Vail Daily column: Is it time to buy a ranch? |

Vail Daily column: Is it time to buy a ranch?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan HarnedAsk a Realtor

Dear Joan,

I seem to have an itch I just have not been able to scratch concerning getting a little land of my own in the mountains.

I realize land around the edges of the Vail Valley used to be a lot cheaper, but I am not sure I can wait for it to take a big dip and still be young enough to do what I want to do. My question to you is, if I go for it now, and buy my ranch, will I be able to get my money out in five to 10 years if I want to? I realize this is the crystal ball question again, but I would like to know what you think, given your long history of selling outlying acreages and ranches. Thanks.

Dear Almost Rancher,

How exciting to pursue your dream —and especially one near and dear to my own heart. You are not alone. There are a lot of people that have the dream to own land of their own in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I am all about living out your dreams, working on your bucket list, and going for it. It sounds like you are close to this point. Your biggest fear now is if you will be throwing your money away. Let me help you with that.

First of all, you are going to get untold hours, days and years of pleasure from your Western Slope Colorado ranch. Next, real estate values go up and down in cycles and if you are not in a hurry to cash out when you sell, chances are that you will be fine. Yes, I suppose there could be some sort of global disaster, but then, won’t you be glad you own your own land so that you can sustain you and your family? I like to think that would never be true, but owning land could turn out to be the best investment. Land investments never disappear and they are not making any more of it.

As you know, less than 20 percent of the land in Eagle County is privately owned land, so the lack of supply, should make the demand go up. The only down side is that resale may not be immediate, so your investment is not as liquid as a condo in town might be.

Get with your trusted ranch/land Realtor today and see what is available. Then let your Realtor help you gather the facts you need to make you comfortable to move forward. There is some gorgeous land out there. Best of luck to you.

Joan Harned is an owner/broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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