If you are thinking about buying a ranch in Texas, but are unsure about how to proceed with the best process to get there, here are some thoughts on a few things that you should think about. First of course is to understand your budget for the purchase. When determining your budget you should factor into the equation any future improvements and associated costs that might be incurred subsequent to the purchase. There are always additional periodic and routine costs that you will find are a part of ranch ownership. Once you have determined your budget, you now have a place to begin both in looking for that special ranch, and for taking the initial steps of getting pre-qualified for financing so you confirm that your budget and ability to make the purchase are in agreement.
Now that you know what your budget is, you can start thinking about your planned needs for the ranch such as what you are going to use the ranch for, how many acres you are going to need, the preferred location of your ranch, what kind of topography you prefer, whether improvements are needed or not, do you need many amenities nearby, what soil types you prefer, is surface water or live water on your wish list, is the sub surface water good, are mineral rights a necessity, do you need county road frontage, are easements a problem, does extensive flood plain pose a problem, does the land need to have the agricultural exemption, are just a few of the initial items to think about. Each item is not only an important consideration for the buyer's personal preferences, but each and every item on the list can affect the price or cost of the ranch. A ranch with nice live water in the form of a creek or river, with paved county road frontage, within 30 minutes to an hour of a larger city, with mineral rights, no easements, with the agricultural exemption, with good topography, will certainly be more expensive than a ranch without those items. So it's a trade off that is limited by the buyer's budget. It's possible to determine your must haves on the list, and then go from there by browsing a site like ours to see what's out there in your price range. While you may have to sacrifice an item or two on your wish list, you or your broker should be able to find a ranch that meets a majority of your needs.
Remember thought that while you can change or add the improvements that you need, the land basically is what it is. Yes you can certainly improve the land by clearing cedar, possibly building a dam that will retain water in the form of a lake or pond, or by planting hardwoods, or by creating food plots, or seeding grasses, but what is of importance is that most parcels of land vary as to how much you can actually improve the land itself. So if you find yourself in a dilemma where you are looking at a ranch you think you like because the house and improvements are great, but the land is not quite what you are looking for, you might consider continuing the search for land that has more of your boxes checked off for the items you wanted in the first place. As we said before, you can always add or change the improvements, but the land with the exception of the basic changes that can be made, is what it is.
The good news is that the search for the ranch you have been wanting can be both a fun and fulfilling process and time in your life. Buying the right ranch and the opportunity to participate in private ranch ownership can bring years of rewarding experience for you and your family.