Texas Land and Ranch Policy and Politics

The politics of owning land and ranch in the great state of Texas is always going to be a prevalent issue. Landowners must be informed of always changing land and ranch policies, and how it may affect their day to day usage of the land.

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Found 28 blog entries about Texas Land and Ranch Policy and Politics.

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Statistics are useful for making decisions, but when it comes to crime on a personal basis, averages don't cut it. When we are the victim, that is all that matters. A major review of FBI crime data shows a distinct difference in crime from urban to rural areas. That is a comforting fact for those of us who live in rural areas.

Crimes reported to the FBI in 2012, the most recent date available at the time of this writing, were segregated as follows:

In spite of these trends, it is noteworthy that even though crime happens less in rural areas, it is still significant to those affected. There are steps we can take as homeowners in rural areas to reduce our chances of being victims of criminal violence or robbery.

Priority One security sign in ground

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Tips for Buying Rural Land

Purchasing property should be an enjoyable process, but it’s also one that requires the land buyer to fully evaluate the property to assure that it meets all of his or her requirements.

Read these tips on ensuring you’ve done your due diligence before you buy land.

Evaluating Rural Land

1. DRIVE EXTENSIVELY AROUND THE ROADS BORDERING A PROPERTY.

Don’t simply enter the area from the same direction every time, but familiarize yourself with the entire area.

2. VISIT THE AREA AT DIFFERENT TIMES.

Take a look at the property during different times of day and different days of the week to avoid any negative surprises that occur at particular times of the day or week.

3. CHECK THE MAPS.

Using Google Earth, you can view property from above and scroll around

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Are you debating whether to own or lease property?

With few exceptions, owning makes the most sense, says Jim Walley of Ellisville, Mississippi. 

Walley is a real estate appraiser and certified forester.

1. Pride of Ownership

“The first advantage is what I call pride of ownership,” says Walley. “When someone puts their name on the mailbox, it gives them that sense of ownership.”

However, there are circumstances that can make leasing appealing. “Perhaps you don’t want to commit to owning property for a long period of time,” says Walley. “With a lease, you have a start date and an end date.” He notes that hunters or others who plan to spend limited time at a property might consider leasing. Also, he says, “A lease would possibly be

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Wait! Before you buy that land, make sure you’ve done your homework. Here are five key questions to ask, and how to find the answers.

1) WHAT RESTRICTIONS AND/OR ZONING ORDINANCES APPLY TO THE PROPERTY?

Determine legal uses on the parcel you’re considering: Is it zoned agricultural, residential, commercial? Each of those classifications will determine what you can and can't do on the property. Municipalities occasionally change their communities' zoning to reflect what they want to direct the land to become in future years. Even if the seller provides you with zoning information, verify it yourself with the local governing agency (in the town or county where it’s located) to ensure you have the most up to date information. You’ll also want

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Before Investing in a Ranch Know What to Expect

Ranching requires lots of hard work, and is not for the faint of heart. You’ll work closely with horses, livestock, hogs, sheep and other farm animals. You will likely need to build and repair fences too. Driving your tractor during long, hot days and performing many other challenging tasks can give you the sense of adventure and accomplishment you’ve always wanted.

As you’re probably well aware, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Experienced ranchers advise that well-run ranches generate between one to three percent in profits annually. However, there are times ranch owners may break even or lose money. As long as you prepare yourself, you should be ready to take on the ranch life.

Figure Out

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Landowner liability is a real, but manageable threat for Texas landowners.

The Threat

The threat of liability exists anytime landowners open their property to anyone, including family and friends. 

Even though no one thinks it will happen to them, family members sue other family members and friends sue friends. The best strategy is to assume that everyone is a potential plaintiff and prepare accordingly.

Because land is a valuable asset generally protected by insurance, landowners can be a tempting target for plaintiffs’ attorneys.

There’s no way to predict what might happen if someone, regardless of relationship, is seriously injured or killed on landowners’ property. Landowners can find themselves facing huge potential damages if

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After years of dreaming, saving and endless searching you’ve found your near-perfect rural property.

It has just the right amount of acreage, a gorgeous home site, unbeatable views and is the ideal distance to and from civilization.

Yes, your dream property is perfect…except for one small thing.

It’s missing a water feature.

Specifically, it’s missing a pond.

A pond offers numerous benefits for landowners, from providing water for livestock, to entertainment for the kids and promoting eco-diversity within the landscape.

But, despite its aesthetic and functional joys there are a lot of factors to consider before installing any size pond.

  • Is your land and soil actually suited for a pond?

  • How much will it cost to

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Whether you’re a hobby farmer dabbling in organic produce or looking to launch a full-scale operation, these government-backed loan and grant programs could give you a boost. We took a look at six opportunities made possible through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) that make sense for family farms and those just starting out in farming.

Microloan Program

Microloans were designed to cater to young farmers or startup operations that may not be able to secure traditional funding. Applicants are eligible for up to $50,000, which can be used toward initial startup costs, family living expenses or any other approved expenses. In 2016, the FSA expanded its microloan program to aid in the purchase of farmland, buildings, and soil and water

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Of all the calls Texas can make to the heart of a Texan, owning some of its land may be the strongest.

If you’re a Texas landowner, you’re in good company; 97 percent of our state is privately owned and managed. Accompanying the thrill of owning property in Texas, though, is that all-too-familiar sting of the state’s high property taxes, which begs the question—how can landowners maximize the use of their property?

The two main ways to strategically maximize your land’s potential while saving money are through agriculture production and wildlife management. For property owners that utilize their land for agricultural purposes, like growing crops, or to improve native wildlife populations, Texas has provided valuation methods to help offset the cost

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Anyone who lives or wants to reside in the country knows there are clear-cut benefits to rural living. The beauty of nature’s flora and fauna is usually at the top of the list for those who choose country splendor.

But rural living also is also one of the most cost-effective and safest investments a homeowner can make. Consider the hidden benefits, less obvious than the gorgeous creek or fall foliage in your backyard.

Here are six ways going rural will save you money:

1) Now HOA/CDD Fees

Rural homeowners usually pay no Homeowner Association or Community Development District fees unlike most of their city counterparts. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the average annual dues for a homeowners association is $396.

2) Lower Taxes

Taxes are

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