Archive for August, 2009

Proper Ranch, Farm, and Land Planning After Closing

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

It never ceases to amaze me how many people fail to put in place a proper overall plan for their ranch, farm, or recreational property. They decide where they will put the house and maybe a barn but never think further down the road and ask themselves “What do I want my property to look like in twenty years and how do I plan to utilize it?”

When putting a property plan together you need to consider at the very minimum:

1. What do I want to utilize the property for? Raising cattle or horses, hunting, recreational….

2. What type of facilities will I need? Barns, corrals, cattle working facilities, fencing, feed storage, etc. You will want to plan out placement of facilities as far out as you can even if you cannot afford to build all of the facilities at once.

3. How will the facilities work together? ie. You would want your feed storage close to where you will do most of your feeding yet allow for easy access for trucks for unloading. You will want your cattle working facilities to work with your pasture layout so that you can drive cattle to them easily.

4. Where will your utilities be located?

5. Where will your water wells and storage be located and how will I transport water to where I need it?

Depending upon the use planned for your property you will need to consider other factors. Planning in advance will save you many headaches and result in an aesthetically appealing, well planned property instead of a hodgepodge property. You may be limited on what you can do if you purchase a property that already has facilities in place. However, you will still want to layout an overall use plan.  For example you may have bought a Montana ranch that already has facilities built for working cattle but you plan to utilize the ranch for a horse breeding, boarding, and training property. Therefore, in your plan you will want to address the change in use and determine what existing facilities can be used, which existing facilities will need to be replaced and which facilities will need to be added in order to utilize the property to the fullest extent as a Montana Horse Ranch.

Finding Your Perfect Equestrian Property

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

If you are a horse lover and your dream is to own your very own horse property, there are several factors that you will want to consider when you begin to look at equestrian property for sale. You will need to determine what your goals are. Do you simply want a property where you can pasture and stable your own horses and ride elsewhere? Or do you want a property where you can ride for miles, or breed horses, or board horses, or train horses?

The answers to these questions will help you determine what features your property will need. For example, if you are looking for a Colorado Equestrian property for sale where you can stable and pasture your horses but want to limit the cost yet be able to ride for miles then you will want to look at small Colorado equestrian properties that border National Forest,  Bureau of Land Management land, or state land. On the other hand, lets say you are looking at Oklahoma Equestrian property for sale and would like to stable and pasture horses and have the ability to ride long distances. You will want to  look at Oklahoma equestrian properties with large acreage.

You will also want to consider what other features your property will need. If you are planning on breeding horses, then you will need breeding facilities with a number of paddocks where you can keep your mares and stallions separate. You will also need vet facilities, exam stocks, breeding dummies, stalls, etc. If you plan on boarding horses, then you will need to consider the number of horses you will want to board and then look for property with an equal or greater number of paddocks and stalls. You will also need feed storage, tack storage, farrier area, riding areas such as indoor and outdoor arenas, and possibly jumps and other equipment for riders to use while training.

These are just a few areas you will need to consider when looking for your perfect equestrian property. Good planning will save you a lot of time when looking for property as well as time and money saved after closing.

Understanding Land Measurement

Monday, August 17th, 2009

When you began looking for land, it is important to understand how land is measured and priced. For instance, if you are looking for a farm for sale in Kentucky, farms would be represented in acres and either be priced by the acre or given as the total asking price. However,  if you are looking at New Mexico ranches for sale, the ranched may have size given in acres or sections with the price give in dollars per acre or as the total asking price. For those unfamiliar with the measurement of sections, 1 section = 640 acres or 1 mile X 1 mile.

Kentucky farms may range from a few hundred acres to several hundred acres while ranches in New Mexico may run from several thousand acres to several hundred acres or from several sections to upwards of 100 sections.

For those of you who may be interested in purchasing land in South America or Europe, you will most likely see land size given in number of hectares. 1 hectare=2.47105381 acres.

It is important to understand land measurement and be able to convert between them so that you can compare prices. For example, if land size is given in sections, you will want to convert to acres so that you can easily compare price per acre of other parcels. This will give you the ability to compare properties to ensure that you do not overpay.

Navigating Land Financing

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Many buyers began searching for land to purchase without first taking steps to get approved for financing. Getting financing for land can be more complicated than financing a home. Especially for bigger parcels of land.  If you plan on attending auctions that have land auction listings, it is even more important to plan ahead and get your financing in place. There are many sources for obtaining land financing. You may check the land lender and mortgage sources on

Ranch auctions have special financing needs and it is good to enlist the assistance of a good financing company that has options that suit your needs. United Country, Farm Credit Services,  and Ag Credit are good sources with various financing options. Jimmy Flowers with Farm Credit Services of the Mountain Plains will be happy to assist you with your financing needs in Colorado.

Critical Factors to Consider when Buying Land

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

When buying land, whether it is raw acreage, ranches, farms, or just recreational land, there are many factors you should be aware of. Many times problems can be remedied prior to the closing. Taking a little extra time to do your due diligence will save you a lot of headaches in the feature. It is always better to discover problems while they are still someone elses.

When looking at farms for sale, you want to make sure that you consider your needs and make sure the property meets those needs. Factors to consider include, water supplies and quality, location relative to markets, possible annexation, change of use, soil quality, growth corridors, eminent domain, zoning, and government regulatory agencies.

Many of these factors can affect other types of land and you should be aware of them. It is good to utilize professionals such as Real Estate Brokers and attorneys who are knowledgeable in these areas.

When looking for farm land for sale in Colorado, it is a must to have someone who is knowledgeable in Colorado water rights. Colorado uses the rule of prior appropriation for determining water rights and Colorado water rights can be very  complicated. In many cases, you will want to enlist the services of a good attorney with extensive experience in water rights issues. Good land brokers are also very helpful in identifying potential issues with water rights.