Two Montana Ranches Profiled by The Wall Street Journal

A technology entrepreneur is putting his two central Montana cattle ranches on the market for $14.5 million and $14.95 million. The sellers are Bill Cruz and his wife, Patricia. Born in Havana, Mr. Cruz, 56, co-founded a software trading firm, later called TradeStation Group, with his younger brother. The company was sold to Monex Group for $411 million in 2011. Mr. Cruz said he bought an RV and searched the country before buying Eagle Creek Ranch in 2005. Read the full story here.


Demand for Large Ranch Properties Remains Robust

By: B Elfland

If there was any question about the growing strength of the ranch market, little doubt remains. Momentum experienced in 2014 carried through the first quarter of 2015 as numerous properties went under contract and sold. This activity spanned market segments and includes several ranch properties which were listed in the $15 to $25 million range. In Montana alone, four different ranches of this size/price within 90 minutes of the town of Bozeman have sold or gone under contract within the last month.  And there are at least three additional large ranch sales Hall and Hall is actively negotiating at this time.

Why are so many deals getting done this spring? A couple of reasons. First, pricing has come down to meet demand. Many of these ranches have been on the market for some time. Prices have been reduced and buyers see the market as upwardly trending. When an upwardly trending market meets the price curve, many investors see it as a good time to buy.

Secondly, recreational demand has risen. This trend began taking shape in 2014 when amenity buyers began entering the marketplace, which had previously been largely driven by agricultural production and return on investment. The 10,000 plus acre ranches that are trading in today’s market tend to still have  a significant agricultural component, but the sales have been driven more by strong recreational amenities, such as the quality of the elk hunting or trout fishing. Clearly, the current market for large landscape ranches is attributing long term investment value to the unique recreational resources that these properties offer.

So what does this mean for buyers and sellers in the marketplace? For sellers, the environment is vastly improved. There are active buyers in the marketplace, values have come up, and there are sales to support current values. For buyers who see the market on an upward trend, this is an opportunity to enter the market on the front end of that trend.

Montana Land For Sale: Meade Creek Ranch

Once part of the famous Rock Creek Cattle Company, Meade Creek Ranch includes 4,500± acres in one contiguous block, with a 4,600± sq. ft. custom 5-bedroom Rocky Mountain Log Home perched on a hill overlooking the range. Impressive elk populations and astounding views of the snow-capped Flint Creek Mountains create a backdrop of the best of what western Montana has to offer. The ranch has traditionally run 350 pairs for three summer months and has a trout pond nestled amongst the aspens. The property is easily accessible with only a one-hour drive or less to three major cities – Missoula, Butte and Helena.

Montana’s IX Ranch Inspires Yahoo! Yodeler, Wylie Gustafson

Singer, songwriter, rancher, horseman, and the original, world-famous Yahoo!® yodeler, Wylie Gustafson has been creatively inspired by Montana for most of his life. He is a real life cowboy born into a 4th generation ranching family on the empty sprawl of Northern Montana.   As Cowboys and Indians magazine puts it, “Wylie has established himself as the first giant of the new pantheon that will inherit, preserve, and enhance the Western music tradition.”

In this video Wylie sings a song about working  Montana ranches and specifically his experiences on  IX Ranch, a huge legacy ranch with a long history of ownership and an impeccable reputation in ranch country. The current owners are the second owners in the ranch’s 126 year history. It runs a cattle herd of 4,300 and  covers more than 126,000 acres.  The IX has accommodations for a full crew and comfortable quarters for guests. It  boasts sizable populations of elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, mountain lion and five species of upland birds.

IX Ranch from Hall and Hall on Vimeo.

Beautiful Montana Ranches for Sale

Hall and Hall’s current inventory of Montana Ranches for sale is as comprehensive as it has ever been in our company’s 68-year history. From massive legacy ranches to recreational properties and cattle ranches, our selection of Montana land for sale is the best in the industry.

The IX Ranch is a legacy ranch – it is huge, has a long history of stable ownership and a is highly respected reputation in reputation ranch country.  Its central Montana location is 87 miles northeast of Great Falls and adjacent to the town of Big Sandy.

The 19,419 acre (18,139 deeded) Willow Creek Ranch is located minutes from Livingston and is accessed by a county road which traverses along the east and north boundaries of the ranch and dead ends on the Gallatin National Forest.

The 40,014± acre PN Ranch lies 55 miles north of Lewistown at the confluence of the Judith and the Missouri rivers and includes approximately 14 miles along the south side of the Missouri and nine miles of both banks of the Judith.

The 1,652± deeded acre Daisy Dean Creek Ranch is a mountain ranch. Three ranges are in clear view, including the towering 11,000-foot peaks of the Crazy Mountains, which are snow-capped most of the year. The ranch also physically borders the one million acre Lewis and Clark National Forest of the Little Belt Mountains, with its hundreds of miles of trails.

Hall and Hall Welcomes New Landowner to Montana’s Centennial Valley

Teaming up with The Nature Conservancy of Montana and local ranch owners John and Melody Taft, John and Elizabeth Fort of Camden, South Carolina were welcomed to the “Neighborhood” at a party which brought nearly 50 locals together at a sumptuous dinner put on at the Taft Ranch. The neighborhood covers a lot of country in a valley where one can count on one hand the number of private land owners within 15 miles of the Fort’s  ranch – formerly Sonny and Nina Wainwright’s Corral Creek Ranch – now called the Peregrine Ranch.

Peregrine Ranch consists of 400± deeded acres in the Alaska Basin of the renowned Centennial Valley. The Basin is shared with three other small holdings, all of which are protected from development by conservation easements or deed restrictions.

The evening was all about good food and great conversation as many had driven long distances to meet the Forts whose day job involves the breeding, training and racing of Thoroughbred Race Horses. They report that there first summer in the valley has been spectacular although the remodeling of one of Jonathan Foote’s first signature houses has made their days very busy indeed. Jonathan himself was present at the evening event.

Ranches are rarely offered for sale in the Centennial Valley which is the home of the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Reserve. This area is home to extensive wildlife, waterfowl and hundreds of species of birds including the rare Trumpeter Swan. Much of the valley has been placed under conservation easements under the auspices of the Nature Conservancy which has targeted it as an area of special concern. The Tafts have actually bought the town of Lakeview in the center of the valley and have turned it into a facility to host educational programs and conferences related to wildlife conservation.

In short this was a fitting venue for one of Hall and Hall’s Welcome to the Neighborhood events. A special thanks to the Nature Conservancy who were our co-hosts and Melody Taft who opened her home and lent her considerable culinary talents to a wonderful evening.