Year-Over-Year Home Prices for Equestrian Properties May Be Flattening

 

 

Equestrian home prices in the Puget Sound region seem to have hit a plateau this spring – with the possible exception of Pierce County, where values are up compared to last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties are all still attractively priced compared to King County. Equestrian properties are selling fairly quickly, most notably in Thurston County. Inventory levels continue to fluctuate seasonally but remain relatively low, benefitting sellers.

 

Current Market Conditions

 

  • According to a recent report from Redfin, Tacoma is currently the “hottest” housing market in the country. Inventory levels are low, and homes are selling quickly.
  • Median home prices in Seattle and King County are on the rise again after experiencing a significant dip at the end of last year, but prices still haven’t reached the peaks seen in early 2018.
  • Geopolitical uncertainty has been applying downward pressure on mortgage interest rates, with 30-year fixed rates dropping below 4% in June. Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner doesn’t expect to see rates over 4.5% before the end of the year.
  • Depending on the outcome of trade and tariff discussions with China, the cost of some building materials could rise as much as 25% this year – a cost that would almost certainly be passed on to home buyers already struggling with housing affordability.
  • Though wages have failed to keep pace with rising housing costs for years, wages for Washington workers did increase an average of 5.5% across all industries in 2018 – a step in the right direction.
  • Apple has announced that it will be bringing 2000 new jobs to Seattle’s South Lake Union in the next five years, increasing the demand for housing in the process.
  • Concerns about a potential economic slowdown persist. A Wall Street Journal survey of economists and a Duke University survey of CFOs both predict a recession in 2020.

 

Because of the unique considerations involved in buying or selling a horse property, relying on a Realtor with real world equestrian experience makes good sense. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a horse property in the Puget Sound area, please give me a call to discuss how I can put my knowledge and experience to work for you.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Williams is a top-producing Realtor with Windermere Professional Partners, specializing in equestrian home sales in King, Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties.
Jeff Williams: (253) 303-1135

 

 

 

Posted on August 1, 2019 at 11:15 pm
Jeff A. Williams | Category: Buying or Selling Horse Property

Horse Property Values Continue to Rise

Third quarter 2015 sales data is in, and the outlook for horse properties continues to strengthen. We continue to see stronger demand and higher prices for properties, an imrprovement over third quarter of 2014.  Median sales prices are trending up and sales activity and the number of horse properties sold is still on the rise, the exception being Thurston county which is still lagging the rest of Western Washington.  With relatively low levels of horse property inventory in all counties we should see these trends continue through to next year, and I would expect Thurston county to catch the trend.  Below is a recap of the trends from this year versus previous years by county. 

 

Jeff Williams has been riding and showing American Quarter Horses since childhood and is a top producing Realtor with Windermere in Tacoma, Washington.  If you have questions about this information please contact Jeff at 253-303-1135 or email him at JeffWilliams@Windermere.com.

 

 

 
Posted on October 27, 2015 at 7:14 pm
Jeff A. Williams | Category: Buying or Selling Horse Property | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Horse Property Values Finally on the Rise

First quarter 2015 sales data is in, and the outlook for horse properties looks very promising. As more and more people become comfortable with spending money on recreational activities again, we're seeing stronger demand and higher prices for horses and horse properties… finally!  Median sales prices are trending up and sales activity and the number of horse properties sold is on the rise.  With relatively low levels of horse property inventory in Pierce and King counties we should see these trends continue throughout the summer.  Below is a recap of the trends from this year versus previous years by county. 

 

 

Jeff Williams has been riding and showing American Quarter Horses since childhood and is a top producing Realtor with Windermere in Tacoma, Washington.  If you have questions about this information please contact Jeff at 253-303-1135 or email him at JeffWilliams@Windermere.com.

 

Posted on May 18, 2015 at 7:59 pm
Jeff A. Williams | Category: Buying or Selling Horse Property, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Considerations When Buying or Selling Horse Property

As a Realtor who also happens to be President of the Washington State Quarter Horse Association, I'm often asked to help clients who are purchasing or selling a horse property.  Buying or selling a horse property involves a special set of considerations above and beyond those associated with a typical real estate transaction.  Below is a list of things that I believe are critical to consider, things that can significantly affect a horse property's value.
 

1.  Is the property impacted by wetlands?  Most counties in Washington State prohibit grazing animals on, building on or clearing of wetlands.  The presence of wetlands can also be an indicator of potential flooding.  If you're searching for a home during the summer months, wetlands may not be readily apparent.

2.  If the property is served by a well, does the well produce enough water to accomodate the needs of a horse facility?  Making sure there is an adequate year round supply of water is critical.  It's also important to verify that the water is not contaminated.

3.  Is the property zoned within its jurisdiction for the quantity of animals you intend to maintain?  If you plan to board horses for other people or run a tack shop from your farm, are those commercial activities allowed by the county?

4.  Is the land you intend to use for outbuildings and pasture cleared?  In Washington State, there are regulations regarding tree removal that can differ from county to county.  

5.  How does the house interact with the barn and arenas?  In my experience, potential buyers don't like it if the barn is sited too close to the house or too far away.

6.  Think about equipment storage.  The last thing you want to have to do is leave your tractors, trailers and tools outside in the elements, especially in Washington State.  Make sure the property can accomodate equipment inside or at least in a covered shed.

7.  Is the fencing sound?  Wood fencing is beautiful and we all love it for safety and appearance, but replacement and maintenance costs can be crazy expensive.  

8.  Is the hay storage sufficient?  The last thing you want to coordinate is a monthly shipment of hay.  In Washington State, having a dry storage spot for hay is critical.  Fog and moisture in the air can easily mold perfectly dry hay.  Having a heated tack room is also important to help prevent molding of leather tack.

9.  Check on manure disposal regulations before you buy.  Many counties regulate manure disposal and storage, and this can be an added expense for the property owner.  I've seen some properties that require disposal in dumpsters.  You can imagine the costs associated with that.

10.  If additional residences for farm workers are located on the property, is the property zoned for multiple residences and can the septic systems legally accomodate those dwellings?  I've seen a number of properties where illegal septic systems have been installed to accomodate a mobile home for barn help because the zoning doesn't allow multiple residential dwellings on site.

11.  Look for rot everywhere!  Poorly maintained structures that have improper wood to earth contact are frequently rotted.  Don't buy a pole barn that is sitting on rotted posts.

12.  Consider the roads leading to the property.  I've seen lots of properties on poorly maintained dirt or gravel roads that are lined by trees.  Wind and rain are constant issues in Washington State so be sure that you can get a truck and trailer in and out during a storm and that emergency vehicles can get to you.  Otherwise, tree fall could leave you trapped at your property for days.

13.  Is the property wired for a generator?  If you're dependent on electricity at the property, be sure you have a propane fueled back-up generator.  Losing your electric well pump and heat for the house after a major storm could become dangerous for you and your horses in fairly short order.  

14.  Are the barns and outbuildings legally built?  By their nature, horse properties require barns, sheds, pump houses, etc.  I've often seen structures that have been built without permit and that are considered illegal by county officials as a result.  With these types of violations, you could be forced to remove the structures.   Make sure all outbuildings, especially covered arenas, were built with permits.

15.  Not so fast on adding that indoor arena!  Very few counties in western Washington allow large free-span covered arenas to be built in an area that's typically zoned residential.  Check the codes before you buy a property with the intent to expand.

16.  Does the property qualify for or is it currently tax assessed as an agricultural business?  If the property is eligible for Ag status or if that is its current property tax designation, it can mean a significant property tax savings for the owner, but there are strings attached.  Be sure you understand what qualifies the farm for its agricultural designation.  If you're selling an Ag designated property and the new buyer doesn't continue that use, you may be responsible for property tax penalties when you sell.

17.  Lastly, is your Realtor a horse person?  Horse properties require specialized expertise so working with a Realtor who doesn't understand the language and needs of equestrians will put you at a very real disadvantage.  There are a number of marketing tools that I use to get my equestrian listings sold quickly.  A Realtor who's not familiar with equestrian properties won't be able to offer you the same tools.

 

 

Jeff Williams has been riding and showing American Quarter Horses since childhood and is a top producing Realtor with Windermere in Tacoma, Washington.  To learn more about Jeff's equestrian background visit his website Jeff Williams Quarter Horses.

 
 
Posted on December 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm
Jeff A. Williams | Category: Buying or Selling Horse Property | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,