There are plenty of people who dream of a better life and think that the lifestyle change they need to make is to start a new life at home on the range.
The question you have to ask yourself is do you know what life is really like running your own ranch?
Here are some things you should know before you commit to buying a ranch so that you can go in with your eyes wide open and know the pros and cons of this sort of lifestyle. Including why location and infrastructure matters, why buying this type of property can prove a good investment and an insight on the different grades of ranches available.
Enjoying a peaceful untroubled life
That is the ultimate aim when you get closer to nature and enjoy ranch-style living but in order to achieve that goal, you are going to have to do your homework and ask all the right questions in order to make sure you buy a property that ticks all the right boxes.
There are a couple of key points that you need to get out of the way straight away when you are searching for suitable ranch through someone like www.RMABrokers.com.
It is always wise to remember that the seller is going to focus on the plus points about their ranch property and will not be so keen to point out any pitfalls or specific issues that could spoil your enjoyment.
Near the top of your list should be good access to your property. It is often going to lower the value and the enjoyment of your ranch if the quality of the roads surrounding your ranch are not good, or you have to cross another owner’s property to get to yours.
Another salient point to keep in mind is that owning and managing a ranch continues to grow in popularity as a steady alternative investment class.
Average returns for ranch lands have been achieving about 3% per year in recent times, which doesn’t take into account any income you are able to generate from livestock and the land itself.
As your realtor will no doubt confirm, some ranch lands have been appreciating at a much faster rate than that, so there is the potential to turn your lifestyle dream into a viable investment opportunity.
Check out the restrictions
You might be able to buy a ranch with land that stretches as far as the eye can see, but regardless of how much land you acquire along with the ranch itself, you need to know exactly what you can and can’t do with the land.
Pertinent questions you should be asking the agent include whether the land is subject to zoning and other land use restrictions that might exclude the use of pesticides and burning, amongst other things.
Check whether there are any designated archaeological sites or wetlands and whether there are existing easements, plus what the flood potential and drainage situation is. Other issues that you should check for are whether you can enjoy uncontrolled hunting and fishing and if the area has been designated for population growth.
If you see an investment opportunity described as a Class-A ranch, you will be looking at a ranch that is considered to be in one of the best possible locations, and with other positive attributes like a healthy wildlife habitat and profitable cattle operations.
It goes without saying that these prime grade ranches go for a premium price but they will often have demonstrated an admirable ability to generate an income and hold their value through varying economic conditions.
Buying for the lifestyle
If you compare smaller, recreational ranches against Class-A ranches purely from an investment perspective, you will probably see that these more modest ranch operations didn’t fare so well in an economic downturn.
You can view that two ways. If you are buying primarily for the lifestyle it delivers, you won’t need to worry so much about how quickly your property investment is appreciating, but if you are purely assessing the investment potential, digging deeper for a better quality ranch might help deliver a stronger financial return.
The other positive point to consider about a recreational ranch is that you could potentially pick up a ranch that is being offered at a lower price than it once was, which gives you the chance to enjoy a rise in value while enjoying your decision to start a life on the ranch.
Ron Morris, co-founder of Ranch Marketing Associates, has an extensive background in real estate which began in 1975. Following his graduation from the University of Northern Colorado, Ron worked with some of the largest real estate firms in the United States. He has developed a broad range of experience in the brokerage, marketing, acquisition, management and disposition of real estate properties. Ron has over 40 years of real estate experience, selling over 3 million acres of land. He specializes in large ranch properties throughout the western United States and has handled complex multi-million dollar transactions representing both Buyers and Sellers. During the last 20 years as a ranch broker, Ron has sold over $500 million in ranch, recreation and resort properties throughout the western United States. Ron was born and raised in Colorado, the son of an avid outdoorsman, so hunting and fishing were a big part of his early years. In addition, Ron spent every summer through high school working on the family’s ranch near Durango, Colorado, where chores were done every day. The experience established a work ethic at an early age. The degree of success has come from those hard work roots and years of experience in refining his real estate skills. With a background in farming and ranching, corporate experience and a passion for the western lifestyle, Ron has a thorough understanding of his client’s needs. In addition, his experience in livestock operations, wildlife management, water, agriculture resource management and conservation easements allows him to provide his clients with the highest degree in service.