Whether you dream of mountain views or sweeping, uninterrupted vistas, buying ranch property is a great investment. There are, however, many points to consider before making your purchase.
1. Property Line: Make sure you have a property survey. While there are often metal stakes or other markers to identify the property line, it is best to have a complete survey done during the buying process in order to protect your investment legally.
2. Taxes: If the ranch property you are looking at has been separated from a larger parcel, your taxes may not be accurately reflected on the listing paperwork. Check with the county yourself for an accurate figure.
3. Drainage: Be aware of the drainage on the ranch property you are considering purchasing. If there is a topography map, great. You need to know about any low spots and how the water drains before you can determine any appropriate build site for a future residence. Old times refer to it as a "high and dry" location.
4. Water: One of the most important point to consider is whether or not there is access to water on the property. For a rural, ranch property, you will need to dig a well. In desert areas, that is just not possible and definitely something to consider before purchasing. While you can bring in potable water, it will be an added expense.
5. Road Maintenance: Knowing who maintains the roads and how often is important, particularly in the winter months. If no one plows the road that your property is located off of, you may not be able to access your land in the winter months.
6. Access to Healthcare: If your future plans include full-time living or a retirement home, you will need to consider your access to quality healthcare. If the nearest hospital is over 100 miles away, it could pose some future problems for you.
7. Off-Grid Living: Off-grid living, or not hooking up to municipal utilities, like electricity, is not unusual in rural areas. You do, however, have to take a few things into consideration. If you want to use solar power, assess whether there is enough available sunlight in the winter and whether trees need to be cut down. Those that want to harness wind power should make sure there is not a zoning restriction on tower height.
Buying a ranch property is a great real estate investment. Using a licensed real estate agent to help you navigate the decision-making process can help considerably. Contact your real estate agent to get started in your search for real estate ranch listings.