November 4, 2011 by Land Report Editors
Filed under California, Cattle, Colorado, Conservation, Equestrian, Farming, Feature, Field Reporters, Golf, Hawaii, Hunting, Land Report Top 10, Midwest, Minerals, Montana, Nevada, Pacific, Recreation, Residential Property, Southwest, Texas, West, Wyoming
From Hawaii to the Lone Star State, here are America’s priciest properties, led by $175 million Jackson Land and Cattle Ranch, pictured here, which is listed by Hall and Hall.
1. Jackson Land and Cattle: $175 million
These 1,750 acres are simply the most phenomenal property to come to the market in the Teton Valley in decades. Jackson Land and Cattle is one-of-a-kind in every respect: world-class improvements, including an equestrian center designed by Jonathan Foote, AIA; lack of any development restrictions; and don’t forget the stunning Teton views. Hall and Hall’s John Pierce has the listing.
2. Walton Ranch: $100 million
This 1,848-acre working cattle ranch was pieced together by the Walton family beginning in 1958. The family placed the ranch under conservation easement in 1983. Billy Long and Ron Morris of Ranch Marketing Associates have the listing.
3. Ranch Dos Pueblos: $84 million
This oceanfront parcel is on the market for the first time in three decades. Spanning 2,175 acres just west of Santa Barbara, it’s one of the largest remaining ranches along the breathtaking Gaviota Coast. Kerry Mormann & Associates has the listing.
4. Tranquility Estate: $75 million
These 210 acres on Lake Tahoe are crowned by a 20,000 square-foot mansion. Owned by Tommy Hilfiger co-founder Joel Horowitz, it was originally priced at $100 million in 2006. Listed by Shari Chase and Sue Lowe of Chase International.
5. Aspen Valley Ranch: $59 million
Billed as the largest ranch near Aspen in the Roaring Fork Valley, this ranch boasts senior water rights as well as over 800 acres and is located just 10 minutes from the Aspen airport. Joshua Saslove of Joshua & Co. has the listing.
6. Robert Taylor Ranch: $56 million
112 acres in Los Angeles’s tony Brentwood enclave. The roomy ranch house, which was designed by Robert Byrd, features 17 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms. Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Previews International has the listing.
7. Hana Ranch: $55 million
This 4,500-acre working ranch on eastern Maui surrounds the town of Hana. The property boasts two miles of Pacific oceanfront and rises over 2,200 feet up the slopes of Haleakala. Dan Omer of Island Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.
8. Rockpile Ranch: $54 million
For only the third time in over a century, this 55,374-acre cattle ranch in the Davis Mountains of Far West Texas is on the market. Since 1992, the Rockpile has been owned by McCoy Remme Ranches (No. 41 on the 2011 Land Report 100). James King of King Land and Water is the listing agent.
9. Dana Ranch: $45 million
With only two distinguished owners in nearly 100 years and an unmatched record of profitability, the Dana is considered by many to be the finest operating and recreational ranch in the Rocky Mountain West. Supporting 3,000 animal units on 59,000± acres, it boasts over 13 miles of superb fisheries and an incredible diversity of wildlife resources from elk to waterfowl to upland birds. Listed by Dave Johnson with Hall and Hall.
10. Flying Dog Ranch: $40 million
This 245-acre Aspen landmark features nearly a mile of Collins Creek and Woody Creek and borders the White River National Forest. Morris & Fyrwald Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.
Click here to download a copy of the November 2011 newsletter.
“For too long, management of wolves in this country has been caught up in controversy and litigation instead of rooted in science where it belongs. This proposed settlement provides a path forward to recognize the successful recovery of the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains and to return its management to States and Tribes,” said Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Hayes. Read the announcement HERE.
Biologists with tranquilized gray wolf
Photo Credit: William Campbell
USFWS National Digital Library
Andy Smyth is a straight-speaking man, runs a great brokerage business in Idaho, and has become a good partner with The Land Report. Andy recently told me that after experiencing a downward period in the land market the likes of which he’s never seen before, he is finally seeing signs of things turning around for land deals in his neck of the woods.
We asked Andy if he would mind us picking his brain a little bit, and he obliged.
Land Report: What got you into the land business, and how long have you been at it?
Andy Smyth: I was born into it. My great-grandfather Smyth sold his farmland near North Platte, Nebraska and moved to the Boise Valley in 1905. He, my grandfather, my father, and I farmed in this valley from then until the spring of 2008, when I retired from active farming after 34 years. My endeavor in real estate marketing began about 12 years ago as a diversification to my farming business. It seemed a natural outgrowth to my many years of involvement in various agricultural organizations and community service organizations throughout the state of Idaho.
Land Report: What’s are the biggest changes you have seen in your 12 years of marketing property?
Andy Smyth: The first was the run-up in land values beginning in the mid-‘90s that lasted until about the first half of 2008. The second was the decline in activity from then until very recently. During the first period I referred to, it was fairly easy to move land parcels. Since the end of ’08 and beginning of ‘09, it has become very difficult to move large parcels. It now requires a high level of persistence and focused advertising to attract interested buyers with the ability to “write the check.”
Land Report: You mentioned to me the other day that the market seems to be on the up-tick in your area. What are you experiencing?
Andy Smyth: In the last month, mid August until today, I have received more inquiries than I received since the first of the year. I have had several investor groups contact me with inquiries about large parcels. I have had numerous individuals inquire about agricultural properties for investment and primary use purposes. I have had two ranch showings in the last 10 days and another scheduled for the end of this week. I have had four inquiries in the last 24 hours. I have not closed a deal as a result of this activity, but if this rate of inquiry continues, there is bound to be a resulting close coming. I am confident.
Land Report: Tell us about some of your top current listings.
Andy Smyth: I have a number of ranch/recreational/investment quality properties available.
- A 6,080 deeded acre parcel within 1.5 hours of Boise is an exceptional property offering outstanding hunting of all types. It contains 700 acres BLM permanent lease acres adjacent. It is one contiguous parcel in a private setting. Year-round stream, 300-acre reservoir within 1/4 mile of boundary. No buildings.
- A 1,700 deeded acre parcel, offering adjacent permanent lease land access to an additional 5,600 acres. This is a beautiful parcel offering timber at higher elevations and year-round streams. Home, shop, etc.
– 2,646 deeded acres. 1,640 acres BLM permanent lease adjacent. 2 mile by 2.5 mile parcel running to the top of an 8,748 foot peak. Great hunting, access. Irrigation well. Home, shop, etc.
Pictures, more information on these parcels, other available properties at www.smythfarms.com
Land Report: What do you consider your unique strengths as a listing broker?
Andy Smyth: My many years as an active, full-time farmer myself, allows me to fully understand the elements involved in selling the family farm or ranch. I am able to empathize in a way that some brokers can’t. My priority as the listing agent is to protect the interests of the party selling their ranch or farm. I spend the money required to advertise in a way that many brokers do not. Representing the type of property that I do, requires a willingness to advertise in venues where the folks who have an interest in this type of property and who can “write the check” may be found. Not all brokers do this.
That’s why I advertise in The Land Report. It’s an invaluable tool in securing new listings. It is an impressive, high quality publication. When a potential listing client sees my ads in recent issues of The Land Report, it is obvious to them that my commitment to represent their property in a serious way is beyond question.
Land Report: From the buying side, what does your brokerage offer newcomers to your markets?
Andy Smyth: I come from a world where a person’s word is their bond. My role, as someone helping a potential customer select a property, is to provide honest, straightforward information. My responsibility is to provide correct, unbiased answers to their questions so they can make an informed decision regarding what is in their best interests. I take my role and responsibilities very seriously.
My long history in the circles of the ranch and farm community can be very helpful. There are often properties which may be for sale that are not listed or being actively marketed. I also offer financing sources for folks who may not be able or want to write a check for the full amount at closing, but who may have the ability to secure financing for this type of property.
Sales of land, ranches, and resort residences in Colorado’s top tier markets are off as much as 50 percent in 2008, according to figures compiled by Telluride Consulting and Land Title Guarantee Company. Read more
Open range, snow capped peaks, and beautiful views embody what many seek when searching for their first piece of property. One need look no further than the scenic American West when searching for this ideal piece of land.
The Rocky Mountain area continues to be a prime location for landowners seeking convenience and amenity in their purchase. John Pierce of Hall & Hall Ranch Sales says many looking to move to the Rockies do so because of the traditional resort ski areas.
“You have your resort communities and properties within reasonable striking distance of those ski communities. There are Jackson, Steamboat, Vail, and Aspen, those kinds of markets. You have your lesser known like Missoula, Livingston, Bozeman, those areas have been strong although they aren’t first and foremost known as ski towns,” Pierce says. “They are more known as nice communities within reasonable proximity of skiing but not known as a ski community.”
One area where Pierce says he’s seen the most growth is Park City, Utah. Names like Aspen and Snowmass are synonymous with skiing; cost and overcrowding have some potential buyers looking elsewhere.
“You’ve seen a lot of growth in the Park City area because of convenience. [An airport] hub like Salt Lake City where you’re 30 minutes into the mountains from the point you touch down is extremely convenient,” Pierce says.
Park City is 40 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport while Aspen and Steamboat Springs are more than 180 miles from Denver International Airport.
“With commercial flight becoming more challenging, that’s a big part of it. You go into Denver, and it’s still quite a ways to the ski areas. It’s not as convenient as Salt Lake City with Deer Valley and Park City. That’s certainly an area where we’ve seen a fair amount of growth,” Pierce says. “Going to an Aspen or a Sun Valley; it’s that much more complicated.”
If there is property to be had, many willing buyers are there ready to scoop it up. Pierce says access is the key with many weekend warriors flying to their land from “the major money centers around the country.”
It’s a national draw so air travel is a must.
Still, Pierce says, there isn’t a slowdown in any ski resort communities in the area on the horizon. There will always be buyers for properties in the traditional ski areas.
Hall and Hall’s listings currently point to a high demand market. There are no properties in Pitkin County (Aspen) and only one property, an 876-acre retreat, in the Park City area.
A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune says that home sales in the area are sagging with more than 2,600 homes priced in excess of $500,000 on the market. Acreage is harder to find however. The Wasatch Front MLS lists only 34 properties with more than four acres of land.
“We have definitely seen more funds coming into the marketplace place as potential buyers where they are looking at it as an investment,” Pierce says.