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Old 05-10-2009, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
22 posts, read 86,460 times
Reputation: 10

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Ok, I'm the new girl here, but I'm from Wyoming (Graduated from Green River), and absolutely loved Afton and Alpine, had several friends there 15 to 20 years ago. It's always been a dream of mine to live in Star Valley or up at Alpine (because I'm not really a people person. I live in SLC Utah now and trust me, the Olympics were great but the numbers of people drove me crazy).

Well the last few years my brother and I have become stock contractors (bulls primarily but we do have a small mixed herd currently as we are also breeding). Given he lives near Nashville, TN and can only buy so much land back there, he is currently using his land, our sister's, and our best friend across the road from him. Long story short is that it seems to be a decent time for us to split the herd, along with the bulls that we haul (which would cut down on obvious traveling) and have half the herd east of the Mississippi and the other half "west" of the Rockies, although he knows that Star Valley is IN the Rockies more or less.

My hubby and I (and 2 kids, both teenagers) would be wanting land for pasture PLUS land to either buy or build a home on. I know that there is the energy boom down in Rock Springs and Green River, but I didnt know if this boom is affecting the part of Wyoming I love, so any help would be great.

Also I am interested in the job market because hubby would go insane if he only worked "the ranch" as he's already referring to it (it would be myself and my son who is 18...and who I would love to attend U of W in Laramie like I did), so hubby would want/need a job of some kind. If you think hubby is afraid of hard work, no...he grew up in SW Idaho and his folks had a ranch and cattle and so this is old school for him.

Thanks everyone...oh and time line on this isn't super urgent but we're gathering information as my brother would be the one buying/investing the land. I'm sort of the "brains" when it comes to picking bull lines to breed, and well we got 3 bulls we use at various events. I know, it's not much but the business end of this has enugh money to get this venture up and off the ground without me killing myself to work it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:12 PM
 
9 posts, read 32,501 times
Reputation: 11
JACKSON HOLE WY REAL ESTATE Teton County WY including Jackson, Teton Village and Wilson (http://www.budgerealestate.com/Nav.aspx/Page=Http://www.TetonLiving.com - broken link)

You can search Star valley at the above.

Land here is very expensive. How much are you looking for?
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
22 posts, read 86,460 times
Reputation: 10
Honestly? I'd have to ask my brother. He owns/has access to quite a bit since we do mostly grazing in TN unless it gets super cold then the bulls that we have registered he will take inside (like you know those ice storms in TN they had this last winter? Then he does). I tell him that these animals will have to learn to toughen up to survive Wyoming winters. Yeah the more expensive/more income they produce (they're Pro Bull Rider quality bulls that we paid a nice penny for a few of them) will get barn quarters but the majority will be outdoors if we can (or build a VERY large barn!!).

I'll drop him an email tonight and see what he says. The turkey owes me a phone call so maybe if he sees I'm relatively serious about this (and getting my kids out of the Utah school system and into Wyoming's that I absolutely loved) that he'll let me know. I know our best friend bought his land last year, came with house and I want to say its alot but the actual SIZE escapes me--I had put 1200 acres but I think I may have been high on this number (and I think my brother's land is more if I remember right because he bought out his neighbor on his side of the road 3 years ago).

but this gives me a launching point. House wise we're willing to bring in a manufactured double wide and put it on a foundation so its just like a house (and super heavy insulation...I lived in 50 below zero winters in Green River), so the house is less of an issue. But I'll see how much we need for the number of animals he wants on my side of the "mountains".

BTW...thank you for the link
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:47 PM
 
11,369 posts, read 46,986,252 times
Reputation: 15435
If I understand your requirements correctly, the minimum size parcel that you could do this on would be 40 acres, zoned agricultural ... and that's if the local county zoning will accept 40 acres as an ag parcel, where livestock and commercial operations are allowed.

I think a big problem you'll have in the area is that most 40's available are subdivided out of the older farms & ranches in the area, and are now "residential" zoned with HOA's/covenants, etc., that may greatly restrict your livestock activities ... typically, to no more than 4 large animals per 40 acre parcel. With the tourist and retirement popularity of the area, the developers have been busy over the last 30 years and the 40's appeal to a very affluent group of folks. Even so, it's not the highest and best possible return on a developer's money in the area when folks will pay premium prices for building lots or small sites ... which makes $3,000/acre pricing for the 40's look very cheap. Most of the subdiivided areas will be "fence in" properties, so you'll have substantial corral/fencing expenses with your bulls.

Unless you can afford a really large tract of ranch land ... on the scale of hundreds of acres ... it's unlikely that you'll be able to do much in the way of grazing your bulls. You'll be bringing in hay year 'round. You'll still be looking at pasture productivity and water issues as part of your operating costs ... and that's a whole 'nother thread.

The bigger places are typically sold as "executive retreats" or "gentleman's ranches" or "hunting and fishing club headquarters ranch" ... and priced far far far beyond their productive and carrying capacity. Generally, the ads will feature all the wildlife, fishing, and big game hunting opportunities on the property, because that's their target affluent buyer looking for a retreat property. You'll not find many properties marketed and priced as a working ranch.

While you may have fond recollections of the Star Valley as a beautiful place to live, it's not competitive for your business base of operations costs compared to TN land, soil, water, and climate.

As far as your husband finding suitable ranching work, I'd give you both a caution ... based upon the recent experiences of several friends with a comparable background and many years in the cattle, horse, ranching, vet'ting, and all-around hard working handyman on a ranch or farm in the region. All of these folks are (or were) putting in 70-100 weeks for less than minimum wage when they stay in the business. It sounds good on the face of it ... riding, working livestock, maybe doing some farming, doing maintenance chores, maybe driving a truck for the place when needed ... but $40,000/year salary plus housing plus benefits package plus 1/2 beef/year plus ranch vehicle and a place to keep your two horses ... doesn't work out when you're putting in those 100 hours a week for weeks on end. It's demanding physically, mentally, and socially ... and doesn't give you much of a life with your family.

I've watched one man go from a stalwart 230 lbs down to 180 lbs in about a year, working as the ranch "foreman" on a cattle ranch/farm in the Hyattville area ... again, a spectacular ranch setting, a beautiful place to ride and work cattle. But when that riding becomes constant work ... and then you're doing the farm ops when you have "spare time" ... to the tune of 90-100 hrs/week .... it's a very discouraging experience. Especially when the owner decides that he'd rather be in the "dude ranch" hospitality business instead of the serious cattle business and fires you without notice and gives you "three days to get out of the house" you're living in as part of your farm labor employment contract. Unfortunately, my friend didn't finish high school and the only thing he knows is the ranching and cattle business ... so he's looking for a similar employment situation. This is the third time I've seen him and his family go through this type of situation, and the only way he's surviving financially right now is to go back to the worker trailer on his Dad's ranch. But Dad's out of the cattle business, and long retired ... so there's no income there and my friend must find another ranch to work at to feed his family.

For the most part, the owners of the places with those arrangements don't have any loyalty to their workers. Why? because there's many more qualified people rarin' to go to that idyllic life they remember from growing up or from working in the business for so many years, and they keep hoping that the next ranch/farm owner will be a little nicer and more reasonable. When you get tired of being abused this way ... and quit, for cause ... or the ranch owner decides to fire you for whatever trivial reason ... the ranch owner "wins". He's got more applicants for that job than he knows what to do with. And it seems like everybody gets to keep on "paying their dues" to get to the imagined better job situation.

IMO, if your husband has other marketable skills, he'd be better off to use them in the area and keep the "bull" business at a hobby level.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
22 posts, read 86,460 times
Reputation: 10
I'll start from the end and work backwards.

The bulls right now are more of a hobby/for the future investment for my brother who is a single father with 2 little girls (both under 6). He has another job in the sports field, one that will probably see him retire from that within ten years. Granted he'll make a good chunk of money every year between now and then, so thus why we're trying to get this going now so that when his retirement (he's 6 years younger then me and is 31 this coming June) comes he has something else to rely on. Right now in TN he has a ranch foreman who has been with him nearly 10 years (for my brother has always had horses, he's been also getting into just your run of the mill, ride around the ranch working horses, not thoroughbreds), and I know he's told me more then a few times he couldnt have what he has NOW without his foreman because my brother's job has him traveling 200 days out of the year (Mom and Dad are also nearby and they take care of his daughters when he's on the road). He made me his business partner 4 years ago because I have a natural eye for bulls or blood lines I think would make good matches, in fact we're waiting to see if one does pay off. Granted providing bulls for rodeo or PBR is a gamble because sometimes bulls dont turn out but still with a good bloodline we've been told (and seen it proven) that you can still make money in breeding.

anyway your information as for land and that is VERY helpful, and well if we have to, hubby's parents live in Payette, Idaho (well a even smaller town just north of there) and hubby knows that his folks would either give us land or charge us next to nothing. Just i'm not a super huge fan of SW Idaho. It's ok but a bit too close to Boise for my liking. I'm tired of people.

BTW as for hubby, he went to college and right now works for a car rental company here in SLC as a supervisor. The company has an office in Jackson Hole and so he would see about transferring into there, thus the second reason for us to move there.

But all your information I will pass on to my brother and go from there. He may be willing to pay more to get my "half" of this business off the ground (there are the 2 of us, Mom & Dad and the best friend who might as well be family, we're all that close). But it's mainly us, him with the money and me with the brains, that is getting this going, so I figured fish for some information and see what I got back. You truly were helpful
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,783 posts, read 43,745,061 times
Reputation: 9387
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
If I understand your requirements correctly, the minimum size parcel that you could do this on would be 40 acres, zoned agricultural ... and that's if the local county zoning will accept 40 acres as an ag parcel, where livestock and commercial operations are allowed.

I think a big problem you'll have in the area is that most 40's available are subdivided out of the older farms & ranches in the area, and are now "residential" zoned with HOA's/covenants, etc., that may greatly restrict your livestock activities ... typically, to no more than 4 large animals per 40 acre parcel. With the tourist and retirement popularity of the area, the developers have been busy over the last 30 years and the 40's appeal to a very affluent group of folks. Even so, it's not the highest and best possible return on a developer's money in the area when folks will pay premium prices for building lots or small sites ... which makes $3,000/acre pricing for the 40's look very cheap. Most of the subdiivided areas will be "fence in" properties, so you'll have substantial corral/fencing expenses with your bulls.

Unless you can afford a really large tract of ranch land ... on the scale of hundreds of acres ... it's unlikely that you'll be able to do much in the way of grazing your bulls. You'll be bringing in hay year 'round. You'll still be looking at pasture productivity and water issues as part of your operating costs ... and that's a whole 'nother thread.

The bigger places are typically sold as "executive retreats" or "gentleman's ranches" or "hunting and fishing club headquarters ranch" ... and priced far far far beyond their productive and carrying capacity. Generally, the ads will feature all the wildlife, fishing, and big game hunting opportunities on the property, because that's their target affluent buyer looking for a retreat property. You'll not find many properties marketed and priced as a working ranch.

While you may have fond recollections of the Star Valley as a beautiful place to live, it's not competitive for your business base of operations costs compared to TN land, soil, water, and climate.

As far as your husband finding suitable ranching work, I'd give you both a caution ... based upon the recent experiences of several friends with a comparable background and many years in the cattle, horse, ranching, vet'ting, and all-around hard working handyman on a ranch or farm in the region. All of these folks are (or were) putting in 70-100 weeks for less than minimum wage when they stay in the business. It sounds good on the face of it ... riding, working livestock, maybe doing some farming, doing maintenance chores, maybe driving a truck for the place when needed ... but $40,000/year salary plus housing plus benefits package plus 1/2 beef/year plus ranch vehicle and a place to keep your two horses ... doesn't work out when you're putting in those 100 hours a week for weeks on end. It's demanding physically, mentally, and socially ... and doesn't give you much of a life with your family.

I've watched one man go from a stalwart 230 lbs down to 180 lbs in about a year, working as the ranch "foreman" on a cattle ranch/farm in the Hyattville area ... again, a spectacular ranch setting, a beautiful place to ride and work cattle. But when that riding becomes constant work ... and then you're doing the farm ops when you have "spare time" ... to the tune of 90-100 hrs/week .... it's a very discouraging experience. Especially when the owner decides that he'd rather be in the "dude ranch" hospitality business instead of the serious cattle business and fires you without notice and gives you "three days to get out of the house" you're living in as part of your farm labor employment contract. Unfortunately, my friend didn't finish high school and the only thing he knows is the ranching and cattle business ... so he's looking for a similar employment situation. This is the third time I've seen him and his family go through this type of situation, and the only way he's surviving financially right now is to go back to the worker trailer on his Dad's ranch. But Dad's out of the cattle business, and long retired ... so there's no income there and my friend must find another ranch to work at to feed his family.

For the most part, the owners of the places with those arrangements don't have any loyalty to their workers. Why? because there's many more qualified people rarin' to go to that idyllic life they remember from growing up or from working in the business for so many years, and they keep hoping that the next ranch/farm owner will be a little nicer and more reasonable. When you get tired of being abused this way ... and quit, for cause ... or the ranch owner decides to fire you for whatever trivial reason ... the ranch owner "wins". He's got more applicants for that job than he knows what to do with. And it seems like everybody gets to keep on "paying their dues" to get to the imagined better job situation.

IMO, if your husband has other marketable skills, he'd be better off to use them in the area and keep the "bull" business at a hobby level.
Dang... I have stronger words in mind but can't use them here, so ... dang!

Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...all to heck!
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
22 posts, read 86,460 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
Dang... I have stronger words in mind but can't use them here, so ... dang!

Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...Dang it...all to heck!
Oh believe me....I thought those words REALLY loud too.

Guess if we go up that way hubby better have the manager's job in Jackson Hole FIRST then look at houses.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:16 AM
 
11,369 posts, read 46,986,252 times
Reputation: 15435
Just to clarify ... the name of the town is "Jackson". The valley area surrounding it is "Jackson Hole".

If you want to ranch in Jackson, your husband will need a lot more income than a supervisor's job for a car rental company, and your younger brother should plan on investing much of his income for the next few years to buy property of any size there. I can't tell you what an acreage around there would cost, but I can tell you that a basic housing average ... 2b/2ba townhouse, or a very small "starter" house ... is around $1mil. Acreage cost here makes the star valley pricing look like a slum and blighted area ....

You're tossing around dreams on the order of "I want oceanfront acreage at Malibu to ranch on", or "acreage in Aspen for my ranch", or "just a little place in Telluride, or Steamboat Springs where I can raise some cattle", or "I want a little place in Pecos, NM, to run a few head of cattle". These are the acreages that are featured properties in the slick glossy real estate magazines with price tags in the 10's of millions of dollars. You'll be rubbing elbows with the seriously famous names in wealth or sports/movie industry earnings .... if your brother makes that kind of dough, here's a place he can spend it. More power to you if he's willing and financially able to do so.

If your brother expects that you'll be investing hard dollars into this venture, your husband will need to be the owner of the car rental company, not a branch manager in Jackson ....

Having traveled and camped/fished the area around Payette, I'd take that in a heartbeat over Jackson. Especially if you have connections and land already there for a reasonable price .... Much better soils and water than the 'hole ... and right on the doorstep of so much national forest and wilderness area.

Last edited by sunsprit; 05-11-2009 at 05:29 AM..
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
22 posts, read 86,460 times
Reputation: 10
Well two things.....

First the money would be coming from him, and he knows it. He's been setting aside money for the last 4 years from his pay in various ways (I'm not 100% certain how/where he has it, I trust him) and he knows that he would be buying the land (if we could get it) building the home, etc. What would I be paying for? Essentially to live there (utilities, maybe a mortgage, that type thing). My brother would even be providing the money for the cattle and the bulls and all that fun stuff

Second, I sent EVERYTHING you said to him, and then about fell through the floor. He read it, called me, and is going to check things out first hand around June 1st (he has to be in Cheyenne the 30th and Boise June 3rd). But he said we'll come up, look around, he's calling to meet a couple real estate agents...and go from there. After I picked myself up off the floor he said he has no trouble financing this whole operation and that my job would be to run it and make sure that the bulls i have get sent to the right events.

So this may be good...or we may decide just to stay in Tennessee where he's at now. Right now who knows. You dont know whats out there until you look for yourself is his attitude.

But thanks very much for all your help and concern, know at least from me its appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:57 AM
 
11,369 posts, read 46,986,252 times
Reputation: 15435
OK, just for grins ... I did a quick search of "ranches" in the Jackson area for sale today. Here's some very typical properties:

a realtor owned "Skyline Ranch Subdivision". 3,000 sq ft house 6bd/6.5ba, 8 stall barn, indoor arena, beautiful views. Adjoins the Puzzleface Ranch, which is in protected status ... so you know that it won't be subdivided, and is close to Jackson. All 3.4 acres can be yours for $9,750,000. Probably not big enough for your bull business, but a very nice place to call home ... if they'd even let you have a large livestock operation there. Good access to the airport where you can park your kerosene burner for those quick trips to the sale barns around the country.

on Teton Valley Ranch Road, Sotheby's International has a listing for "estate ranch parcels" ... which you can buy for the modest sum of $19,900,000. One of the nicest properties now on the market in the 'hole, not far from the town of Jackson. Beautiful views, historic old barns (another way of saying old and in need of much repair or rebuilding) ... but very charming. Your bulls will appreciate the weathered wood and rustic look of the place as you enjoy the live water, hunting, fishing and tranquil beauty of the place.

Further out, down in the Star Valley, by Afton ... a 105 acre ranch with a whole 15 acres of Alfalfa for your hay production, at only $1,500,000. With a nice house and amenities. Even at 6 tons/acre production (a very unlikely high figure here), you'll be needing to bring in hay to feed your bulls. Of course, that's after you've bought a swather, rake, baler and a stack wagon to haul your alfalfa production to the barn. No doubt, that hay you raise will be inexpensive, right? and of the right protein and RFV content for your prize bulls.

Still further away, at about 85 miles ... by Boulder, WY .. a 220 acre ranch Mountain Springs Ranch. With a nice house, modest working facilities, and a seller who must be getting desperate as the asked price has recently been reduced from $2.6 mil to only $1,600,000. Keep in mind that this is NOT in the Jackson Hole, this is over another mountain range and an entirely different area of the scenic state. But it's only 1.5 hours away from Jackson, and has great hunting, fishing, live water, ponds, streams and other charms. Listed by Mirranch Group ... you can see it on their website. Figure this place is now down to about $7,000 per acre and the house comes free ....

That's just the first quick hits on my search. I know there's more properties available, as I sometimes pick up the glossy real estate magazines when I'm traveling, just to see where prices are trending. One thing I do see for sure ... ranching properties in the 'hole are not sold for their ranching value.
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