A Season of Sponsorship at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

This past summer, Ranch Marketing Associates acted as a co-sponsor for the polo stadium at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Alongside our partner, Engel & Volkers, and peer sponsors such as Folded Hills Winery, the Belmond El Encanto, Maserati of Santa Barabara, and Silver Air, we were given a fantastic opportunity to increase branding visibility, engage with consumers in the equestrian world, and entertain our current clients. Every weekend, highly competitive polo matches were held on the club’s pristine grounds, showcasing the bond between horse and rider, and celebrating the powerful athleticism of these beautiful animals. As ranchers, we cherish the companionship of our horses, whether on pasture in the mountains, or on the polo field in Santa Barbara. We’re proud to support the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, and are honored to have our name tied to their long-standing stewardship of equestrian sports.

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Hunting Rights for Private Landowners

Hunting Rights

Hunting Rights

Many ranches throughout the West hold wide stretches of wilderness that serve as grazing, breeding, and migratory habitats for a variety of animals. These unspoiled lands are vital in providing a natural, low-stress environment for game —whether buck, bull, or fowl. Hunting on your own ranch provides rare opportunities for private and unforgettable encounters with these animals. However, it’s important to know your hunting rights before readying your gear or allowing others to hunt on your ranch. Different states have different laws, but there are a few key considerations to make.

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What to Consider When Preparing Your Land for Sale

Preparing Your Land For Sale

When it comes time to sell your ranching property, preparation is paramount in getting maximum value. If you can identify and eliminate any potential pitfalls in the condition and documentation of your land, you can take the stress out of the selling process and ensure that viable buyers will see all that your land offers.

Here are a few key considerations when preparing your ranch for sale.

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Common Land Access Issues and What to Do About Them

Land Access Issues

Land Access Issues
Common concerns for buyers, sellers, and owners of ranch property revolve around land access issues. These are unique issues for the ranch market, as the laws and logistics of getting to rural land may be more complicated than urban properties, where access is generally assumed and given. Ranch properties often share borders with private, state, and federal land, with or without roads bisecting those boundaries. Potential complications may arise around ownership and legal use of those roads, which can vary on a case-by-case basis. This is why it’s important to never assume legal land access, and be aware of issues that could arise.

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The Importance of Performing a Feasibility Study Before Buying a Ranch

Feasibility Study

Feasibility Study

Buying a ranch property is a huge investment, and is often the realization of a life-long dream. When that perfect ranch comes onto the market, it’s easy to let the excitement propel you toward signing a contract and starting the next chapter in your life. However, it’s crucial to take a step back before you buy and get an objective view of the ranch. Performing a feasibility study ensures that all the plans you have for the property are realistic and attainable. You will ultimately save time and money, and establish a detailed framework for how to achieve all that you envision for the land.

Here’s why a feasibility study is paramount before purchasing a ranch.

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How to Identify the Presence of Wetlands on a Subject Property



Of the many variables to consider when buying a ranch property, one of the most important is determining the presence of wetlands. All land that falls under the US Army Corps of Engineers’ definition of a wetland presents a major obstacle to any kind of further development. This is due to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which aims to preserve “waters of the United States” from disruption and harm.

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The Challenges in Valuing a One-of-a-Kind Legacy Ranch

Valuing a One-of-a-Kind Legacy Ranch

Selby Ranch California Yuba County Browns Valley

Valuing real estate can be a difficult, time-consuming task for even the simplest of properties. Understanding current market conditions, comparable listings, and the land’s appeal and its structures can quickly overwhelm sellers. But if you’re pricing a unique legacy ranch, the considerations reach an entirely new level of complexity. Wide stretches of ranch land have a spectrum of ever-changing variables that must be identified and valued to fit a market where no two properties are alike. This is not easy. Continue reading “The Challenges in Valuing a One-of-a-Kind Legacy Ranch”

Taxes and Selling Your Ranch or Sporting Property

One of the first things an owner should consider when looking to sell their ranch or sporting property, is the tax consequences, as selling an asset can create a taxable event and the last thing an owner wants is to be hit with a big tax bill if it can be deferred. Therefore the first step would be to contact a CPA or Tax attorney.

A CPA or tax attorney can assist in determining potential tax consequences from the sell of the property. In simple terms, this is determined by the length of time the asset has been held and the current value of the asset minus the basis in the property. Basis is the value of the asset when it was acquired. It is very possible that the taxes due would be minimal if the basis is close to the current value of the property.

For example, maybe the owner recently inherited the property in which case they receive a step up in basis to the value of the property at the time it was inherited. Since the sale price and the new basis are very close, the taxable amount (sale price – basis) is small and therefore most likely the tax owed would be minimal.

But let’s say the owner inherited the property 50 years ago and the value of the property has appreciated dramatically. In this case, the taxable amount would be considerable and the owner could be facing a sizable tax bill. So what can an owner do?

Selby Ranch California Yuba County Browns Valley

One of the most common tools is the 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange so called because it is outlined in the Internal Revenue Tax Code, Section 1031. Notice it says “deferred” and not avoidance. This is because a 1031 exchange simply allows the owner to defer paying taxes to some time later in the future by purchasing a replacement like kind property.

In the simplest terms, a 1031 must follow certain guidelines. These rules are the very basic guidelines and an owner should always consult with tax and legal professionals prior to the sale of large assets.

  1. Replacement property must be like kind
  2. Replacement property must be identified within 45 days after closing on the relinquished property (there are rules for identification of replacement property – consult with  legal counsel and/or a Qualified Intermediary)
  3. Replacement property closing must occur within 180 days of closing of relinquished property (this time can be shortened depending on  tax filing deadline)

In addition, the relinquished property must have been held for investment. Therefore a primary residence would not qualify for a 1031 exchange.

This raises a very common scenario in regards to family ranches. The family owns the ranch and also uses the ranch home as its primary residence. Can you do a 1031 exchange? In short, yes however it must be done in such a way so that the sale is essentially split into 2 transactions. 1 being the home and the other being the ranch land and operating assets such as barns, corrals, etc. This would allow the owners to 1031 exchange the ranch land and operating assets as well as exclude the value of the home under Section 121 so long as:

  1. The home has been used as the primary residence for 2 of the last 5 years.
  2. The exclusion has not been used in previous 2 years.

And the exclusion is limited to $250,000 if single or married filing separately or $500,000 if filing jointly.

There are many tools and procedures to help reduce or defer tax liabilities and 1031 exchanges is one of the more commonly used tools in regards to selling ranches. There are very creative ways to legally conduct a 1031 exchange and this article only touches on the very basics.

Always consult with your tax and legal professionals and do not wait until the day of closing or worse the day after closing. If you would like additional information on 1031 Exchanges feel free to contact John Hayter.

About author:  John Hayter is a licensed broker representing buyers and sellers of Texas ranches, Colorado ranches, and New Mexico ranches for sale.

John Hayter


[email protected]

**disclaimer – This is not to be consider legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Always consult tax and /or legal professionals for real estate legal and financial matters.

Clutter Kills Closings!

7 Steps to take BEFORE You Market Your Home

You’ve made the big decision to sell your home. Who doesn’t want to get the most for their money? Are you wondering where to begin what seems to be an overwhelming task. Now what? Before you put it on the market, take a pause, a step back, and a closer look.

First things first. Give yourself some time. This could take a while. You’ve devoted years to accumulating your ‘stuff’. It has been there so long, you no longer see it! So, it could take a few days to “get ‘er done”, or a week, or a month. Just take the first step. Read on.

Step 1. Grab your cell phone. Go through your house room by room. Shoot several angles of each room.

Step 2. Sit down. Look at all the photos. What does your eye see? If your rooms aren’t looking magazine-ready (most don’t), what can you do to get closer to a pretty picture?

Step 3. Purge party. Edit for success. Go back to the first room. Start there. De-clutter. All of it. Day by day. If it takes a month, or two or six, do NOT market your home until it looks like Nate Burkus or the Gaines live there.

De-Clutter: definition– that means say good-bye to all the little trinkets, papers, stacks, small decorative “stuff”. All of it. The goal here is to have clean surfaces, neatly made beds, no clothes hanging on treadmills you haven’t touched for years, high school corsages, a million photos, 3rd grade art projects, man cave beer bottle collections, lava lamps, convention tags with your name on them hanging from lanyards on the door knob or sales awards you received 2 jobs ago. You get the (bad) picture!

Anytime and every time you start to say to yourself, “Well, I may use this sometime,” if you haven’t used it in a year, you aren’t going to; just stop. That isn’t happening. So, just give it away! Clothes with price tags you bought “on-sale” and too small because you were doing to “lose weight” need to go into a give-away pile. Same with shoes that are pretty, but they hurt! Same with your husband’s garage tools, old paint cans, broken lamps you’ll never fix, etc. All must go.

Step 4. Clean the kitchen! If you just love that olive oil you bought in Tuscany, great! It goes in the pantry or cabinet, NOT on the counter. Same for spices. If you need to, buy a round spinner for spices and place it into a clean cupboard to get them organized and out of the buyer’s eye-line. Throw away duplicate cooking utensils. And, for heaven sakes, get rid of the lids that match nothing and bottom containers with no lids! If your drawers are stained or tired, buy plastic shelf liner and use it.

Clean, clutter-free surfaces allow the buyer to see the house, not your stuff!

Step 5. Get stuff off the floor! That includes the dog’s bowls, dead or old plants, fake flowers that haven’t been dusted maybe ever, dog toys, kids’ stuff thrown away, donated or hidden! Toys of any kind, no matter how darling they are, are just a distraction. And those never-leave-the-planet Cozy Coupes, small slides and playhouses have to go. Everything that isn’t a chair leg, table leg, carpet or standing lamp on the floor needs to be lifted from its home on the floor. Stacks, baskets, magazines, old books–you can replace by reading all online. Clear the floor so the space looks larger.

Step 6. All together now, one more time! Review and repeat. Just when you think you’ve tossed it all, re-shoot the photos. Room by room, go back and be brutal. Nobody else loves your stuff like you do! Especially the year-round Christmas décor! Second time around, you are going to wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. The house looks bigger and airier, right? It may feel so good you decide not to sell, but if you do, the buyer will likely make a quicker offer for more money. More money is one good reason to crush the clutter. Your bank account is the only place for more clutter. Clutter it with money! This is the payoff for what may have been a painful process. You’ll be glad you took the first step and will find yourself doing the hokey-pokey in that brand spanking clean de-cluttered masterpiece you’ve created.

Step 7. Stop reading this right now and get to it! What are you waiting for? And, please send me a note when you are done or a selfie of you doing the hokey-pokey in your sparkling, clutter-free haven!