Whether you want to buy a farm or ranch to have plenty of land or you want to use the property to raise livestock and grow crops, there are some essential things you'll need to look for before making a purchase. Use the following tips in addition to help from your real estate agent to find the best land to suit your needs.
Access To Water
You'll need access to plenty of fresh water no matter what you use the property for, whether it's providing drinking water for livestock or irrigating crops. Check to see where the water is currently being sourced from on the property before making a purchase. For land in arid areas, you may also want to do some research on when rainfall is typically expected throughout the year, as this can help determine how much water you will need to keep the property running properly.
The quality of the soil on any property will help dictate what you can do with the land. You can inspect the soil by feeling it as a preliminary indicator of quality. Soil that is soft and moist will typically make it easier to grow crops. However, if you plan to farm the land, you may also want to have the soil professionally tested. Knowing the mineral content of the soil can inform your decision about what to raise and whether or not to buy the real estate.
Ideally, your ranch or farm will come with all the buildings and structures needed to begin operations right away. This might include stables for a horse ranch or barns and silos for a large farm. Inspect each of the buildings to determine how much work they will need, if any, and determine if you'll need to take on new construction projects on the property. If you plan on living on the farm or ranch, you'll also want to have a complete home inspection done for any house included with the purchase.
Before making a purchase, take some time to determine what the actual operating costs will be. This is important whether you want to use the property as a business or you simply want to live on the land. You'll need to account for ranch or farm hands that may need to be hired as well as the cost of raising livestock, horses, or crops. Break this down into a monthly figure so you can add the cost of your loan payment to it for an overall estimated monthly cost. If you hope to turn a profit on the land, you should also consider projecting what your expected income from the property will be.
Work with a real estate agent who is experienced in farm and ranch real estate, and look into any local laws or restrictions that might govern how you can use the land. This will help you to find the ideal property for your new farm or ranch adventure.