So, you’re thinking about buying a ranch, but you’re not sure where to start. Believe me, I know just how daunting the process can be! So, to help out, I’ve compiled a list of the top 3 things to consider BEFORE you begin ranch shopping.
The first decision you’ll need to make, is what you’ll be doing with your land. Your desired goals for the property will largely determine the type of ranch you buy, so it is important to define how you’ll be using your land early in the process. Here are a few options:
– When you think of owning property, are you thinking of riding around, enjoying the property, relaxing, and just “getting away?” You want a ranch perfect for recreation. This is a great option if relaxing is your main goal.
– Many ranch owners want to hunt and/or fish their land either exclusively, or in addition to their leisure and other activities. If this you, you’ll want to find a property that can support this goal with lots of room, and great hunting opportunities.
– Some land owners are looking for opportunities to make money with their property, and cattle can sometimes be a great way to do that. If you’re thinking of running cattle or livestock on your ranch, you’ll need a suitable piece of property for that endeavor.
– If you’re looking to do more with your ranch in the way of making a living off your land, this can certainly be done with the right piece of property. There are many ways of making your land work for you, as long as you have a clearly defined vision going into it.
The reality is that the dream of buying a ranch can include one or many of these variables, but whatever your dream might be, it needs to be clearly defined. Once you’ve got an idea of exactly what you’re looking for, you can ask the next question: Where?
Once you know what you want, you’ll have a better idea of the general location that might suit your needs. Looking for amazing whitetail hunting? Think South Texas. Want panoramic views, canyons, and live oaks? Think Texas Hill Country. Another important consideration is travel time.
If your primary goal is a weekend getaway or retreat, or if you see yourself traveling often between home and the ranch – travel time should be a top consideration. Generally speaking, anything over 1.5 hours away will become frustrating, and may deter you from going as much as you’d like. Consider your habits, your needs, and how far you’re willing to drive to make it happen.
Finally, once you’ve narrowed down your ideal location, it’s time to think about budget.
The most important thing when considering your budget, is to be realistic. Know if you need to finance, and talk to a good rural lender. Be aware of the ongoing costs associated with ranch ownership, as this can and will impact your budget long term.
Owning a ranch can be an amazing experience, and the fulfillment of a dream for many. Before you start shopping, taking time to consider the purpose, location, and budget for your ideal ranch will make the process much easier and smoother, helping you get exactly what you want out of your new ranch.