Hi all! I am new here but I've got a question in need of some advice from horsey folks. I am in the process of buying a house and have placed an offer on a short sale farmette. The owners of the property countered my offer with the contingency that their horses can remain boarded on the property for one year after settlement. My initial reaction is no, absolutely not! That's like saying "you can buy my house but I want to keep living in it for a year." However, the seller seems pretty adamant about it so agreeing may be the only way I can purchase the property. I'm considering agreeing because I really love the property but also because it's a short sale so priced way below market value. Tough call! I am looking for opinions and advice and maybe some insights about things I have not considered that I should.
I have about 15 years experience with horses, own my own horses, and work professionally in the horse industry so I know what boarding horses entails. I guess that is why the prospect of allowing the horses to stay is so unattractive! The seller's offer is to be able to keep the horses on the property with the seller providing all feed, care, etc - basically a self-care situation. I am concerned because 1) allowing their horses to stay would be a liability for me, 2) it would limit my use of my own barn and pasture, and 3) the seller is losing their house to a short sale, so I feel uncomfortable with the fact that they would be coming back to the property - that they essentially lost to the bank - to care for the horses every day.
For those who aren't familiar with a short sale, it's basically the step before a foreclosure. The seller is in financial trouble and is (or will become) in default on their mortgage, so the bank agrees to let them sell it instead of foreclosing on them. The bank gets all the proceeds from the sale, and the seller gets none. You would think that the bank wouldn't like that the seller has this weird contingency, but apparently in this case the bank doesn't mind. But this makes things complicated because I don't see a way to negotiate around the horse boarding issue...If it were a regular sale, I could offer a higher purchase price, theoretically so the seller could use the extra to pay for board somewhere else. But in a short sale, the seller gets no money from the sale; the bank gets it all. So offering more money won't make a difference to the seller.
My agent is still trying to get information from the seller's agent about the specifics of what the seller would require. Neither my agent nor the selling agent knows anything about horses, which complicates things. I wonder if it's even legal to imbed a horse boarding contract within a purchase contract for a house...still trying to figure that one out. I can't make a decision on this until I find out the seller's specific terms, and I definitely will not negotiate this point unless the seller is willing to work out a legal boarding contract that includes some hold harmless clauses. But, judging by the limited information here, what would you do? Thoughts, advice?