The Market: Western Colorado Ranches for Sale

Ranch broker Mike McGarry lives in Montrose, Colorado and specializes in western Colorado ranches for sale. The following is his expert opinion on the uniqueness of the market in that part of the Centennial state.

My Experience with Western Colorado

Western Colorado is considered by most to be that portion of the state which lies to the west of the Great Divide. This portion of Colorado makes up the heart of the Upper Colorado River Basin, which also includes portions of eastern Utah, western Wyoming and northern New Mexico. The focus of my work is on marketing and selling ranches throughout the Rocky Mountain West, but for me, nothing compares to introducing people to the world-class ranches surrounding our home in Western Colorado.

I have been very fortunate to have traveled the entire United States, as well as many other parts of the world. My travels have given me a unique perspective on the nuances that set Western Colorado ranches apart from those in other parts of the Mountain West. I have been captivated by the unrivaled quality of life and surreal beauty of Western Colorado ever since my first visit to the area in the late 80s. I cherish living and working in Western Colorado, and I consider it a priceless gift to be able to work and raise my family here, and to share my unique perspective of the ranches in this area with others.

Western Colorado is home to some of the very finest ranches in the world that are owned and operated by generational ranch families, as well as many high-profile families. My fascination with these ranches has led me to study them in depth and to tour as many of them as possible to gain an expert level of understanding. I have mapped and photographed many of these ranches, and thoroughly understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Over the past several years of marketing and selling numerous ranches in Western Colorado, I have made the following observations about the ranches and the ranch market in this area:

What You Need to Know:

  • Most of the finest ranches in the area have been assembled over the years to become what   they are today.
  • The most desirable ranches change ownership very infrequently.
  • The total number of very desirable ranches within this area is lower than many people assume.
  • Superior location and superior water resources are two characteristics that the most coveted ranches always seem to possess. The Crystal Creek Ranch is a great example of a ranch of this caliber.
  • The entrance to many ranches is located beyond the point where the County road maintenance ends, which requires the ranch owner to provide for their own access in the wintertime.
  • Many times, hunting and/or mineral revenues can exceed crop and livestock production revenues on ranches located in certain areas.
  • Generally speaking, ranch size decreases and cost per acre increases the closer you get to the resort communities.
  • Ranches that are priced and marketed correctly usually sell within approximately 10% of their asking price within a couple of years.
  • Ranches that are priced or marketed incorrectly usually linger on the market for five or more  years, and many times do not sell.
  • Numerous ranches currently being marketed in the area have been on the market for five or more years.
  • Many of the ranches of Western Colorado are located near towns that boast disproportionately high levels of amenities  for their size, as compared to other parts of the Mountain West.
  • Many ranch owners from other countries, as well as other parts of the Mountain West, end up buying ranches in Western Colorado after looking at ranches all over the world.
  • Many people from outside of this area who buy ranches here become very attached to the area and remain here for generations.
  • Some people end up buying ranches with less than desirable attributes, only to come to that realization when it is too late.
  • Buying the wrong ranch usually ends up being an extremely expensive endeavor.
  • Many well-intentioned people have missed rare opportunities to buy some of the best ranches  in the area because they did not have someone that they could trust helping them.

“Generally speaking, ranch size decreases and cost per acre increases the closer you get to the resort communities.”

– Mike McGarry

Whether you are looking at buying or selling a ranch in Western Colorado, please consider working with a seasoned professional ranch broker with a proven track record who thoroughly understands the nuances of the ranches and the area.

My goal is to provide unrivaled ranch marketing capabilities and expertise to those who view the selection of the correct broker and the correct brokerage as a risk management decision. As any local ranch owner will attest, there is a lot to understand about the many nuances specific to the ranches of Western Colorado, and no one can understand and articulate those nuances better than those of us who live and work on these ranches.

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