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The Top Five Steps to Take After Buying a Ranch: A Guide to Building a Lasting Legacy

Congratulations on achieving your goal of buying a ranch! This significant accomplishment not only represents what for many is the fulfillment of a long held dream but also the beginning of a lasting legacy and connection to the land. To help you navigate the initial stages of ranch ownership, we've compiled a list of the top five essential steps to take after purchasing your ranch. These actions will not only ensure the sustainability and prosperity of your property but also enhance the enjoyment and satisfaction derived from your hard work.

Document the Journey: Take Before Pictures

The transformation journey of your ranch starts now, and there's no better way to appreciate your progress over time than by taking before pictures. Capturing the initial state of your property provides a valuable benchmark for future comparisons. As you make improvements and alterations, periodically revisiting these photos will help you see the results of your efforts and investment, offering a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. If you want high-resolution aerial photos, we're happy to help you. We even have experience with something called photogrammetry (it's the same technology used by Google Earth) to create extremely detailed aerials of an entire property.

Tractor clearing brush

Lay the Foundations: Develop a Maintenance Plan

Effective management of a ranch requires foresight and planning, especially when it comes to maintenance. Creating a detailed maintenance plan early on will save you time and resources in the long run. Knowing when to perform a task is almost as important as what tasks to perform. Essential to this plan is acquiring the right equipment, such as a dependable tractor and appropriate implements, which will make upkeep much more manageable. If you have questions about which types of machinery are best suited for your needs, our team is ready to provide expert guidance and support.

Understand Your Land: Get to Know Your Property

Before embarking on any significant projects like constructing buildings or altering the landscape, it's crucial to deeply familiarize yourself with your property. Spend time exploring your land, observing its natural dynamics, especially after rainfall to understand water flows and game traffic. This knowledge will inform your decisions, ensuring that any developments are in harmony with the land's inherent characteristics. We also recommend that people spend close to a year learning their property before making big investments like building a house. This allows you to see your build site during all four seasons. You'll be surprised how it could change based on the time of year!

Secure Your Investment: File for Agricultural/Wildlife Valuation

One of the first administrative steps you should take is applying for an agricultural or wildlife valuation (often referred to as an "ag exemption"), which can significantly reduce your property taxes. This process can be complex, but it's crucial for the financial sustainability of your ranch. Our team can assist you in navigating this process, ensuring that you're taking full advantage of these tax benefits.

Overlooking a pasture at sunset after a storm

Celebrate Your Achievement: Take a Moment to Appreciate

Amid the excitement and responsibilities that come with ranch ownership, it's important to pause and reflect on what you've achieved. Owning land is not just an investment in real estate; it's a step towards building a lasting legacy and bringing families together. Take a moment to celebrate this significant life milestone. You've set a goal, achieved it, and are now on the path to creating something truly special.


Owning a ranch is the beginning of an extraordinary journey, filled with opportunities for growth, connection, and legacy building. By following these five essential steps, you'll be well on your way to establishing a thriving and sustainable ranch that can be enjoyed for generations to come. If you need assistance or guidance along the way, remember that our team is here to support you every step of the journey. Let's make your ranch the haven you've always dreamed of.


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