Hey everyone! Maybe a weird post, but here goes! (Wasn't even sure what forum to post in!)
Has anyone had any success in investing in horse property? While it may seem an usual question, I would love to hear anyone's opinion on the matter. I have 4 horses of my own that I adore who live on my own personal property - however, it would be a dream to own a larger stable for my investment portfolio. Just looking briefly in areas around me (Chicagoland), monthly board for one horse can be anywhere from $300 to over $1000 - and multiply that for however many stalls that are available and it seems like you could see some serious cash. However, I am wondering if any people here are experienced with this type of property and could give any insight as to the type of fees typically incurred when owning a stable. Besides the obvious utilities (electric, heat, water), there would have to be an employee(s) for daily care and grounds work, waste removal, etc. Also, what additional things can be offered at the facility to increase cash flow (vending machines, fees for using arenas if not a boarder, lessons, etc.)? Again, just trying to get a feel how often this type of "rental income" proves viable. Not really sure if this question even belongs on BP (maybe it's more of a general business question than a property investment question?), but with so many knowledgeable people here, surely someone has come across this unique type of investment! Thanks in advance!
I have a colleague that bought a horse property last year and he refers to it as his "ATM". The monthly cashflow is unbelievable. However, his property is a little unique and he has been able to maximize cashflow in a number of different diverse ways. In addition to the stalls, he also has 5 apt rental units on the property, a large barn that he rents to a contractor to store heavy equipment, horse trails, and he leases out a portion of the farm area to a local farmer who grows vegetable for "farm to table" restaurants. His wife was also a former equine professional, so she runs the day to day operations at the horse barn and conducts lessons, open riding and jumping classes.
I think like any other business as long as you can operate it correctly and efficiently it can be a great investment. My only concern (and this could be completely unfounded) is that in a bad economy a business like this could suffer because it's an expensive hobby.
@Chris Williamson - I have not yet explored this strategy. Still would be interested one day, but at current, focusing investing in other "traditional" methods. If you end up pursuing horse boarding, I'd love to chat about your experience with it. And of course, I will share the same if I ever do.
@Kat Malkowski nice to see another horse person here!!
Boarding horses is a losing proposition. It is very very hard to make it be profitable. The only way I have seen it be so is to have a LOT of horses on the property.
The most expensive portion is bedding and hay, then employees, insurance etc
The only folks I know that make money in horses are folks that provide services. Ie trainers, grooms, farriers, vets, etc. but boarding horses? Not so much!!
That said it is a labor of love and having a nice facility is awesome! Just dont expect to make anything on it :)
Get this person on a podcast!!!
@Kat Malkowski I agree with @Mary Mitchell . Running a profitable boarding business is challenging, but not impossible. Services is where you can capture additional revenue - dry board vs full board, stalls v pasture, lessons vs training. If you're able to create a facility that reputable trainers would want to move their business to, that can be a sweet spot (then you can collect board from the clients but also a facility fee from the trainer). Trailer parking and haul-in fees can be nice add-ons. If you can provide and maintain top-notch footing, you can absolutely charge a premium for board, as that will be the first complaint your boarders will have. :-)
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