What is a Ranchette?

Small, yet mighty ranchettes are the new trend in ranch real estate. These part-home, part-farm, part-ranch properties mix the best of country living with plenty of conveniences. So what is a ranchette? Do they make sense or am I better off with a ranch?

The answer to the ladder question all depends on what you are looking for with a ranch property. Here at Harrigan Land, we are experts in the ranch real estate business. With decades of experience, we are here to help you through your ranch buying journey.

What is a Ranchette Anyway?

The definition of a ranchette is a small ranch. Developed back in the 1920s, these 40-acre or smaller parcels of land offer up the benefits of owning a ranch without the huge commitment and cost.

In general, ranchettes can be found on the outskirts of larger towns or even metropolitan areas (like Denver or Sante Fe). These smaller parcels offer some of the similar tax benefits of owning a ranch but don’t have the full benefits of a full-fledged ranch.

The same concepts and questions for buying a ranch apply when you’re looking to find a ranchette for sale. However, the monetary and time commitment to these smaller, hip properties isn’t quite as intense.


Ranchettes Bring Luxury Living to the Country

Often times, ranchettes feature large, luxury ranch-style housing with all of the luxury comforts. Even though the plots are small, the homes themselves are often large. This brings you the luxury and space you need to feel like you’re away from it all.

Most ranchettes come with some kind of barn or auxiliary building suitable for livestock. Some may have guest houses or a small caretaker property. Essentially, these “micro ranches” give you a feel for ranch lifestyle without owning tons of acreage.

The Calm of the Country with the Convenience of the City

Thanks to their location, ranchettes are often an ideal situation for those who want the quiet of the country with the conveniences of civilization. Ranchettes are largely found in the Western US. You’ll find plenty of excellent ranchettes on the outskirts of small towns and cities throughout the west. This makes ranchettes more appealing for outdoor enthusiasts who want space but also enjoy access to recreation and more town or urban lifestyles.

One major benefit of a ranchette is its affordability in luxury real estate areas. For example, there are plenty of ranchette properties in exclusive areas outside of western resort towns like Crested Butte, Edwards, Park City, and Jackson Hole.

These properties enable you to get into a charming town without emptying your piggy bank. Their luxury features and animal-friendly property means you can have the best of both worlds.]

Less Land but Plenty of Opportunities

Just because you don’t own hundreds of acres doesn’t mean you can’t still use your ranch for recreation activities. Although allowable activities vary from location to location, you can still use your ranchette to:

  • raise small amounts of cattle or dairy cows
  • horse-friendly
  • fish
  • income-producing options
  • small-scale farming opportunties
  • hunting on occasion.

Ranchettes are More Affordable

The biggest selling point for ranchettes is they make the ranching lifestyle more affordable. Ranchettes offer a lower cost of maintenance, cost less to buy, and take up slightly less time than a traditional ranching property.

Of course, as with any bigger acreage property that houses animals, you’ll still put in time to care and maintain your ranchette, but you’ll spend less overall. Not to mention, you can get luxury living and space for less than a larger acreage ranch.

Ranchettes provide the ranch lifestyle without a large commitment. They make an excellent option for the ranch owner who wants space, but not a full-blown ranch. Ranchettes also make the ideal home for people who still want access to a larger town or city. Contact us today and let find your dream ranch property!


We have over 30 years of experience throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and New Mexico. We know these states well, including some “undiscovered” places. We are offering best hunting ranches for sale along with other premier properties
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