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Checklist: Buying a Ranch

Trancquil Scene

If you’ve ever dreamed of living amid wide, open spaces, then owning a ranch might fulfill your heart’s desire. Imagine the luxury of visiting your acreage when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Or think about moving in for good.

However, buying a ranch can be stressful if you don’t do your research. Having a checklist, like going through tips for buying a house, is essential when you want to pursue ranch ownership. We prepared a checklist to make ranch buying easier for you:

Identify your goals

Why do you want to buy a ranch in the first place?. Do you want a beautiful place to build memories with your family? Do you want a secure and sound investment? Are you looking to have your own hunting land? You’ll need to be clear about how you intend to use the property.

Prepare a realistic budget

Owning a ranch takes work and dedication and a lot of upkeep – no matter your plans for the property. Even if you’re buying for recreational purposes – as a vacation retreat, for example – think about how much you’ll spend on maintenance, landscaping, improvements, general repairs, and ranch hands. Estimate your yearly costs and your gross annual income. If it looks like you might need financial help, look into ranch loans and possible farmland financing options.

Do your homework

Do a deep dive into the properties that appeal to you. Browse the internet for a ranch brokerage with proven expertise. Note the companies with properties that interest you the most. Check the credentials of the agent representing the property. Based on the testimonials of their previous clients, make inquiries, especially if the agent knows how to treat a first time homebuyer with care. Find out how much a comparable acreage in the area costs should you think about making an offer. The county appraisal district can also provide its valuation on properties listed for sale. Purchasing a ranch involves more processes than regular single-family homes for sale.

Pick your location

Pick a location suitable to your intended purpose. Then, find out if there is an access road to the property. You’ll also want to know how remote the area is. Consider other factors like the availability of hired hands, for example. Based on your wishlist, your broker can shortlist properties with the potential to become the kind of the ranch you want it to be.

Understand the land’s water rights

Knowing the water rights of your property is vital before signing the dotted line. The Texas Water Code, for example, is more complicated than most and makes a distinction between groundwater and surface water – groundwater lies beneath the surface of a piece of land, while surface water includes natural bodies of water like rivers, streams, and oceans, along with water that pools on the ground like a stormwater runoff.

In Texas, a piece of property can have two sets of ownership – one over the land itself and another one over the groundwater. Therefore, it is possible to buy land in Texas but not have the right to use or extract the groundwater beneath the property.

Whether or not you’re buying in Texas, knowing your water rights is essential, especially if you’re planning to do water-related activities to your ranch. Find out if you have access to water rights.

Consider extra help

If running the ranch is a chunk of time you cannot fully dedicate yourself to, you may need to employ extra hands to run it. Develop a plan that factors in the time and money required to care for your property. You may find that you will need additional staff.

Enjoy property tax advantages

Each state offers a type of agricultural property tax relief, which aims to lower the taxable value of agricultural production land, and decrease the property taxes on that land. You can check in with your local tax assessor to see if your future purchase is up for a tax credit, special appraisal, or even a direct exemption. If it already has agricultural use tax exemptions, know the steps for maintaining that privilege.

Build your network

It can be intimidating to take on the responsibility of owning a ranch. It would be best if you can build your own network of experienced ranchers and professionals who can help you make the right decisions when it comes to running your property. Make a concerted effort to know as much as you can about owning and operating a ranch. Find out about ranch management courses before you purchase your property. Build camaraderie with trusted professionals who can ease your worries about owning a large piece of land.

If you have been searching for ranches for sale in Lubbock, TX, 5 Point Star Realty goes the extra mile in finding you the right property for your needs. We want to help you find your dream ranch. Call us now 806.224.3145 or email info(at)5psr(dotted)com.