Looking at real estate ranch listings may have you wondering if you'll ever find the right property for you. When looking at ranches for sale, it's a good idea to have a checklist ready to determine whether a location ticks off all the boxes. Here are four items you may want to include on your checklist.
Is It Really a Ranch?
The rural property market attracts sellers in addition to buyers, and sellers are often inclined to list properties as what's hot. There's a huge gap between a ranch-style house at the edge of the suburbs and a true piece of rural property. Also, development in rural areas is quickly squeezing out the open land in many regions. It's a good idea to look closely at the property and the surrounding space to see if the location meets your expectations.
Just how rural a location is matters, too. The further you get from the main utility grid, the more the comforts of even small-town life disappear. If you need access to high-speed internet, for example, you'll definitely want to check with the local internet service providers to see if you can get it at the place you're looking to buy.
Similarly, rural properties often don't have access to city water and sewer systems. You may want to knock on the neighbors' doors and ask them how often the electricity goes out, too. Are nearby roads maintained after storms? How is trash pickup handled?
When looking at ranches for sale, don't focus exclusively on the big items like the house and perhaps a barn. Additional buildings on the property like cabins and camps can allow you to get greater use from it, especially if the site is large in area. You should also inquire about any wells that have been sunk at the location.
Contracts Attached to the Property
In rural regions, it's common for property owners to lease or sell rights attached to locations. Natural gas, coal, and logging rights are among the most frequently sold and leased.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing for you, as you should insist that the proceeds from those deals be included in the sale of the property. It's also a good idea to contact the parties to those contracts to learn what the terms are before you buy. Simply explain the situation to them and ask them for details about the arrangements.