When you are purchasing a ranch, you are doing more than purchasing a place to live. You are purchasing an agricultural business, which is why you want to do your due diligence and really make sure you understand the property and what it can offer to you as the owner of a ranch before going through with the purchase.
Factor #1: Zoning Information
Before you purchase a ranch, it is important to know how it is zoned, and if there are any restrictions to the zoning regulations for the property. Although the zoning for a property can be changed, that is a very lengthy process without any guarantee you will get the new zoning you want, which is why you should only invest in ranch land that has the zoning you want already.
Check with the local planning commission to verify the zoning for the property you are interested in purchasing.
Find out if there are any zoning restrictions that may prohibit you from using the land how you want to. Also, check and see if there are any building limits on building a home or the number of homes you can have on the property. These are two common restrictions that people don't often ask about.
Factor #2: Quality of the Soil
Second, you need to consider the quality of the soil on the property. You may want to pay for a soil analysis to be taken around the property. Soil testing will let you know what type of soil you have throughout the property, as well as if the soil contains any hazardous waste or contaminants.
The type of soil and topography on the land will determine if you are able to graze your cattle on vegetation that grows naturally on the land, or with vegetation that you help to grow on the land.
A ranch without much natural vegetation or soil that can support it will require you to invest more in paying to feed your cattle, which is an expense you should be aware of before purchasing the property.
Factor #3: Water Access
Before purchasing a ranch, you need to find out what type of water access and water rights you have to provide your cattle with water. Find out if there is any water flowing through the land. If there is water flowing through the land, don't assume your cattle can use it.
Find out what the water rights are to any water flowing through the land. Also, investigate any access you have to wells.
Water rights can be a very tricky and complex issue, which is why you need to make sure you fully understand the water rights of a property before going through with the investment.
When it comes to purchasing a ranch, you need to make sure that the property can support your vision for ranching and taking care of the land. Research zoning information, soil quality, and water access to determine if the land will meet your ranching needs.
To learn about the ranches for sale in your area, contact a real estate agent.