Articles

Investing in Ranches: Engwis Ranch

By James Esperti, Partner/Sales Associate, Licensed in MT, WY, ID

People pursue ranch real estate in the Intermountain West for many reasons. Some are looking for that perfect hunting and fishing ranch with big mountain views, and live water with a variety of wildlife species. Others may want a large productive cattle ranch with abundant water rights and agricultural components. Some people value the proximity of the property to a sizable town that offers amenities such as fine dining, cultural events, shopping, airports, and music venues.

When considering all of these factors, it’s also important to consider the investment value of the ranch. There are many approaches to how one manages their ranch asset, but some ranches lend themselves to the advantages of extracting and realizing avenues of value more than others.

The Engwis Ranch is one of those rare ranches that is the complete package. Located on 3.5 miles of Yellowstone River, only 20 minutes to Livingston and 40 minutes to Bozeman, Montana, the ranch blends big mountain views, world-class hunting, and fishing with a productive agricultural operation. There are also financial strategies that could benefit the new owner.

The Engwis Ranch is deeded into three separate parcels, providing options when considering exit strategies or ways to recoup some of the initial investment. The ability exists to sell the parcels independently or reconfigure them to fit your specific goals and usage of the ranch. Also, there are no current covenants or zoning restrictions that would restrict the ranch owner from creating more parcels of record and, subsequently more value.

Another aspect of the Engwis Ranch that can’t be ignored is its conservation easement value. Many of our large legacy ranches in the West have already been encumbered with conservation easements that run with the land and can prohibit future owners from managing their investment as they please. Conservation easements, when placed on a ranch, give the landowner an enormous income tax benefit.

The Engwis Ranch is a perfect candidate for implementing a conservation easement. In fact, the current owners have already spoken with the Montana Land Reliance of Helena about implementing a conservation easement, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. With full approval from the county, the ranch is “teed up” for the new owner, if desired, to place an easement and be in a position to take advantage of the tax benefits. More information on conservation easements can be found on the Montana Land Reliance website.

With the ranch located in Montana, the luxury of not having any state sales tax is nice when purchasing large items for the ranch, like tractors and other equipment. This can really add up when you are purchasing large equipment in Montana compared to other states.

The Engwis Ranch is one of those rare offerings that has it all: world-class recreation, agricultural opportunities, and a variety of financial avenues that a future owner can manipulate to their specific goals and needs. Originally priced at $19.5 million, the ranch is currently being offered for $16.9 million.  This ranch is one that a serious buyer must see to appreciate its beauty, land stewardship, and investment value.



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