Wednesday, October 20, 2021

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR REMODELED FIXER-UPPER?

 


What Should You Do With Your Remodeled Fixer-Upper?

Buying a fixer-upper to renovate is an appealing investment opportunity for some, but once the property is repaired, should you rent it out or sell it? In some areas, renting can be a reliable long-term revenue stream, while in others, it makes more sense to sell. If you’re not sure what the best move is, use this advice from the Rural KC Real Estate Team to help you decide.

Tips for Making a Property More Desirable

The trick to making money flipping homes is to find a property that's undervalued, then make small improvements to get a better price for it. Some of the simplest improvements are ones that increase a property's curb appeal.

For example, a property with a garden might look a lot better with a fresh lawn and a new fence. If you're not skilled at this kind of work yourself, you should hire a fencing contractor. Don't just hire the first contractor you find, though—read Angi fencing reviews online and get multiple quotes. The average cost of a new fence is around $4,500, but actual prices vary depending on the materials, the size of the fence, and your area. Choose a contractor who's licensed and insured, and make sure they check the area for any underground utilities before starting work.

Why Flipping Is Often More Convenient Than Renting

Flipping a property can offer a one-off profit. Many flippers follow the 70% rule. This rule dictates that the cost of a property and any repairs done to it should be no more than 70% of the value of the property after the repairs are completed.

Finding properties that are this undervalued can be difficult, but foreclosure auctions do still offer such opportunities. People who are experienced DIY enthusiasts and can make basic repairs themselves can often turn flipping into a revenue-generating side business this way.

A 30% return on investment can be appealing, but it's a one-off source of income, and once the repairs are completed, the flipper will need to find another property and do the work again to get the next payout. Unless you have enough funding to have more than one property on the go at a time, flipping can be stressful and the income stream may not be stable—especially compared to the monthly income of rental properties. There's a reason there are nearly 50 million properties being rented in the U.S.

The Responsibilities of Being a Landlord

Renting out properties can generate a steady income and could offer tax deductions, too. However, for landlords to benefit from tax deductions and property value appreciation, they have to do a lot more day-to-day work.

Many landlords find themselves having to pay property managers to handle the daily operations of their portfolios, as well as landscapers and other maintenance contractors to look after the properties. This can quickly eat into profits. Non-paying tenants can also be an issue because the process of evicting them can be long and slow in some states. Being a landlord is not easy money.

Have a Business Plan Before You Start

Property renovations should be approached like any other business. Whether you decide to rent out the renovated property or sell, it's a business decision. Run the numbers, talk to some professionals, and understand the market in your area before you start spending money.

Are you in search of an investment property or your forever home in the Kansas City area? Contact the Rural KC Real Estate team!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

ARE YOU ON THE FENCE: RENOVATE OR MOVE????

The last 18 months changed what many buyers are looking for in a home. Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their AIA Home Design Trends Survey results for Q3 2021. The survey reveals the following:

  • 70% of respondents want more outdoor living space
  • 69% of respondents want a home office (48% wanted multiple offices)
  • 46% of respondents want a multi-function room/flexible space
  • 42% of respondents want an au pair/in-law suite
  • 39% of respondents want an exercise room/yoga space

If you’re a homeowner who wants to add any of the above, you have two options: renovate your current house or buy a home that already has the spaces you desire. The decision you make could be determined by factors like:

  1. A possible desire to relocate
  2. The difference in the cost of a renovation versus a purchase
  3. Finding an existing home or designing a new home that has exactly what you want (versus trying to restructure the layout of your current house)

In either case, you’ll need access to capital: the funds for the renovation or the down payment your next home would require. The great news is that the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity. 

Home Equity Is Skyrocketing

The record-setting increases in home prices over the last two years dramatically improved homeowners’ equity.  The graph below uses data from CoreLogic to show the average home equity gain in the first quarter of the last nine years:The Big Question: Should You Renovate or Move? | Keeping Current MattersOdeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, quantifies the number of equity homeowners gained recently:

“Remember U.S. households own nearly $35 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $11 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$24 trillion in equity. In inflation adjusted terms, homeowners in Q2 had an average of $280,000 in equity- a historic high.”

As a homeowner, the money you need to purchase the perfect home or renovate your current house may be right at your fingertips.  However, waiting to make your decision may increase the cost of tapping that equity. 

If you decide to renovate, you’ll need to refinance (or take out an equity loan) to access the equity. If you decide to move instead and use your equity as a down payment, you’ll still need to mortgage the remaining difference between the down payment and the cost of your next home.

Mortgage rates are forecast to increase over the next year. Waiting to leverage your equity will probably mean you’ll pay more to do so. According to the latest data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency  (FHFA), almost 57% of current mortgage holders have a mortgage rate of 4% or below. If you’re one of those homeowners, you can keep your mortgage rate under 4% by doing it now. If you’re one of the 43% of homeowners with a mortgage rate over 4%, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance or buy a more expensive home without significantly increasing your monthly payment.

First Step: Determine the Amount of Equity in Your Home

If you’re ready to either redesign your current house or find an existing or newly constructed home that has everything you want, the first thing you need to do is determine how much equity you have in your current home. To do that, you’ll need two things:

  1. The current mortgage balance on your home
  2. The current value of your home

You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To find the current market value of your house, you can pay several hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate professional who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report.

Bottom Line

If the past 18 months have refocused your thoughts on what you want from your house, now may be the time to either renovate or make a move to the perfect home.  If you are interested in making a move, please feel free to contact the Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners, Inc.  We can help you make a no-hassle move.  913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.

Monday, October 4, 2021

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROJECTS FOR YOUR HOME

 



Deciding on which projects to invest in for your home is a big deal. If you’re moving, you want to avoid putting too much money into areas that won't create a return.  On the other hand, when you plan to live in your home for the long run, the benefits of your chosen upgrades aren’t always reflected in your home’s value. Fortunately, there are ways to balance your home projects so that you get the best of both: functionality and return on your investment.

 

If You Plan To Sell

 

Although we are stuck in what feels like a perpetual sellers’ market, there are still plenty of things you can and should rectify before putting your home on the MLS. According to home inspection provider US Inspect, this includes leaky toilets, slow drains, and tripping hazards, such as loose carpets. Other repairs or changes to the interior or exterior will be defined by the local market.

 

Your Rural KC agent can help you decide on any other upgrades, updates, or repairs needed before you sell. Keep in mind, however, that you will want to go ahead and plan to stage your home to maximize its appeal. A room-by-room organization system and new light switches don’t sound like much, but it will go a long way toward improving the perception of your home. Another idea is to get rid of extremely dark and oversized furniture and stage your home with modern options that brighten and widen each room.

 

When You Want To Stay

 

Deciding which improvements to make when you plan to stay in your home is much easier. A general rule of thumb is that if it increases your quality of life, reduces costs, or helps you better utilize your space, then it is a good investment.

 

During the spring, summer, and fall, it might be best to start with outdoor upgrades. You can build a patio and fire pit, for example. Both projects utilize pavers and a bit of ingenuity but are a great way to enhance your time outdoors. You might also consider fencing in your backyard, especially if you have a swimming pool. Keep in mind here that you will have to know your property line and, if applicable, any easements that you will have to workaround. In this instance, it might be best to outsource to a fencing company that will know how to pull the pertinent permits.

 

On the interior, focus on rooms that help you use them most efficiently. This might be your kitchen, where new countertops and appliances will go a long way toward creating a luxury cooking experience. You might also spend a weekend painting and installing new hardware in your guest bathroom. If you plan to have visitors in the near future, these little touches will help them feel more at home.

 

How To Know When You Need Help

 

You can do many projects on your own if you’re comfortable with tools and don’t mind doing a little research. But, there are some areas that you should always consult a professional first. Like installing a fence or other outdoor structure, the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems in your home require special permits or licenses. These are also expensive, and you have to have extensive knowledge in each area to ensure that it’s done safely and correctly. Poor workmanship here can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and put your family at risk.

 

Picking and choosing which projects to complete in your home aren’t always easy. When you plan to move, you’ll want to be extra selective to ensure that you are updating only what’s necessary for the home to be functional and more in demand than the next. But, when you plan to stay, don’t be afraid to go all out, even if it means calling in a professional. While you may spend more money, you’ll gain quality of life in a house that you’ve made your home.


Thank you to Mike Longston for his contribution to our blog this week.  As always, if you have an interest in buying or selling rural property, give the Rural KC Team a call.  913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411. Visit Ruralkc.com for the latest in country living.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

COULD COUNTRY LIVING BE YOUR BEST PROBIOTIC

 





Do you spend a lot on probiotic supplements and fancy yogurts?

If so, you’re not alone. Probiotic food and supplement sales have surged over the last 10 years, thanks to exciting new research on “the human microbiome” showing how good bacteria benefits our health.

And this isn’t “fake” or “product-company-sponsored” research. This is the real stuff.

Just hop onto ScienceDaily, PubMed, or any scholarly database, and you will find thousands of peer-reviewed studies on how probiotics enhance gut bacteria diversity, which in turn can benefit everything from heart health and digestion to immunity and even your mood.

So how exactly does enhancing your gut bacteria diversity protect you from so many diseases?

You have probably heard that a huge portion of your immune system resides in your gut. Therefore, the more diversified your gut bacteria, the stronger and more resilient your immune system will be.

Probiotics play a role by infusing your gut with beneficial bacteria that allow for greater resiliency and strength against unfriendly bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.

However, as many health experts will tell you, including those quoted in a 2016 New York Times article on autoimmunity entitled: "Educate Your Immune System", the body also needs the opportunity to fight off harmless bacteria and germs for optimal immune function…

…and that’s where farm life comes in.

As it turns out, farm and country living, with all its fresh air, animals, farm-fresh food, and regular contact with nature, provides a hefty dose of natural gut-diversifying, immune-boosting germs to protect your health.

It almost acts like an earth-based probiotic.

Read on to discover 5 ways farm and country life can provide you with the best (and cheapest) source of probiotics.



#1: Farm animals

Most farmers keep animals for production purposes such as providing milk, grazing pasture, or as a source of meat.

However, new research has revealed our furry friends have been providing us with some added health perks for millennia.

For example, a new study released last year in the New England Journal of Medicine showed Amish children who spent time around farm animals had a significantly lower risk of asthma than children who did not spend time with animals.

Researchers believe this is due to the microbe-rich barnyard dust the children inhale, which challenges and thereby strengthens their immunity over time.

Scientists are so convinced by their “barnyard dust hypothesis” that they propose a comparable spray be formulated for children who won’t have contact with farm animals in their early years.

Asthma rates among typical school-age children have risen dramatically to more than 10 percent in recent years, while the Amish maintain a low 2-4 percent asthma and allergy rate among childhood populations.

And there’s more good news for pet owners…

 Additionally, research has shown that living with dogs and cats can help enhance your gut bacteria, which is great news if you don’t live on a farm or keep livestock.



#2: Reduced levels of stress

Despite evidence about the role over-sanitizing, diet and antibiotics play in degrading gut bacteria balance, many experts believe stress may play the most significant role of all.

This has to do with that gut-brain connection we mentioned earlier. Here’s how that works:

Your gut and your brain are directly connected by what is now known as the vagus nerve.

This nerve acts like an information superhighway, shuttling information between your gut and your brain and vice versa. This explains the term “gut feelings” as your gut does experience whatever your brain tells it.

Based on this new finding, experts believe when we are under chronic mental and emotional stress, it eventually wears down our gut lining, resulting in compromised immunity.

One of the biggest benefits of country living is the natural escape it offers from common urban stressors like traffic, noise, crowds, and pollution.

In addition, spending more time outdoors in green space, escaping from noise pollution, connecting with animals, moving at a slower pace, and having regular contact with the earth have all been proven to significantly reduce stress and anxiety, which will benefit your gut health.

#3: Gardening, landscaping, and playing in the dirt

You have probably heard the expression: “a little dirt never hurt anyone.”

As it turns out, a little dirt could be just what the doctor ordered.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found infants exposed to dirt, dander, and other germs had a lower incidence of asthma and allergies.

This is believed to be due to specific microbes found in dirt strengthening babies’ developing immune systems.

For adults, children, and babies the simple act of gardening, landscaping, or playing in the dirt provides regular, safe exposure to a variety of immune-boosting bacteria and other microbes.

But the benefits of dirt don’t stop there.

According to researchers at the University of Bristol, soil microbes can help ease and prevent depression in adults.

The soil microbes work by boosting immunity by influencing the body’s production of cytokines which can enhance serotonin levels, thereby helping to alleviate depression.

Add to this what we learned in our previous point about gut-brain-connection, and one can see how a little time spent playing in the dirt could make a huge impact on your emotional well-being.

#4: Fresh, clean air

In our first point, we mentioned the beneficial effects of barnyard dust on asthma and allergy susceptibility in children.

This is a perfect example of how the air we breathe influences our gut health and immunity.

Though much of the science on fresh air and the microbiome focuses on indoor environments, the consensus is the more beneficial bacteria and germs found in the air, the better it is for your immunity.

This is great news for those living in rural areas, as they tend to have better air quality than big cities while maintaining a vast diversity of beneficial airborne microbes.

Add to that the proven benefits certain tree and plant essential oils have on our immunity, and you have a powerful immune-boosting ally in the fresh country air.




#5: Farm-Fresh-Foods

You have probably always suspected homegrown food is more nutritious than store-bought. What you may not have known is that homegrown foods are typically richer in gut-diversifying bacteria as well.

For example, fruits and vegetables picked fresh from the garden and washed simply with water will still retain some of those beneficial soil microbes we discussed earlier.

We hope that you enjoyed this blog post and gained some knowledge about probiotics and living in the country.  If you are in the market to buy or sell rural property, please feel free to contact the Rural KC Team, it's all we do.  913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  www.RuralKC.com.  Have a great day!


Kristen Boye is the editor of Rethink:Rural and the owner of Holistic Writing Concepts---a copy and content writing company specializing in the natural health and green living markets. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in beautiful rural Western North Carolina. Visit her online at: www.holisticwritingconcepts.com




Tuesday, September 21, 2021

GETTING YOUR HORSE BARN READY FOR FALL


Cold weather is quickly approaching, so follow these tips to ensure you're ready for the change of season.

1. Organize your blankets

Cold nights will start creeping in before you know it, so make sure each horse’s lightweight sheet is identified and cleaned, especially those who may be clipped. Keep tabs on the temperature lows each night as summer begins to turn into fall so you don’t lose sight of the nights when your horses may need light blanketing. Also, have the heavier blankets ready to go so winter doesn’t sneak up on you and leave you unprepared.

2. Make a plan with all the students (and parents) at your barn

It’s back-to-school time, which means busier schedules for most families that may board or train at your farm. Make sure you keep in touch with those who may be heading back to school so you can help manage their horses and their riding goals despite their busier schedules. This communication will lead to more successful outcomes for everyone as many commitments are being juggled by all parties.

3. Inspect your farm for damage or deterioration

Winter is prime time for problems such as leaky roofing, broken fences, loose hinges, insulation problems, footing issues, and more. You don’t want to save these fixes for the middle of winter when they’re hardest to repair. Survey your property for signs that things may need attention. Be sure your windows and doors are functioning properly to seal in the heat during the cold nights to come. Check on your water tanks and insulated pipes to be sure you won’t face any issues when freezing temperatures hit. If anything needs adjusting, the fall is the perfect time to make those repairs.

4. Have a severe weather plan in place

The fall can also bring with it the chance of severe weather in many parts of the country. Research how to prepare a farm structure for high winds and heavy rain ahead of time. As fall turns into winter, heavy snowstorms can put your horses at risk, limiting access to necessities for the horses. It helps in this scenario to have 10% more supplies on hand than you normally need to keep your stable full of horses safe and healthy in case of a weather shutdown. Above all else, stay tuned in to the news this fall so you won’t be caught off-guard if the weather starts to get dangerous in your area.

5. Decorate!

There’s nothing more fun than breaking out the fall d├ęcor as the leaves begin to change and the air gets a little cooler. The best part of decorating for fall is that decorations can stay up from September through November, so you can enjoy your efforts for a long time. Use horse-safe decorations to add some fall vibes to your barn, including pumpkins, string lights (out of reach of horses), scarecrows, and more. If you have jumps in your arena, add some hay bales, pumpkins, and colorful gourds to make them festive. You can even plan a socially distant Halloween party with a costume contest to get the whole barn involved in a fun activity.


As always, please feel free to give the Rural KC Team-powered by Keller Williams Partners, Inc.-a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411 for any questions you might have, or if you are interested in buying or selling rural real estate.  Have a great day!

Monday, September 6, 2021

IMPROVING FISH HABITAT IN PONDS



Fishing on your own farm pond can provide hours of relaxation and entertainment for adults and children alike.  However, it is important to know how to create and maintain the diversity of fish species. 

Small ponds are a valuable part of rural property and are therefore common features of many land tracts. 

Most farm ponds are stocked with largemouth bass and bluegill, occasionally adding channel catfish. Some owners want to focus on trophy bass primarily with fewer catchable fish in total. 

Others may desire a pond with large numbers of smaller fish that are easier to catch. The discussion here is for those farm pond managers interested in a balanced farm pond population.

In “Farm Pond Management for Recreational Fishing”, a publication from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program in cooperation with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, a balanced pond is defined as “one where both largemouth bass and bluegill populations have stable reproduction each year and there is a range of sizes from small to large in both species.”  

In general, the bluegill population should provide plenty of food for the bass and the bass population should keep the bluegill from overpopulating. 

Fish habitat is an important factor in farm pond management.

The cover allows juvenile fish to survive predation. Depending upon the type of cover, it may also contribute nutrients for insects that become food for fish.

Levi Kaczka, Coordinator for Region IV Fisheries in the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, shared some of his thoughts on improving fish habitat in farm ponds.

“Farm ponds generally lack quality fish habitat without additions from owners since most are excavated from an otherwise open plot of land. When an owner thinks about adding structure, they should think of needs from the standpoint of both large (catchable) and small (juvenile not sought by anglers) fish since both are needed for a quality fishery.” 

In general, structures that may be added to ponds will fall into two categories.

The first is aquatic vegetation.

“Submersed aquatic vegetation is an excellent source of structure since it provides nursery habitat for juvenile fish,” says Levi. “This nursery habitat is beneficial for young fish both in terms of avoiding predation, as well as increasing the habitat for aquatic invertebrates that will provide forage for juvenile bass and all life stages of bream.”

With aquatic vegetation, there are also some concerns as it requires active management.

“Many folks are hesitant to introduce vegetation due to the common occurrence of it overrunning a shallow-water pond and the subsequent issues with oxygen depletion and the inconveniences to fishing,” adds Levi.

Along these lines, the website for the Missouri Department of Conservation says, “Too much cover is as detrimental to good fish management as too little.”

This excess cover allows small fish to be so well protected from predation that they overpopulate, get too little food, and don’t grow.  

As a rule of thumb, the Missouri Department of Conservation site suggests that no more than 10-20 percent of the surface area of a pond should have plant growth. They also note that this may require active thinning.

Levi suggests the alternative is to add hardcovers such as fallen trees, limbs, and brush along the shoreline. 

“These make great additions since they are organic material that will slowly break down over time and don’t cost much to replace. Additionally, they often provide varying amounts of interstitial space (the space between branches and hardcover) which is desirable in a bass and bream pond. The finer the structure and interstices, the more beneficial it will be as cover for small fish. The larger those spaces, the more beneficial for a bigger predator hanging out looking for a meal. Ultimately, you’d like to have both present.”

If you are thinking about sinking brush in your farm pond, the type of brush, location, and arrangement are all factors to think about.

“Some of my favorite material we put into the lakes on fish attractors are large Wax Myrtle bushes,” says Levi. “They seem to last relatively long before breaking down and provide varying sizes of interstitial space all in one or two bushes. Some other materials to consider may be leftover Christmas trees or bamboo, both of which can be anchored with cinder blocks or fixed in a small bucket of concrete.”

“As far as location, from the shoreline out to 10-15 feet works great,” says Levi. “Since most people are going to be fishing these small farm ponds from the bank, no sense in adding structure to areas outside of casting distance.”

The Missouri Department of Conservation site also recommends the brush should be sunk in sections of the pond where the top of the brush remains within 4-6 feet of the surface. Often, water of this depth is in the vicinity of the dam. Care should be taken that brush doesn’t interfere with the spillway or exit of water from the pond.

Also, this website references research suggesting that the placement of brush can impact fish concentration. For example, they note that in the case of sinking Christmas trees, three placed close together in a triangle will attract more fish than the same three trees spread out.

The second is sinking hard covers such as clean cinder blocks or pipes

This is especially helpful when channel catfish are one of the desired fish. Channel cats gravitate toward cavities for cover.

In conclusion, management of farm pond habitat can help provide a balanced fish population.  Whether you add aquatic plants or hardcover such as submerged trees may depend on the amount of time and money you wish to invest. But parting words from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission may be worth considering.

“The management of the ponds should take into account important conservation principles to prevent doing more harm than good.”

  If you are interested in buying or selling rural property, give the Rural KC Team a call.  913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  Have a great day!


Many thanks to Jim Mize for all of the great information.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

FALL PASTURE MANAGEMENT

 


Fall Pasture Management

Fall provides an ideal time of year to improve horse pastures. August 1st to September 15th is an ideal time of year to seed or overseed pastures and rid pastures of perennial weeds.

Fall is the best time to seed or re‐seed pastures due to the usually adequate moisture, less weed competition, and cooler weather conditions.

Fall is also best for perennial weed control since perennial plants are storing carbohydrates in their roots allowing the herbicide to be translocated into the root for effective control.

Make sure to check fences; especially posts. Fix broken posts before they are frozen into the ground. Finally, make sure the pasture grasses have 3 to 4 inches of re‐growth going into winter. This will help with winter survival and quicker spring growth.

Keeping horses on pastures over winter causes damage to plants and offers the horse little nutrition. Keeping the horses in a sacrifice paddock (dry lot) with access to hay, water and shelter are recommended.

Horse owners should use caution when grazing after the first killing frost of the fall. Frost-damaged pasture forages can have higher concentrations of non‐structural carbohydrates following the first killing frost of the season.

This can lead to an increase in the potential for laminitis and colic, especially in obese horses or horses diagnosed with laminitis and equine metabolic syndrome. To reduce the chance of adverse health effects, it is recommended that horse owners wait one week before turning all horses, including healthy horses, back onto a pasture after the first killing frost.

As always, the Rural KC Team-Powered by Keller Williams Partners, Inc., is here to help.  If you have any questions or need help with any of your rural real estate needs, please feel free to give us a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

EFFECTIVE COOLING STRATEGIES FOR SUMMER RIDING

 

Horse riding on a hot day can be challenging and tiring. Use our tips to avoid overheating, enjoy riding and take care of the horse.

Many love summer for its warmth and long daylight hours. However, high temperatures in the middle of the season and day are very uncomfortable. Especially if you like horse riding. The fact is that horses are not designed for a hot climate and are quite difficult to tolerate high heat. If you are the owner of a stable or a horse, you are aware of several effective ways to cool an animal, as well as myths that have been prevalent for a long time. Manufacturers of various horse care products try to engage with customers by offering modern products.

Stay Cool While Riding 

There are several secrets to ride a horse comfortably in the summer heat. Follow the guidelines below to enjoy a summer day ride and not get overheated.

When planning horseback riding, determine the most comfortable time of day for this. It is important to consider several factors: air temperature, wind direction, and speed expected precipitation. Also, keep in mind that your own temperature changes throughout the day. Usually, in the middle of the day, people with normalized sleep patterns have the highest temperature.

Use special clothing that repels the sun and retains moisture in the body. It sounds strange, but long-sleeve sweatshirts made of special material make you feel more comfortable while riding than sleeveless shirts. Clothing brands offer a variety of colors and patterns to engage with customers of different ages and social groups. And these clothes really provide comfort.

Another effective way for a person riding a horse to retain moisture in the body and avoid overheating is to choose the right foods. Water-rich foods, such as strawberries, watermelons, or cucumbers, move more easily through your digestive system. Moreover, they allow you to remain hydrated for a long time. At the same time, fatty foods or rich in complex carbohydrates will have the opposite effect. Your body is forced to heat up to digest this food and you will accordingly feel worse.

Remember to drink enough water while riding. Keep a thermos of WATER on hand. You can also bring along a cooler bag in which to put a T-shirt and socks. If you feel worse, chilled clothing is a good solution. If you feel that you are on the verge of heatstroke, immediately seek help. A cooling blanket may be suitable as first aid.

Cool Out Hot Horse 

A horse needs to be cooled after exercise or riding on any day, and especially on a hot day. Improper cooling or ignoring this can lead to serious consequences and complications.

Firstly, the last ten minutes of training with a horse should be calm. Let her walk and restore her breath. Next, give him as much water as he needs. Let him drink until he quenches his thirst. Make sure that the water temperature is not too high or low. Ideal – cool water, comfortable for long drinking.

Your next step is external cooling. Use the horse cooling sponge. Draw water into it and squeeze it over the horse. Repeat this procedure until the water flowing off the horse ceases to be hot. It is best if you have access to running water and you can shower the horse from the hose.

Do not forget about scraping. Special ridges help distribute moisture and allow water to reach the horse’s skin. Even when you pour cold water on the horse’s back it manages to warm up to the stomach. Scrape this water off the horse and add cold again. This process speeds up the cooling of the animal.

After that, walk the horse in a cool, shady area. On particularly hot days, you may need fans. Make sure they are properly installed and deliver air from cool areas. It will be possible to feed the horse an hour after training or riding. Be sure to add enough electrolytes to his diet.

4 Extra Tips for Horse Lovers 

To accurately determine the condition of the horse after the exercise, you need to know its indicators in the usual state: temperature, heart rate, and respiration. So, you can notice and take emergency measures if the usual methods do not help. So, it is recommended to use medical cooling gels and sprays on especially hot days.

Do not use a horse cooling blanket. The myth that it helps to cool the animal faster has long been refuted. An additional layer between the skin and cool water or air only exacerbates the cooling process.

Do not add salt to horse water. This prevents them from drinking enough after exercise. That is, they will drink less saltwater than ordinary. You can add salt to food or a second or third serving of water.

You can purchase special equipment for yourself and your horse so that riding on horseback in a hot time has stayed comfortable. Manufacturers try to engage with customers using a variety of marketing tools, however, even the simplest methods are effective and efficient. Factory products can be additional tools for you.

How do you cool a horse after a walk? Please, tell us about your special procedures!


A special thank you to Betty Lockwood for her expertise.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

WHEN CAN YOU USE A USDA LOAN TO BUY A HORSE FARM?

 










Buying a farm can be a very large and intimidating purchase. With such large land sizes, getting a mortgage loan seems unavoidable. Unfortunately, getting a mortgage is expensive and difficult. Luckily, you can get a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsored loan with many benefits that make getting a mortgage much easier. As part of the Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Program, individuals in rural areas can use USDA loans for any property type.

What does the USDA do?

The USDA oversees many different programs including programs specifically meant for horse farm loans. Specifically, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides many types of farm loans. For example, you can use a horse farm ownership loan to purchase or expand a horse farm or ranch, a microloan to help small and beginning horse property owners, or a youth loan, which helps people aged 10-20 with their educational agricultural projects. There are many more types of loans, but what you’re looking for is how to buy a farm using one of these loans, specifically the horse farm ownership loan. You can get this loan by going to a USDA-approved lender and it will cover up to 100% of your financing needs. At a maximum loan amount of $600,000, you can afford a sizable property.

Eligibility Requirements

But before you contact a loan officer, you should first make sure that you fulfill the USDA eligibility requirements. There are many requirements that you may not fulfill, so it’s important to check beforehand. The most important qualification is that you meet your county’s income requirements. Your household income must be less than 115% of your county’s median income. Luckily, the other eligibility criteria for a USDA loan are very easy to fulfill. You must classify the property as your primary residence, your county’s population must be less than 20,000, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident, and your debt-to-income ratio must be less than 41%. There is no credit score requirement, but the loan application process and your mortgage terms may vary depending on your credit history.

With a direct or guaranteed horse farm ownership loan, the maximum mortgage term is 40 years and there is an additional managerial experience requirement. To ensure horse farms are being properly managed, congress wrote that you must have at least 3 years of horse farm management experience that was acquired within the 10 years preceding the loan. Managerial experience can include many different things, but generally, this can be split up into business management experience, military experience, farming experience, and farming education. You can also reduce the managerial experience requirement to 2 years if you studied agriculture in a post-secondary institution, have significant business management experience, or have leadership experience in the military.

Applying for a USDA Loan

Once you verify that you fulfill the minimum requirements, you’ll have to go through the pre-approval process where your lender will check all your financial information including tax returns, debt, income and bank statements, social security, and your government-issued ID. Once you are approved for a farm ownership loan, you can do many things with the money, but most of the time, you would use it to purchase a farm or ranch. With a USDA loan, you’ll be able to purchase more acres of property than a conventional or FHA loan. Generally, you’ll be limited to 10 acres or less, but there is no official maximum for the number of acres you can purchase. However, the value of the land cannot exceed 30% of the total value of the property.

Once you are ready to get your loan, contact your nearest farm loan officer or farm loan manager. They can help you complete the FSA loan application process and give any other assistance required. You can then submit an FSA loan application form and any other required documentation to the USDA Service Center or FSA County Office. These programs are specifically designed to help individuals own residential property and make the purchase barrier much easier to overcome. If you are eligible for a USDA loan, then choosing it is probably your best option, so take the time to learn about what’s available to you.

If you are interested in purchasing a horse property, please feel free to contact the Rural KC Team at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411, or go to our website ruralkc.com.  If you are in need of a lender to help you with your financing process, give us a call; we have several waiting to help.