Six Top Luxury Ranches For Sale
Is this the time to indulge your hankering' and buy yourself a not-so-modest spread in Wyoming, Montana, or Colorado? After all, just three months ago, Texas billionaire Kelcy Warren picked up the Boot Jack Ranch in southwest Colorado for a mere $46.5 million; the ranch was originally listed two years before at $88 million. At the time, it was the highest price residential sale in the country for 2010 -- a short-lived record surpassed by a Bel-Air home a few weeks later.
But if a guy like Warren can get half off the price of a ranch with of 3,000 pristine wilderness acres, 6 lakes and 7 miles of world-class fly fishing on the West Fork of the San Juan River -- not to mention the 14,000-square-foot home -- might now not be the time for the rest of us to get in touch with our inner cowboy?
Lest you think Warren got the only real deal out there: A Bozeman-area ranch, once listed at $39 million, just closed escrow at $11.5 million. Another ranch in southwest Montana, which at its peak listed for $60 million, just sold for below $30 million. In southern Colorado, a ranch that once sported a price tag of $100 million, has a new owner who paid about $46 million for it.
But before you jump in the saddle, you might want to hold your horses, literally. There's more than meets the eye about what constitutes value in ranch land and it's not just acreage alone.
(First, let's eliminate those ranches that Luxist readers likely wouldn't consider: The ones that are in the middle of nowhere, have no pretty views, and their value is based on things like the dependability of the precipitation, the strength of the grass and the quality of livestock water. i think we can safely eliminate most of Western Nebraska and Eastern Montana, maybe even Eastern Colorado.)
What features drive up the price of a luxury ranch? Oddly enough, it's privacy.
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Yes, there are certain "addresses" in the world of ranches that are akin to having a 90210 Zip Code. Anywhere near Yellowstone National Park is excellent, as is Paradise Valley in Montana. The Tetons in Wyoming is a good location for ranches as well. If you want Beverly Hills, try Jackson Hole.
Taylor says that yes indeed, listing prices have fallen -- in ranch properties here and just about everywhere else in the free world. He adds that many of the luxury ranches were overpriced to begin with and the so-called bargains we told you about were, to a great extent, just the market righting itself.
One interesting thing that's occurred, he said, is that most of the ranches being sold now are going to end users, not land speculators. Whether there's a bargain awaiting you or not depends on the spurs you walk in. To get you started on your search:
The Bell Ranch, listed at $83 million, has almost 300,000 acres in New Mexico. Known for its trophy antelope and turkey hunting, the ranch has large populations of mule deer, black bear, cougars and some elk were recently sighted. It has 18 miles of Conchas Lake frontage. This is a cattle ranch with six cow camps. Humans fare better with a 10,000 square foot Hacienda in a classic 1930s Estancia style. There is a private airfield with an 8,000 foot maintained dirt runway.
The N Bar Ranch, listed at $45 million, has 60,000 contiguous acres in the foothills of central Montana's Snow Mountains, about 90 miles north of Billings. Abundant wildlife, a healthy trout stream, and herds of elk running freely.
The Dana Ranch, on the market for $45 million, has 59,000 acres. The Cascade Montana ranch includes thousands of big game animals. It has 63 miles of streams, 18 of which provide private wade-fishing for trout. the ranch has won numerous conservation prizes.
The Escape Ranch, asking price $35 million. The Escape Ranch has almost 14,000 acres fronting on U.S. Highway 41, about 40 miles Southeast of Orlando in the town of Kenansville. It is considered one of the premier quail plantations in the southeast and offers trophy-quality deer hunting as well. There are two ponds and extensive marshes and wetland areas and comes with a new six-bedroom lodge.
The Bullis Creek Ranch, on the market at $29,950,000, is one of those "good addresses" ranches. It's 6,765 acres are located six miles south of Livingston Montana in the sought-after Paradise Valley. The ranch has 20-mile long panoramic views of the Absaroka Mountains and the Beartooth Wilderness Area that lies north of Yellowstone Park. The Yellowstone River courses through an adjacent valley and there ample world-class fishing opportunities. There is a custom-built log lodge.
The Gutierrez Cattle Ranch, being offered at $22,950,000, stretches across the foot hills of the Ochoco Mountains in Oregon. It's considered one of the most productive ranches in the west and has a total of 71,529 acres, of which 28,000 sit behind locked gates. Water rights are this ranch's main selling point.