Mountain Ranch for Sale and the Factors Buyers Should Consider

mountain ranch for sale


When a buyer contacts Us asking to look at a Mountain Ranch for sale we try and get the picture they have in their mind of what their mountain ranch looks like. Believe it or not there are a number of factors involved in choosing the right mountain ranch for sale. This article outlines some of the decisions clients go through in choosing a Mountain ranch for sale. Okay let’s get started!


First thing most people need to be educated on is the fact that most mountainous terrain is owned by state or federal governments. It is actually somewhat rare to actually own a mountain or a big part of a mountain. This goes back to the fact that when settlers came west the property most people wanted was the productive ag land either for farming or ranching. The mountains did not give as good of an opportunity for making a living as the valleys that had good grass and water. Thus that land was kept mostly by government entities. There are exceptions to that rule with mining and timber and governments having sold some property to the general public. So a lot of what is being bought is land surrounded by mountains or a portion of mountainous terrain that then leads to more public land that goes even higher.


We then try and get an idea of what they want to do with this mountain ranch. Is it being bought for recreation? Are we looking to hunt, wildlife viewing or fly fish? If it is hunting, then what species do we want to hunt. Elk and mule deer are going to be in higher altitudes, while pheasant and whitetail are going to be in more riparian areas around river or creeks. Waterfowl, of course, prefer water but crops will also play a factor in waterfowl. Antelope are going to be in flat lands and low hilly areas. If it is fly fishing are we looking for river frontage, private spring fed creek or ponds. Is there a certain species of trout the new owner wants to catch? Are we looking for quantity or quality of fish. Do we want on site fishing vs great rivers in the area? If it is wildlife viewing what kind of species do you want to see? Some wildlife can be dangerous for humans or pets. Are you comfortable with grizzlies, black bears or moose and how would your pets react?


Another decision in picking out a Mountain Ranch for sale is whether this is purely a recreational property or whether you are going to need income from the property. Many times it is for pure recreational use but sometimes the owner needs income to support the purchase. If income is a factor then you need to know possible lease income from farming or livestock. Do you want to raise horses or run cattle yourself? Are you wanting the farming to accentuate the wildlife. Is there marketable timber and what kind of cutting technique and what might that do to the wildlife or hunting?


Location is also an important factor to consider when deciding what mountain ranch for sale to purchase. Do you want to be remote where it is a real getaway? Do we want to be within a couple hours of a major airport that has service to where you fly out of? Or do you have a private plane that needs a certain length runway. We find most clients want to be within an hour to an hour and a half. This way they can go pick up guests and it is easier for them to get in for a few days at a time and more often.


Is this mountain ranch somewhere they are considering using as a full time residence? Is it a year round property or is it something that normally has only been used during the summer? If they aren’t going to be living there and it is a sizeable mountain ranch most likely it will need a ranch manager or caretaker. Is there a home for a ranch manager or will you need to build one. Speaking of homes do you want one already pre existing and is it the right type. Many mountain ranches for sale have modest homes that the farmer or rancher lived in and some have very large homes or lodges built for the showpiece property. Or do you want to build your dream home or lodge for your new property? Under most situations the builder of the large dream home on a ranch will usually not get back the money they put into it once they sell. The adage one mans dream home is another mans million dollar teardown comes to mind. 


Other considerations are how close to services such as schools, grocery, hospital, shopping, entertainment and other things play into considerations on purchasing a Mountain ranch for sale. If this article finds you on the start of trying to find your perfect mountain ranch I would suggest Contacting us for buyer representation. When making this big of an investment you need someone that can look out for your best interest only. If you want some further more in depth reading I would suggest Montana Ranches for Sale Real Estate Report 2017 or Things to Consider when Buying a Montana Ranch for Sale.



About Buzz Tatom

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Buzz Tatom is a ranch owner and has built, run and sold numerous businesses in his career. This gives him a unique background in helping Montana farmers and ranchers navigate the life decisions that we all have to face. Whether it is passing the ranch on to the next generation or planning for eventual sale, his talents and contacts help save clients money and navigate complicated transactions.

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He still owns the 5T Ranch in Texas but now calls Big Sky, MT home. His background in Texas included finding run down ranches and rehabilitating them into show place properties. From building lakes, stocking fish, to managing for wildlife he has a proven record of increasing values of properties that have given families great memories and returns.

His successful business background allows him to have good knowledge in contracts, dealing with people and has a wide variance of knowledge from his experience in dealing with oil and gas companies on his properties to manufacturing background to knowing who to call to get answers.

He has a BBA from Texas Tech University and got his MBA from Southern Methodist University. While at Texas Tech, he played football and was a 3 year starter as a Tight End. He bought into a Printing company at the age of 24 and grew it ten fold by the time it was sold in 2011.

Buzz teaches part time at Montana State University and loves mentoring students. He has been married to the love of his life, Kathy Tatom, for 25 years and has one son(Tate) and 2 daughters(Sayler and Emmy).

His hobbies include hunting, fly fishing, improving the 5T and following his son Tate in his golf career at the Air Force Academy. His life is divided between family, volunteering, teaching part time at MSU and Church.


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