Is Now the Time to Buy Those 12,000 Acres Out West?

by Bob Miller 02/03/2020

Image by Lisa Johnson from Pixabay

So you've always wanted your own ranch land out west. Is now the time to buy? According to the Wall Street Journal, it could be -- but only if you feel confident. There are plenty of luxury, sprawling ranches to be had at rock-bottom prices, but the upkeep and ownership of a mega-ranch in Colorado can stretch upwards into the millions each year, say the pros. And not many average American home buyers are truly prepared for the financial hardships that await them west of the prairie. 

The Trend Toward Recreational Ranching

While many home buyers dream of owning massive acreage out west, only a very few ever achieve that dream, says Mansion Global. Mostly, it's the uber-wealthy who buy up those multi-million-dollar ranches that the baby boomers are leaving behind to children who have no desire or means to maintain them. These are the recreational ranchers -- businessmen and women who vacation or retire out west when they can and who typically pay between $10 and $30 million for the privilege. 

What's the draw? Mostly it's the pristine views, the fly-fishing and the feeling of being among the chosen few to live like royalty with only the natural flora and fauna of the Rocky Mountains to bow down to. 

Recreational Ranching & the Foreign Market

But while owning and operating a working ranch out west is a dream for many Americans, for international buyers, it's mostly a no-go. Ranching, it seems, is strictly a U.S. thing, and donning a cowboy hat and chaps holds little appeal to foreign investors who didn't grow up with a yearning for farming and running cattle. 

What does this mean for those who ARE in the market for a big slice of American pie? It means lots of land from which to choose, selling for less-than-premium prices. And if you have the wealth and the means, 2020 could very well be the year you pick up your dream ranch out west for a song. 

Features of the Recreational Ranch

The ranches that are most in demand are those that feature sweeping, breathtaking vistas, yet are in close proximity to skiing, fishing and other popular amenities. Ranches that nestle up against national parks or forest land, but that are still close enough to civilization to be considered convenient living, top the list. 

If you're in the mood and the market for recreational ranch living, you can pick one up for a song right now, so long as you have a spare million or two lying about. But for average home buyers, the act of picking up stakes and taking on a sweeping expanse of ranch land in Colorado this year is probably ill-advised.  

About the Author

Bob Miller

Bob Miller is a Buffini trained Peak Producer and is a realtor with RE/MAX Professionals, the most prestigious real estate office in Colorado. He understands the needs of buyers and sellers and negotiates the best deal possible for his clients. No transaction is too small or too large. He loves working with clients from all walks of life. Whether you are a first-time buyer/seller or a veteran of many transactions, your specific needs are his priority. From the initial conversation with Bob, you will know that he is your friend and advocate and that he is never happy until you are fully satisfied. Where trust and confidence counts, you'll appreciate the entire real estate experience working with a true real estate professional.