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Colorado Ranches for Sale and Their 5 Most Valuable Features

Have you ever wondered what makes Colorado ranches for sale so valuable? The ranch broker experts at Mirr Ranch Group offer their expertise on the top 5 features to consider.

1. Location
Location, location, location. This factor is important in everyday real estate transactions, but takes on a whole new level of importance when it comes to evaluating Colorado ranches for sale or sporting properties. Adjacency to public land, such as a National Forest, National Park, Bureau of Land Management land, state land or wilderness areas, adds incredible value to a ranch. Other considerations include views, privacy and access issues. Are you near a county road? Can you access the property year-round? Do you have deeded or permitted access?

In addition, Colorado ranches for sale that have proximity to conveniences such as a city, town, grocery store, restaurants, medical services or an airport are taken into account as valuable benefits. Proximity to areas such as a ski resort, golf course or other recreational amenities may cost more, but may enhance value over time and provide for a more liquidated asset when it comes time to list your property and compete against the other Colorado ranches for sale.

2. Water
Live water located on the property is a valuable asset. Rivers, creeks and lakes are not only enjoyable to look at, but create great valuable habitat for fish, birds, big game and other wildlife. Colorado ranches for saleIn addition these water sources have their own separate value apart from the land. It is important to identify the water rights when looking at Colorado ranches for sale or any ranch for that matter.

Unlike the eastern parts of the U.S., in the west, adjacency to live water does not grant one the right to use water for domestic or agricultural uses. Colorado, like most arid western states, follows the “prior appropriation” doctrine, and a water right is a separate real property interest in land that does not always transfer with the surface estate.  Water rights can be sold, leased and encumbered separately, and they are not always owned by the person owning the land. Not all water rights are the same, and “first in time first in right” applies, meaning the older the water right, the more valuable and reliable the right.

Ultimately the right to use water has a significant impact on Colorado ranches for sale values, as irrigated land has a much higher per acre value than non-irrigated. In addition, water rights can sometimes be sold off separate from the land and in some cases can be worth more than the deeded ground that it serves.

3. Size
No secret here. The size of Colorado ranches for sale property directly impacts the value of the ranch. Smaller strategically located properties can have a higher per acre value than larger ranch properties. Typically, there are large discounts when one acquires 20,000 acres versus 1,000 acres. Also, larger ranches can sometimes have additional hunting privileges, as state wildlife agencies may issue additional landowner permits to larger ranches.

When reviewing properties, be sure to notice the distinction between deeded and leased land. Many real estate websites and marketing materials will quote the total acreage, but this could be a mixture of deeded land and leased public land from the United State Forest Service (USFS), the State, or Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Leases can certainly enhance value (especially if you are grazing cattle) but deeded acreage is typically the key component.

4. Terrain
Terrain is important when evaluating Colorado ranches for sale. A mixture of terrain can optimize the price since the property offers more uses. For example, a ranch with a diverse terrain including healthy forest, open pasture, meadows, and water permits diverse uses including grazing, hay production and hunting. All three of these uses can provide substantial income.

Elevation of the terrain also impacts the type of usage and length of annual use. Especially important to Colorado, buyers and sellers need to evaluate whether they will want a property situated at 5,000 or 10,000 feet. The higher the elevation, the shorter the growing season and the longer the winter, but certain high alpine landscapes afford greater hunting diversity especially for big game.

5. Improvements & Enhancements
Improvements including homes, barns, roads, fences, irrigation systems, corrals, and utilities have an impact on the value of all Colorado ranches for sale. Not surprisingly, the value of these improvements are added to the underlying value of the land and water.  Colorado ranches for saleProximity to utilities can certainly impact value, as it is not uncommon to find ranches that are totally off grid and powered by renewable sources such as solar and wind.

Furthermore, habitat enhancements for livestock and wildlife also impact values.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars can be spent on improving streams for fishing, creating wetlands, water resources and food plots for wildlife, and optimizing soils and water for crops and livestock.  There are a number of federal and state funding sources for these enhancements that ultimately can enhance the underlying value of ranch properties.

Colorado ranches for sale is one of our passions at Mirr Ranch Group. If you have questions about legacy ranches or fine sporting properties please give us a call or connect with us by clicking on the contact us tab at the top of the page.

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