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Buying and selling a ranch can be tricky, and knowing the ins and outs can make or save you money

cattle farm Southwest
Texas is a true ranching state, and in spite of drought, herd culling, costly herd rebuilding efforts, and other challenges in recent years, beef production remains big business in Texas, and if for no other reason, rural land values remain at a premium.

Texas is known for cattle production. In fact, the state is the number one provider of U.S. beef, and has been for a long time. Texas also boasts the largest number of ranches in the nation.

Take a look at the facts:

  • At the beginning of the year, Texas had nearly 12 million cattle and calves in production. Nebraska ranked No.2 with 6.45 million.
  • Beef production in Texas exceeded $10.5 billion (2012)
  • Texas has the greatest feedlot capacity of any state in the nation.
  • While Texas has more than 130 million acres dedicated to ranching and farming, most of those acres are dedicated to beef production. In fact, ranches in Texas by far lead the nation in total acreage dedicated to beef production.
  • Land value for cattle production is greater in Texas than any other state in the nation.

And the list goes on. Texas is a true ranching state, and in spite of drought, herd culling, costly herd rebuilding efforts, and other challenges in recent years, beef production remains big business in Texas, and if for no other reason, rural land values remain at a premium.

And that means, if you are thinking about buying ranch or rural property in Texas, the challenges are many, and the obstacles are great. For one, it's not a cheap proposition. Land prices alone may well be the biggest obstacle, and finding ranch property that offers all the things a producer needs is daunting in the least.

That's what keeps Lem Lewis on his toes, and why he is one of the busiest ranch land advisors in Texas.

Friend of both buyers and seller, Lewis loves answering questions about buying or selling Texas ranch properties. It's more than a business service to him; he says it's his passion.

Located near Blanco in Central Texas, not far from Lyndon Johnson's famous Hill Country ranch in Johnson City—better known as the Texas White House—Lewis is a professional ranch broker who mostly consults on brokering property in the ranch country just west of Austin. A veteran ranch broker and fourth-generation Texas rancher, Lewis says choosing the right property and understanding all the variables important to ranch production are critical before making a large investment.


"The price of property ranges greatly depending on so many variables, like location, the size of the property, access, improvements on the property, total number of acres. For example, prices in the Hill Country can range between $1,500 an acre to, well, the sky's the limit." Lewis says.

If you're a buyer instead of a seller, Lewis says there are a great number of issues to consider, many more than simply buying a home. Valuations are different. Tax considerations vary. Broker quality and commissions are unique. And the investment considerations are far more complex.

"Many of my clients choose me because of my experience. I grew up ranching on a property that my great-grandfather purchased in 1929," Lewis explains. "I spend a lot of time on the ranch with my kids, teaching them how to appreciate the land as much as I do. Ranching is in my family’s blood."

Lewis says his company concentrates on the Texas Hill Country, South Texas, and West Texas properties, but he has been involved in providing assistance to buyers and sellers across the state. He says his mission is to develop life-long relationships with his clients, built on mutual trust and integrity.

While a traditional ranch broker in many respects, Lewis has recently embraced various media in an effort to help others, regardless of whether they use his professional services or not. That includes a new YouTube video series designed to help both buyers and sellers learn the ins and out of acquiring or liquidating ranch property in the state. Various topics are covered in the series for a total of nine informative videos including:


How buying a ranch differs from buying a house?

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How do you find the ideal ranch property?

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What should I expect to pay for a quality ranch?

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How do you choose a quality ranch broker?

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What should I expect to pay in sales commission?

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What is the most effective way to market my property?

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Who are today’s ranch buyers?

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What potential tax exemptions are there when I buy a ranch?

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How long does a ranch sale take?

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If you plan on buying or selling ranch or rural property in Texas, start by watching his informative videos.

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