Colorado, particularly the areas of Loveland and Fort Collins, is rife with sprawling ranches. All you have to do is to get in touch with Loveland realtors or a capable Fort Collins, CO real estate agent to help you with your plans in getting that dream ranch. But before doing so, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about basic ranching and local laws to make sure you can maximize the use of the land.
Here are several things you need to know about the Colorado ranch life.
Tempering your expectations
Lots of people dream of owning a ranch. This idea has been bolstered by romanticized depictions on television and movies. On top of that, they love the outdoors and caring for animals. So…why not buy a ranch to turn these dreams into reality?
Ranching is easier said than done, though, and this enthusiasm can easily be doused by the reality of incredibly difficult work. Another reality that a rancher faces is that it could take many years before they could reap profits from the land.
Colorado does have a large share of successful ranches to its credit so it can be done. However, tempering your expectations can save a lot of disappointment.
Know how many animals the land can support
It’s difficult for ranch buyers, especially first-timers, to estimate how many animals the land can support. Sellers may cite a figure but that information may not be accurate, as the seller may or may not have direct experience with the ranch itself. An inflated estimate could leave you with too many animals in too small a space but an underestimate could leave you underperforming, profit-wise.
Check with your county’s Natural Resources Conservation Offices for the best estimate of your land’s potential production, including how many animals it can reasonably support.
Plan what you want to raise
It’s not uncommon for new ranchers to be easily swayed into buying excessive equipment because they’re unsure of what they need. Likewise, they may see what other ranchers in the area are doing and adjust their own strategy to try and mimic their success. In doing so they make additional purchases.
Knowing the kind of cattle and crops you want to raise beforehand can save you a lot of money. Having a plan and sticking to it is one of the simplest ways a new rancher can avoid extra costs and spending.
Understand water rights
Nothing causes conflict among ranchers quite like water rights. If you are a first-time rancher, this issue may come as a surprise to you. This isn’t always a simple matter: Colorado, like many other states, uses a system that varies from location to location. Thus, it is a must for ranchers to be aware of the water they are entitled to use and how they are permitted to use it.
Seek out an Accredited Rural Appraiser who can guide you and help clear up any confusion regarding water rights.
Investigate the ranch’s tax status
Colorado provides certain tax breaks for ranches, depending on the cattle they raise and the crops they grow. There are agricultural exemptions and there are wildlife exemptions to look into. Find out how you can qualify for these exemptions and what you need to do to acquire and maintain them. These tax breaks serve to sustain the state’s agricultural products while giving ranchers and farmers some much-needed relief.
Get the best advice on acreage and ranchland from the best realtors in Fort Collins and Loveland – our team at Horse Property Deals. I am Claudia Hewell and our team can help you in realizing your ranch property goals. For more information, please call us at 970-672-6876 or drop us a note at Claudia(at)HorsePropertyDeals(dotted)com.