4 Essential Questions to Ask Before Buying a Ranch in BC

If you’ve got the spirit of nature in your soul and the means to purchase a large plot of gorgeous land, then buying a ranch in BC may be the perfect fit for you. It’s important to remember that ranch ownership is a complete lifestyle, but one that can provide yourself and your family with health, happiness, spiritual returns, and even wealth. However, the process of getting there is certainly not stress-free. We’ve rounded up 4 essential questions to ask both yourself and your realtor before buying a ranch in BC, so you can start your journey towards ranch ownership.

How Much Land Do You Need?

When buying a ranch in BC, one of the first things you must consider is how much land you’re looking for. While your budget may dictate how much land you can purchase, several other factors contribute to how many acres you may wish to buy, including the amount of work that you plan on doing, and what you wish to use your ranch for.

FarmandRanch.com tells us more about why it’s important to establish how much land you need before you start looking:

“Suppose you’ll be tending to cows. Each cow needs, on average, 30 acres of land for food since they can eat 1/2 ton of hay per month. That puts you at 1,000 acres to support roughly 33 cows. If you’re looking for something to enjoy and invite the public into, 70-100 acres may be just enough. Land quantity may be restricted by your budget. Be transparent about this with your broker so they can connect you with the best deals.”

What Are Your Water Needs?

Now that you know how much land you need and what you wish to use your ranch for, you need to determine your water needs. Are you looking to have access to water in the form of rivers, ponds, wells, and/or streams? And what do you plan on using them for?

Mirr Ranch Group explains why establishing your water needs is an important factor in choosing the right property for you:

“The needs of a working ranch will be different depending on livestock, irrigation, hay/crop, and maintaining the ecological balance of the ranch so you will need to make sure your selected property has the right features and water rights to accommodate such pursuits. Water rights in the west are much different than other areas of the county and you need to understand these matters.  States have differing public access rights and restrictions to rivers and streams and these issues as well as flow rates impact fisheries, and other recreational uses including rafting and kayaking. Water resources are also key in maintaining wildlife habitat.”

How Much Can You Afford to Invest?

While you most likely have a specific budget in mind when it comes to purchasing your ranch, several additional expenses need to be taken into consideration. It’s important to recognize the true cost of buying this type of property, with the understanding that you can’t afford to cut yourself short. Additional costs like livestock, hay, and other feed, fencing, a tractor, and possible employees all need to be taken into consideration.

What are the Legalities of the Property?

While any real estate agent who knows their ranch properties will no doubt have all of this information for you, you must consider any surprises you may receive when it comes to the legalities of a property. Do the plans you have for your property fit with the permissions already obtained? Or will you have to seek them out yourself and risk not being able to use your property as you’d planned?

Rural Only tells us more about what you need to consider when it comes to the legalities of the property:

“Conservation easements, mineral mining, and natural water resources may mean that other people will legally have access to your property. You’ll want to know the zoning and legalities surrounding building new structures, too. If you plan to make improvements to the buildings or build new ones, you’ll need to know the rules surrounding them. You may also want to rent rooms or try to generate income with a site like Airbnb or hipcamp. Some townships only allow that if the neighbors agree, or other similar rules.”

Are you ready to purchase your first ranch? With over 30 years of experience representing buyers and sellers in the British Columbia market, we can help you find the perfect property for you. Contact Cascadia Pacific Realty, Ltd today to get started!