You’d like to buy a ranch fast? Whether it’s 400-acre luxury ranches for sale or a large 1400-acre working ranch, you’ll need expert help. Get going with these 3 ways to make it happen.
Begin by knowing what you want, hiring a ranch broker, and gathering your finances. This will jumpstart the process of purchasing ranch land and get you to Closing in a timely manner.
A. Define the type of ranch investment you need. Set parameters. Think about the best location for investment land. What will you do on the ranch? Who will manage it? Do you prefer luxury ranches for sale with existing homes? What is your investment price range?
B. Hire an expert ranch broker. Experienced land and ranch real estate brokers help speed up the buying process. Without a doubt, reputable brokers with expertise in large ranches guide you through the variables that come along with large land purchases.
C. Get your finances squared away and provable. Gather the necessary resources, accessible cash, and financial backing. If you’re planning to secure a mortgage, get pre-approved.
THE BIG RANCH PICTURE
You need to know what you’re getting into when buying a ranch quickly. Let’s talk about owning a big piece of property. A ranch investment property requires substantial expertise across many variables. It’s much different than investing in residential real estate or even vacant land. Don’t get in over your skis.
Ranches can be complicated. They provide lots of space, natural resources, and buildings. We have hunting ranches for sale, fishing properties, luxury ranches, guest ranches, working ranches, and equestrian properties. Many large ranches combine activities.
Profitable cattle operations and wildlife habitat regularly defy the difficulties in the economy. Investors know they are better off examining the figures, far beyond the listing price for these fine properties. Often, they overlook things that can be changed, like the state of the dwellings. In fact, investors have been known to move structures and even tear down homes on large ranches to improve the tax rates.
To make money investing in a ranch, you’ll need to choose the property carefully and then manage it carefully. The value of Class-A ranches fluctuates. Western working ranches do well when they are operated efficiently. Working ranches may produce a yield of 1% to 3% annual income.
If you are the broker for an investor, make sure your client knows what he/she is getting into. Owning a big ranch can mean interfacing with neighbors, government lands, sharing water and mineral rights, and many other time-consuming responsibilities. Do you know the necessary components to maintain agricultural tax status? Do you know how to obtain grazing rights on nearby public lands? And are you willing to navigate your water and mineral rights?
If you’re in a hurry, you’ll want professionals to sort out the layers of responsibility that come with currently available ranches.
DEFINE WHAT YOU WANT IN RANCH LAND
The word “ranch” means many things. One person may deem their luxury home on 20 acres a ranch. After all, Colorado may allow them to keep a half a dozen horses on that land. In the right location, this could be an investment ranch.
However, full-time ranching operations from Montana and Wyoming to New Mexico often combine pieces of land. That’s where you find 10,000 acre ranches. And here in Colorado, ranch properties add value by allowing others to enjoy amenities. For example, elk hunters are willing to pay for the opportunity of a lifetime. Ask Dave Harrigan or Hunter Harrigan at Harrigan Land to fill you in on these land investments.
As you define the ideal property, its size, location, and amenities, think of the must-haves. For example, if you are investing for a corporation, are they relying on having accommodations for an upcoming corporate retreat? If the investor wants to use the property for horseback riding or hunting, you’ll need to delineate these purposes. Maybe you’re thinking of inexpensive grazing land want it to be fenced. And do you need water sources, or do you want your great big ranch investment to be groomed for flyfishing or golf or later development?
It’s also important to define the deal breakers. How far away, what climate, price restrictions, annual expenses, bottom line. When you are buying land, it’s important to be specific about the investment land you need. The investment value varies considerably.
A working ranch may not be listed under “luxury ranches for sale”. But it may qualify. You see, “luxury” ties to personal preferences. An angler considers the tailwaters luxurious while an equestrian falls in love with a barn. A gorgeous log home can fit family or company goals. And cows can woo the most sophisticated city dweller—if these animals stay out in the pasture and bring income.
Land holds value. However, working ranches that have been maintained over generations improve in value. Often, the smaller recreational ranches may not do as well as their counterpart working ranches. Grazing and running livestock do help maintain land. The working ranch has developed flexibility over time, shifting to accommodate various markets.
Also, project into the future. How long do you expect to hold your land investment? Are you thinking 20 years, or looking for a simple 5-year place to stash cash during tough economic times? Do you expect income from this investment?
Once you have defined your priorities and purposes for investing in land, it’s time to get a ranch broker on board. Stay focused and be available to sign closing documents at any time.
WORK WITH RANCH BROKER
As we’ve mentioned above, the specialized ranch broker is essential for a quick ranch investment. He’s your scout and guide. The broker can see through the details and reel in good options.
As deep-pocketed investors search for the good ranch real estate investments, a ranch broker can show up properties that have not yet hit the market. After all, there are a limited supply of ranches for sale in prime locations. Why? With the economy teetering and commodity prices going up, what owners would want to sell now if there’s is one of the profitable ranch properties?
As you are interviewing brokers, if one of their listings appeals to you, that person acts as the Seller’s broker. You will need to find a Buyer’s broker to represent you.
Tips for Choosing Your Ranch Broker
Here are some tips for selecting an experienced ranch broker with the expertise that you need. This professional will keep you out of the weeds, rats, and complications that can come with a large ranch purchase. Your ranch broker can accelerate the buying process.
Once you’ve decided to invest in one of the large luxury ranches for sale, expect a significant investment. This may be one of your more complicated investments because everything is physical. It’s not just moving numbers on an Excel sheet – but that is important. To be productive, you need to be organized and knowledgeable. Or you’ll need to hire managers to get it all done.
In researching ranch broker’s, find someone with a trusted reputation. This person needs to be able to think fast, be flexible, to negotiate complex issues, and come out on the other end with positive results. So, get references and talk to past clients.
The person you hire could best represent you in their own stomping grounds. They will be networked. Appraisers, real estate attorneys, experts in water and minerals, and financial advisors.
If you want a hunting property, or a flyfishing property, find out the experience with these from all candidates. On the other hand, if you’re planning to run cattle, grow crops, and raise horses, find out if the potential real estate brokers understand about habitat, soils, irrigation, and required space.
Other variables will come up. As the Buyer you can take 30 to 60 days for due diligence, to inspect the ranch, to hire an environmental survey inspection. An attorney can help sort through the legalities with your broker.
Only you can assess the alacrity of the possibilities, the honesty and skill of possible ranch brokers. Even so, look for a real estate broker who loves ranching and the outdoor life to represent you during this important to represent you land investment.
Be confident in your buying power. When you know your resources up, both you the Buyer and the Seller will be more relaxed. The obvious way to gain confidence is to double check your resources and the financial envelopes you plan to use.
Cash helps. It can speed up your land purchase, lower the price on a ranch property, and entice Sellers. Your ranch broker also responds favorably to a cash deal, knowing it will not drag on for months.
Only depend on sure funds. You may have reason to believe money will be coming your way in the future. However, a bird in the hand is worth three in the bush, especially in these changing financial times. So, if you’re selling your company, the resources may not be readily available. The same goes for an inheritance. Estates are notorious for becoming complicated.
If the cash on hand is less than the price of the property, you’ll need to investigate loans. At times, ranchers leverage the value of their homes, equipment, livestock, and other properties to purchase a larger ranch in Colorado. If you plan to do this, have current evaluations available for your lender.
Prices tend to be higher for investment ranches located within two hours of a major city. Although more affordable, vacant lands in outlying areas can be less convenient and some difficult to access.
So, if you need to purchase a ranch fast, be sure to start off with these three ways to success. You’ll be glad you had your ducks all lined up.
Ranch Brokers – Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana
For more information about investment land and Western luxury ranches for sale, call Harrigan Land Company at 303-908-1101.
Dave Harrigan and son Hunter Harrigan share decades of experiences hunting, fishing, and they know the lay of the land investments out West.