Ranching can be a lucrative business. It can also be a rich and fulfilling activity for anyone who enjoys nature, animals, agriculture, or the beauty of the countryside. Before you open your checkbook, however, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind when deciding if owning a ranch is right for you.

Location

Location is everything for a successful ranch. Not only will you need good land, fertile soil, and a moderate climate, but you’ll also need to think about things like water rights. If the infrastructure isn’t already there, you’ll have to build it. To build it, you’ll have to get permits and permissions.

Existing Property

There are many types of ranch land buyers, and some prefer clearing their own land while others prefer buying land that’s already been developed. You’ll need to think about which buyer that you want to be. You can also look for pre-or family-owned ranches that have been put on the market with fences, barns, stables, mills, and irrigation systems already on-site and included with the sale.

Amenities

Speaking of barns and mills, ranches are a lot like other types of real estate: Sellers usually throw in lots of extras to entice buyers. In your case, these amenities might come in the form of added acreage, senior water rights, access to natural landmarks, or just stunning views that you can’t get anywhere else. Don’t be afraid to shop around to find a good deal.

Networking

Many ranches are bought and sold within communities that know each other, especially when the transactions are completed locally. For example, someone might be selling the family farm, so they reach out to a trusted realtor to find another person who will take good care of it. Oftentimes, buying a ranch is about networking just as much as budgeting and touring.

Purpose

Last but not least, think about why you want to buy a ranch in the first place. The needs of a livestock ranch will be different than the needs of a ranch attached to farms or vineyards, so it’s a good idea to look for land that’s been specifically designated for your future endeavors. This is true whether you’re building a ranch from scratch or buying acreage that’s already been developed by someone else in your industry.

These are just a few things to consider if you want to buy a ranch. Whether you’re an experienced cowboy or a city slicker who’s always wanted to quit your day job and move out to the country, these tips can help you prepare for the ranching market and get one step closer to ranch ownership.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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