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How to buy a ranch

Owning a ranch is its own reward. You are investing in a living resource,  surrounding yourself with nature and tranquility, and giving yourself and your family the perfect setting to enjoy the best things in life.

But first you need to invest in the right property. If you don’t, your ranch will feel more like a burden than an asset. When buying a ranch, keep the following in mind:

  • Set your goals

 First, ask yourself what you intend to do with the land. Are you buying a ranch to give your family a retreat – a respite from city life? Is it more for personal leisure? Do you want it to be a source of income?

While a ranch can be all of the above as long as you’re a responsible, savvy owner and land manager, having clearly defined goals will make it that much easier for you to maximize the property’s potential. When you know what you want, you can plan better.

  • Do your research

If you’ve never bought a ranch before then you need to study up on the terminology, legal requirements, and other technical nuances unique to this property type. Attend classes, seminars, or meetings as much as you can prior to making a purchase.

Here are some of the key questions you need to find answers to in your research:

  1. Location: Are amenities such as shops and services easily accessible? How far is the property from a road? What are the features of the terrain?
  2. Carrying capacity: How many animals can the property support? Are the environmental conditions (type of soil, available vegetation, expected precipitation) suited to support livestock?
  3. Livestock source: Where can you buy quality livestock?
  4. Technical requirements: What equipment will you need to manage the resources? How much time do you need to invest in doing so? Who will handle the administrative and financial requirements of managing the business?
  5. Legal aspects: What are your rights to access the grazing lands, water resources, and even the mineral content of the ranch land? Are you allowed to restrict public access to your fishing waters?


  • Build a network

Managing a ranch is a substantial endeavor that may entail having a team of reliable partners. You may need to occasionally consult with experts such as geologists, biologists, and irrigation engineers, especially as you start out with the project. Hiring reliable ranch hands who will see to the day-to-day management of the land is also crucial.

  • Find the right broker

Even if you do more than your fair share of research, having the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable ranch broker is crucial to a successful purchase. Look for one who is not only familiar with the area that you are interested in, but also one who shares in your interests and motivations in buying a ranch (e.g. an experienced rancher or an avid fly fishing enthusiast).

Find a broker who will look after your needs and keep your preferences in mind, not one who simply tries to sell you a property. A good broker is a partner who will guide you through the critical process of weighing the pros and cons of every option.

 Looking for a ranch in South Texas? Desert Flower Realty specializes in ranch and residential sales throughout the region. Call us at361-449-2051 or email us at desertflowerrealty@desertflowerrealty.com.