Equestrian Communities, Are They the "New Golf?"

According to an article in the Denver Post, "In the world of residential development, horses are the new golf." Some industry experts say golf-course communities have hit a saturation point.

With approximately 2 million horse owners and approximately 9.2 million privately owned horses throughout the United States (according to the American Horse Council) it is no wonder that well-designed equestrian developments are popping up across the country. Master-planned subdivisons designed for the equestrian family have been around for more than 40 years; however, their numbers have increased dramatically in the last seven years. It is estimated there are between 250 to 300 recently developed equestrian communities in existence throughout the United States alone. These new communities, as well as their already established predecessors, attract folks seeking a refuge from urban congestion and suburban monotony, not to mention irksome commutes to visit their beloved horses at distant boarding stables.

Empty parcels in equestrian communities can be found at prices ranging from $50,000 to $350,000, depending on the size, amenities, and location. Smaller parcels within the city limits of horse-friendly town such as Burbank Rancho, LA, or Brentwood CA, in southern California, run about 1/3 acre 1 acre. Most other developments offer larger parcels (2 to 5 acres). However, others have parcels upwards of 20 to 40 acres for those with those who dream of ranch-style living.

Nearly all equestrian communities have homeowners’ dues to maintain communal amenities such as trails, stables, paddocks, arenas, golf courses, and/or club houses. A horse-friendly and diligent board-of-directors that keeps a watchful eye on the maintenance costs and condition of these facilities is highly desirable. Many prospective buyers ask to see the last three months’ minutes of board meetings to check for potential management problems or disputes among resident home and horse owners.

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