If you’ve got the money to buy one, investing in a California ranch can be an exciting prospect. There are many things you can do with such a piece of land. Your family can live off the land and actually run an honest to goodness ranch, although you can also use such a place as a vacation or retirement home, all while enjoying income from any ranch operations you let professionals handle for you. You might even be able to make it into a place you don’t live per se but a destination for families, couples, and friends looking to spend some time on a ranch. Still, for all the positive possibilities, there are prospective drawbacks and downsides too. Keep reading to learn 6 things to watch out for when looking to invest in a California ranch.
1) The Risk Of Disaster: Hopefully, your California ranch will be something you’re happy with, either as a resident or an owner. However, even if it is the place of your dreams, you have to be mindful of the possibility for disaster, and there are many potential situations you should be at least prepared for, if not just aware of. Wildfires are one such instance, which are an increasingly common occurrence in the more arid or drought-stricken parts of the state. Earthquakes are another possibility, with more potential severity closer to fault lines. Also, mudslides might be a drastic risk, depending on the terrain. Know how each could impact the property, what preparations you could make, and possibly what insurance coverage might be necessary to protect your investment.
2) Development Or Lack Thereof: Depending on what you intend to do with your California ranch, the existing level of development can influence your decision heavily. A lack of development might seem like a turnoff as something isn’t as ready as you want, so you’d be inclined to pay less for it. However, a ranch that is developed can also prove complicated if the development is in a direction you’re not looking to take. For instance, some ranches are set up like hotels or resort destinations where multiple families can stay and enjoy a slice of life on the ranch. Such development style might not be right if you’re looking for a private family location or a serious ranch operation.
3) Access To Amenities And Transportation: The specific location of your prospective California ranch can matter quite a bit. Even though a ranch is more than likely going to be in a rural area without much population, you might not want to be too far away from a major city and its airport or transportation connections. If you intend to have frequent visitors, be it from running a rental or recreational location, or just a desire to have family visit, you don’t want to be too many hours from a major airport. You might even want to make sure you don’t live some place that it’s not even possible to Uber back and forth. Then again, if you’re looking for solitude, privacy, and being off the beaten path, you might want some distance.
4) Specific Animals: You’ve likely noted that some of the points on this list depend on what kind or level of actual ranch operations you intend to run. If you don’t intend to run any, then the specific animals in question may not matter, but for the most part it could. While many ranches might be traditionally centered around horse or cattle, there might also be more specific or even unusual and exotic choices, ranging from buffalo to llamas and even kangaroos. You’ll need a ranch that can either handle the specific animals you hope to ranch or can at least be easily altered or upgraded to handle them. For that matter, you might even find a ranch that comes with the animals in the deal, but of course you’d need to be ready to care for them from the day you take ownership.
5) Price: This might be the biggest thing in the world to look out for. You don’t want to overpay, but at the same time, you’re likely to only get what you actually pay for. While not commonly heard of, you might find a steal at an auction, as even ranches can be foreclosed, although estate sales sometimes yield tremendous values too. In general, larger ranches will cost more, as will those closer to cities. Having said that, even small ranches in more rural areas might see their prices rise depending on how pristine their location is.
6) Weather: Climate plays a huge role in ranch operations and ownership. If you hope to make money off of tourists, then you want a lot of warm, sunny days for outdoor fun and adventure. Then again, if you’re hoping to grow a lot of ground cover you use to feed your livestock, you want enough rain for lush vegetation that can keep up with their appetites, which isn’t a given in many parts of the state.