MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Lori Madden, MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Email: [email protected]

Buying a Working Luxury Ranch

by Lori Madden 01/17/2021

Image by Steppinstars from Pixabay

Before you plunk your hard-earned money down on a working luxury ranch, look at several factors, including location, features, your experience and business opportunities. The success of the ranch hinges on your experience or the people you hire to run the ranch. Even if it’s a private ranch where you might sell horses or cattle, you either need experience or need to hire people who have experience.

Type of Ranch

Determine what type of ranch you will have. A horse ranch, cattle ranch and a dude ranch are all different. The type of ranch will also determine the location of the ranch. Horse ranches need stables and corrals. You might need several barns, including a foaling barn, if you plan on raising and selling horses. Cattle ranches might need foaling barns, milking barns and separate barns and fields for steers and cows. A dude ranch is a working ranch that allows guests. In addition to the typical ranch buildings, you’ll also need a place for people to stay, whether you build a hotel-type building or you build separate cabins.

Location

Ranches are usually located well outside of town and cities because of the amount of area they take up. A smaller ranch might have 5,000 acres, while a large ranch could have tens of thousands of acres. The size of the ranch will determine the location.

Whether you buy raw land to make your own ranch or you buy an existing ranch, you must also look at the features of the land. Working ranches must have enough flat or slightly rolling areas for cattle or horses to graze. The entire ranch cannot be on the side of a mountain. If you want features for horse trails, whether for a dude ranch or for yourself, look for a property that is flat but encompasses part or all of a mountain. With such a large property, you’ll probably have some streams, but you may want larger water features, such as a pond, lake or a stream or river that runs year ‘round.

Working the Ranch

If you buy a turnkey ranch, be ready to go through the employees to determine whom you will keep. You might also wish to hire additional employees. If you buy a dude ranch, in addition to a ranch foreman and hands to work the horses or cattle, you’ll need to staff the guest quarters, including kitchen staff, front desk employees, maids and more.

Ranch Demographics

Finally, make sure the ranch demographics are what you want. For example, if you buy a dude ranch, where are the guest quarters located? Are they too close to the main house? Are they too close to the stables? Does the ranch have what you need for your plans, including enough barns, the proper equipment and the right features? Is the main house what you are looking for, or do you need to add on or tear it down and rebuilt to your specifications?

Because you have so many elements to consider, make a checklist of what you are looking for so that when you do visit luxury ranches for sale, you can make a better decision.

About the Author
Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!