Important Things To Examine When Looking At A Ranch Property To Purchase
Finding the perfect ranch property to purchase can be pretty involved. You not only need to consider the condition and appearance of the home but also of the land, barns, and other structures. It's important to dig deeper than the surface when looking at ranch properties so you don't end up in over your head with a property that does not suit your needs. Here are some specific things to examine when looking at a ranch property to purchase.
Where are the exact property lines, and are they being honored by neighbors?
Way out in the country where properties span hundreds of acres, property lines are not always adhered to. One neighbor might be using a few acres of the property you're thinking of buying, and they may or may not be aware of it. Make sure the land has been surveyed and that you look at the property lines closely. Walk the property lines or drive them on an ATV if the property is really large.
If there are any areas that appear to be in use by a neighbor, ask your real estate agent to inquire with that neighbor. You don't want to find that they're unpleasant once you move in and ask them not to use your land anymore.
How does the land drain?
It's common for people to look at a ranch property in the summer when there has been little rainfall. The land looks dry enough, but then the rainy season comes and it's so flooded and wet that you can't work it or put animals out on it. As you look at the property, here are some ways to tell whether it might flood during the rainy season:
- Are there cattails? These only grow in areas that get quite wet.
- Is the soil hard and cracked? This is a sign of flooding.
- Are there areas that seem really low compared to the rest of the land? Count on these areas being wet.
You can also ask neighbors about the land and how wet it gets. They may not always be honest, but it's worth inquiring.
Are there any hazardous materials dumped or buried on the property?
Years ago, it was common for ranchers to dump garbage and waste materials on one corner of the land. This is not necessarily a big problem, but it is something you need to know about. You don't want to find that 2 acres you were going to use as pasture are littered with glass bottles. As you walk or drive the land, look closely at any areas where the soil seems looser or where there seems to be debris emerging from the soil. Also check with the municipality to determine whether there are records of any hazardous waste being dumped on the land.
If you keep an eye out for the issues above, you're more likely to buy a ranch property that truly suits your needs. Contact a real estate agent for help with finding ranch properties for sale in your area.