Alleviate any confusion from the beginning by having the seller or agent walk the property line with you.
5. Ask about utilities. Does the property have any utilities set up? Was there any percolation testing done for sewer or any cost estimates for installation of utilities? Is the property zoned for horses and do you need any permits? In most instances, your realtor® will be familiar with these issues and will ask the seller on your behalf. However, the buyer should be aware of them and any possible costs that may arise after the sale so he or she can work them into the offer price.
6. Know the surrounding neighborhood. Are there other farms nearby? What are the properties being used for? If you plan to purchase horse or farm property, you’ll want to be sure you don’t have any ground contamination or runoff issues from surrounding properties that could impact your future crop or livestock.
7. Use a reputable mortgage lender. Land sales are quite different than home sales. If purchasing undeveloped property, you may have a harder time securing a loan than if you were buying property with an existing structure. To ensure your loan will pan out, be sure to use a mortgage lender who is experienced in land sales.
Whether you’re looking for farm or horse property, San Diego has much to offer. Warm weather, fertile ground and ocean breezes make this area a top pick for equine and nature lovers, and with the right realtor® and preparation, buyers should have no difficulty finding the property of their dreams.
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