Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not Everything is Bigger in Texas

So with the Powerball Lottery now over $500 Million, the question is, if you won, what would you spend it on?  For me, a cattle ranch would be the only way to go.

Perusing the available Texas spreads on landsoftexas.com, I found that the real big acreage for sale right now is up north aways and in Utah.   The Sandy Ranch is a paltry $37 per acre.  The catch is as follows: it weighs in at 253,100 acres... but still seems a bargain at $9.5MM.  Covering 395 square miles (bigger than County Louth, Ireland) it would seem that noisy neighbors would not be a problem.

Of the non-two legged variety, the ranch boasts elk, bison, mule deer, bighorn sheep, as well as the more mundane coyote, bobcat, fox etc.

Per the listing agent:

The ranch is an efficient and modern cattle ranch with housing for owners, guests and employees and numerous cattle handling facilities. The property currently runs 1,000 plus Black Angus natural cattle and all the stock and equipment is included in the sale. The headquarters includes the following:
  • Manager’s home- 1,690 sq. ft.
  • Guest home adjoining managers house -740 sq. ft.
  • Large guest/employee house- 1,640 sq. ft. plus porch
  • Smaller employee house- 1,285 sq. ft. plus porch
  • Bunkhouse- 1,250 sq. ft. plus porch
  • Employee bunkhouse- 1,920 sq. ft. plus porch and 440 sq. ft. guest house
  • King Ranch historic/renovated cedar cabin- 1,200 sq. ft.
  • King Ranch log bunkhouse- 1,250 sq. ft. plus basement and porch
  • Shop with apartment- 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Machine shed- 3,000 sq. ft.
  • Livestock handling and other facilities include: livestock scales, scale house, squeeze shoots, calving barn, horse sheds, barns, and shelters, trailer homes and generator sheds.
One of the largest private landowners in the US is Brad Kelley.  He made his millions not through the lottery but selling discount cigarettes.  He owns over 1 million acres in Kentucky, Florida and Texas.  Recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Kelly stated  "I fell in love with the West; the wide-open spaces, the wildlife and beautiful landscapes. I knew immediately that I wanted more land-and lots of it."

If I win Powerball, I will no doubt get into some bidding wars with Brad Kelly.  He doesn't know that I married one and have an inside track on how to best him...

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