5 Things To Look For When Buying A Ranch in Texas

Things To Look For When Buying A Ranch in TexasA Texas ranch is a great place to buy and own land – with its wide-open spaces, plenty of room for cattle grazing, and an abundance of natural resources!

It’s easy to see why so many people are considering buying property in the Lone Star State. 

As someone who lives in an apartment in New York City with no outdoor space, my family and I often discuss moving to a place with lots (and lots!) of space to roam.

With this in mind, we sometimes discuss moving to Texas!

As you might know, I’m the author of the bestselling book Happy Habits. Inside my book I share a range of habits which boost happiness.

In my research, I learned that creating a home which feels like a sanctuary is a big predictor of happiness.

Because I’m aware of how important it is to love your home – and feel like it’s a calming place to live – my partner and I asked around and learned some things about Texas property which I wanted to share with you!

Basically, there are certain things you should keep in mind when looking at property in Texas – that may be important to your needs.

Here are five things you should watch out for when buying a ranch in Texas.

What to Look for When Buying a Ranch in Texas

If you are thinking about buying a ranch in Texas, here are five things to watch out for: 

1. Water Rights and Access to Water

The Texas Water Code is a good thing to consider when buying property in the Lone Star State. There are many different types of water rights, and you could end up with one without even knowing it.  

Texas has its own set of laws governing what type of ownership or use someone can have over their land. One very important consideration for landowners throughout the state should be how much they rely on rainwater as opposed to surface water like lakes and rivers. This distinction will determine which law applies – those that govern groundwater-dependent properties vs. all other properties.

You can’t have a ranch without water to go with it. If you’re buying property in Texas, consider how much of the state’s available surface and groundwater is being used by your new land. 

2. Grazing Leases to Outside Operators

When buying a ranch in Texas, watch out for outside operators grazing livestock on your land. Grazing leases are long-term contracts that let outsiders graze their animals in return for a fee or percentage of the animal’s worth. You can opt to buy back these rights later if you want, but it will cost an arm and a leg. It’s, therefore, necessary to do due diligence and ensure you are not at a loss.

3. Restrictions 

When buying a ranch in Texas, it’s imperative that you keep an eye on even the smallest restrictions. As with any purchase, there are always stipulations and exceptions that can have major implications down the line.

Common ones are land-use limitations like livestock size and the number of acres per animal type. Just because this particular property allows cows doesn’t mean it can also accommodate horses or pigs.

4. Zoning Laws

Ranching is an important part of Texas culture, and if you’re planning on buying a ranch in the state, make sure to look into zoning regulations before committing.  Ensuring the ranch you are buying is zoned correctly is always the number one tip on how to buy a ranch for first-time buyers. So, what is land zoning? A zoning classification defines what a land can and cannot be used for. For example, residential zones are where people live, commercial zones are where businesses are set up, and agricultural zones are where you can farm or keep livestock.

A great way of making sure that you do not come across land issues while purchasing ranches in Texas is seeking out an up-to-date copy of the municipality’s zonings and ordinances which may dictate what can be done on said property. 

5. Conservation Easements

Beware of conservation easements when buying a ranch in Texas, as these can significantly reduce the worth and usability of your property.

An easement is a legal right to use and occupy real property that belongs to someone else. A conservation easement limits the type of development, such as construction or mining on land, in return for tax benefits and other incentives from federal agencies. It also allows landowners some control over what happens with their properties if they ever sell it again so future generations can enjoy their natural beauty too.

Conservation easements are one thing that can come up when dealing with property, and if they aren’t taken care of before purchasing it, then there could be consequences for your new purchase.

Top Considerations When Buying a Ranch in Texas

There are many factors to consider when you’re deciding on buying a ranch in Texas. For example, there may be different types of livestock and crops that will need space or water, affecting your purchasing decision. 

The cost is also an important consideration because it can vary greatly depending on if the land has been cleared beforehand for development purposes. 

Other considerations would be permits, access roads, and property taxes. Consider these vital factors to help you determine whether you are making a worthy investment. 


If you are looking to buy a ranch in Texas, ensure that it has the proper water rights and access. You should also watch out for grazing leases with outside operators as well as restrictions on your property’s zoning law. Lastly, conservation easements can help protect natural resources, so be sure to ask about them when buying land. I hope this article helped identify the most important things to watch out for when buying a ranch in Texas.

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