Finding the right ranch to buy can be quite difficult. There is so much more to consider than when you're buying an everyday home. Visiting ranch after ranch can get time-consuming and overwhelming, but luckily, if you know how to go about it, you can tell a lot about a ranch just by looking at the real estate listing. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices as you look at ranch listings.
Know how much land you need, and look at the lot size.
It's helpful to know in advance how much land you need to suit your needs. If you're just looking for a smaller ranch property where you can keep five horses, your lower limit might be 10 acres. If you're looking for a larger ranch property where you will keep a herd of cattle and 100 sheep, your limit might be 50 acres. If you have an acreage number in your head in advance, you can sort through property listings and eliminate the need to go see any that are below your acreage minimum.
Examine the roofs of buildings.
Most ranch listings now include aerial photographs, as these can give you a much better, all-encompassing view of the land itself. When looking at these shots, pay close attention to the roofs of the buildings. If the roofs are not in good shape, this suggests a few things. For one, you can expect to put a lot of money into roof repairs if you buy the place (and roofing a large farm building is not cheap.) Second, the current owner may not take the best care of the rest of the land or buildings, either. If you have no desire for a fixer-upper, you can eliminate any ranches with bad roofs from the get-go.
Find out how the ranch was used.
Listings usually give some indication of how the ranch has been used up until this point. You might need to look closely to find it. For instance, maybe there is a cow off in the distance in one of the photos, or perhaps there is a field filled with corn in another photo. You can deduce a lot about the condition of the land and what work it might need based on how it was used. For example, if you know a place has been used for cows, you can assume there will be manure to clean up and similar substances.
With the tips above, you can narrow down your ranch choices simply by looking at listings with a fine-tooth comb. Good luck finding your perfect ranch property!
To learn more about finding ranch property listings, contact a real estate professional near you.