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S CO rancher

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Well it finally happened, after 3 years on the market, a buyer bought the place this past week. So now the place I have been raised on and came home to 33 years ago after college is now in some one else's hands. Long story short, despite 30 years of assurnaces from Dad that I was building equity and would be the heir and majority owner of the ranch and was working on buying him out at a fair price, father's widow and off ranch and out of state sisters ended up with 87% ownership. They want the money, and wife and I cannot come up with the money to buy even half of their interests. The same old story you hear time and again in farm and ranch country.

Am meeting with the new owner on Tuesday. I have given him assurnaces that I would manage the place until closing and would show him how the irrigation systems work. He will want to hire me full time.

However I have seen buyer's remorse set in, and things that are normal for me, suddenly become a huge oversight on his part and a deliberate hiding of a problem from him by the previous owners (me). Since I am the one who would be here, it would end up being my fault.

It would be difficult going from owner/manager to a hired hand, and having seen this happen several times, would probably be fired within the year, if past history is any indicator.

Over the past year I have been joking around that I am trying to figure out what I am going to be when I grow up, suddenly it it a serious and somewhat frightening matter that has to be resolved in 150 days, counting the 90 days that I have after closing to remove my personal belongs and family from the premises.

Never expected to be at the double nickle and be homeless, jobless and prospectless. Am looking around, but there is nothing available in the area, and won't have enough cash from the sale to buy a house around here without incurring over $100K in debt, even for a cheap fixer upper.

Should I stay on? or move on?

Any experiences would be appreciated.
 

ranchwife

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:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
kinda the same situation the hubby has had here on this place!! Raised here, spent 25 years working the place only to lose it when dad ended up in the nursing home....have the lease on it now, but it was REAL difficult and very heart-breaking!! Will have him get on here later and maybe offer some words of wisdom for ya!! Til then, I am praying for you and wishing you only the very best in luck!!
 

Mrs.Greg

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That my dear people is why we MADE sure we bought our place from my In-laws!! We went to a lawyer,paid the going rate at the time for the land and have EVERYTHING in writing. Also why Greg works full time and has to ranch on the side. NOBODY in his family was going to say we got place given to us. The hardest thing in the world is land ownership from family,don't ever believe what dear old dad says...get it in writing.Our nieghbor down at the river pasture{not family land,greg and I bought on our own :D }ranched with his dad always,his dad died a couple years ago,mom had passed on before that.Right before dad died,sisters from city had dad change will...son got home only,all his pasture land was given to sisters,alot of land...they turned around and sold it,leaving thier brother that had always worked side by side with dad,basically with nothing.

S CO, I sooo feel for you,I really do :( personally I just feel it would be better,maybe not easier to move on!

Another point,I've always had a hard time feeling at home in my mom-in- laws house...she never made me feel that way,loves anything I do with the place...its just that its gregs family homeplace,and always will be.
 

feeder

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S CO. my thoughts are with you. I wished I could say words that would comfort you but there are none. We too have. and still are, going through similiar problems. What keeps me going is the saying "when one door closes, another will open". Also I'm getting over feeling guilty that I have closed the door to some of my inlaws. The hurt was too much to handle so I just gave up on them. I keep telling myself I'm the richest person alive, I have a husband, kids, and grandchildren that love me, most times!! Don't beat yourself up for feeling the emotions you feel right now. It is not the same as grieving for a loved one but a person does go through the 5 stages of grieving when you lose something so important in your life. Hang in there and good luck.
 

Cowpuncher

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Family land leads to endless hard feelings.

Back when I was 17, I talked my Dad into selling the ranch to my brother and me. I then spend three years in the military and returned to the ranch in 1957. One summer working with my older brother was more than I could take. I got into the car, drove to Boulder, CO and enrolled at the University of Colorado.

Worked while going to school and married my love. She has put up with me for over 48 years, now. Got a degree in Business and went to work for a Big Fat Oil Company. We were frugal and after 25 years, I left when they had a voluntary early retirement program.

We moved back to Colorado, built a house and were living comfortable about 25 miles from our old ranch. After a few years of not too busy, we bought our current ranch in Eastern Colorado where we now run 750 cows.

In the meantime, brother got married and it didn't work out. Ended up selling half of the ranch to pay off the ex. She sold her 960 acres for $150 and acre. Brother struggled to make a living by working outside and leasing land.

He was a smoker and has COPD which will put him in his grave in a few months. He finally put the ranch up for sale and now has a contract to sell it for $2.5 million. Guess it is going to be developed into something - what was left was only 720 acres.

But I am surely not bitter - I could never have worked with him and have done OK with my alternatives. Just go on with your life.

Old farms and ranches can really be a sore point in family relations. Some of my sisters still think they should get a share of the money although it was sold to brother in 1963.

This is an eternal situation, My ancestors immigrated from Germany because ehy had a large family and the family farm traditionally was given to the oldest son. The others were invited to emmigrate.
 

cowboyup

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Sorry to hear about the loss of your dream. It is really hard to see something that you worked so hard for go up in a puff of smoke.
Try not to be bitter toward the guy who bought it as he only bought a ranch that was for sale. Maybe he saw some of the things that held you there for so long.
Wether or not to go or stay is a tough one. The first thing I would do is come clean with him about the problem you hid from him and why you did it. Then if he still wants you as manager you won't have to worry about it and watch over your shoulder waiting for him to find out.
There are some positive things about managing for some one else. You won't have to lay awake at nights wondering how you are going to pay the bills or the next loan payment, that will be his problem. A steady paycheck and days off are always nice too.
The other side though is that you will need to listen to his ideas. Some of them you will probably wonder why you hadn't thought of years before and others you will probably wonder what he's been smoking. If you listen to what he is saying and develope a good relationship then he will listen to you also.
It could be a win win situation for both of you if you approach the situation with an open mind. You get to stay home and he gets a manager who knows how to operate the place. You will still get to make most of the decisions but the fact that he makes the final decisions can be a hard pill to swallow.
No man knows what is in another mans heart so dig deep and you will find the decision that is right for you. Best of luck and hope everything works out for you.
 

Aaron

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I am in a similar situation and the solutions aren't easy. I come home every year from university to help manage, with the idea that I will be offered the ranch when I feel I can pay a fair price for it. Meanwhile, I have 4 other older siblings; Two sisters that try to degrade my commitment to the ranch and get me on the 'SELL NOW' side of the argument.:mad: One sister doesn't want to take over the farm and is well-off and stingy enough that she doesn't need the money and knows how important the ranch was in our upbringing and how important it is for me to continue with it in the future. My brother is basically on the fence, he seems to understand both sides, but doesn't want or need to get involved. The ranch has totally destroyed my relationship with the two sisters and brought me and my oldest sister closer than ever in our relationship. The ranch definately divides families when some people only see dollar signs when they look at it. :(

I shake my head when I am invited for coffee or anything at the two sisters homes, because I know exactly where the conversation will lead. :evil:
 

Brad S

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SC, sounds like you have a good read on employment with the buyer - too negative. I'd be moving.

With all the consolidation in ag, you can find solid employment through head hunters.

There are aging farmers and ranchers that would value help/future partner then buyer.
 

katrina

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My prayers are with you...Hang tough pard....... I have been in those shoes... :cry: They say time heals everything....And I guess it does..... Hopefully you have other interests and skills to help you make the right decesions.... All I can suggest is to take your family's best interest first and go from there...
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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This is tough stuff to deal with. Thankfully, my grandfather had a good lawyer before he passed on, and ranch inheritance was no issue when he passed away. He knew what some of the other grandchildren were like, and he nipped it all in the bud.

If you can handle it, I'd stay on. Perhaps the buyer will turn out to be a better owner than you think, and you all may end up being able to work together properly. Then sock away every penny and buy your own place.

Rod
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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I agree with Diamond S, give it a shot, try to get everything out in the open from the git go. But let him know that there will be things that come up in the future that you haven't covered with him. (not that your hidin it, just things that don't cross your mind until later) I can't speak personally about this kinda situation, haven't been there. But, I'd give the guy a chance to be a good boss, especially if you really wanna stay on.
Can't imagine bein in that situation where it's family land that gets sold and havin to move. We wish you the best of luck, and prayers that all works out to your liking.
Thank goodness Mr Lilly's folks have that all settled in their will already.
 

Faster horses

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That is one of the saddest things that happen to ranch families. I feel really bad for you. Have not been in your shoes but know people our age who this has happened to and there is nothing to be said except that it is NOT FAIR!!!

Now you have to go forward the best way you can. Discuss it with your family because what you do now, you must be united in. Don't let what happened ruin your family life together, that would be the WORSE thing that could happen.

Things won't be exactly the way you wanted, but it still can be okay once you have all decided what to do.

I guess there are no guarantees in life... and we have to go with what is handed to us. My in-laws sold their ranch and we wanted them to buy another one and we would be on it with them. They didn't do it, and today I count our lucky stars, because there would have been problems. So it didn't turn out like we wanted, but in our case, it may have turned out for the best. We are and have been on our own since 1963.

Life is not about what happens to us, it is how we REACT to what happens to us.

You have my sympathies and I am really sorry you are going through this trying time. Just remember it is about YOU and YOUR OWN FAMILY. When they share in the decision for the future there is no blame for one person to take.

GOOD LUCK!!!
 

S CO rancher

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Update:

Thanks for all the kind words and advice. I almost regret making that post because now it looks whiny, but the kind words and experiences from everyone has been uplifting. Impulsively made that post at a low point in the emotional turmoil that is going on inside me.

Met with the new owners on Monday. Nice couple who are losing their property to an eminent domain taking to build a reservoir at Pagosa Springs. Have 3-5 years before construction starts, but don't want to be rushed into something at that time. Don't fault them at all for buying, it has been for sale after all.

Am going to be running the place through this summer, they have the first option on buying the first hay crop at market value, then the second cutting will be put up on 50/50 shares with them having the option on buying our share. (closing is July 31, between hay cuttings) Fair enough I suppose.

They did offer me a job, just asked me to think about it since all this happening so fast, we will talk money and responsibility issues if I decide to take it. Since my wife is away at a training session for her job this week, we won't make any decisions until she has a chance to meet them. I know she is going to want to move to get away from the hurts and the pitying looks we are getting from the locals and make it on our own somewhere else. Lots of hard decisions to be made in the next few days.

They want to buy at fair market value the good equpment. That will cut the heart out of a possible farm sale and leave a lot of old and antique stuff that won't bring a lot. That is going to be a toss up as to how we go on that one. We might just have the sale and they can take their chances there, that would save the cost of an appraisal.

Maybe I will make a regular post so that my experience through this might be of benefit to someone else that might be facing something similiar in the future. could be an interesting thread. What has been unexpected for me is the emotional turmoil, despite having three years to prepare myself for it. In this case the reality is worse than the anticipation.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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Just a thought here, since Mr Lilly and I are so involved with our Ag-Mech FFA class at school. It's really hard sometimes for the kids to come up with projects. One of the neatest catagory's or classes they have is Old tractor restoration. If you have something that you think "aint worth nothin" you might concider donating it to your local FFA Ag Mech Chapter. Or if you know an FFA member that is wanting to ranch, and could use the equipment after restoration, it could be an individual project for them to restore and enter at the Stockshows.
Wish you all well with whatever you decide to do, and hope the transition goes smoothly as possible for you.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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S CO rancher said:
They want to buy at fair market value the good equpment. That will cut the heart out of a possible farm sale and leave a lot of old and antique stuff that won't bring a lot.

Before you get all fired up on an auction, make sure you survey some of your local auctions first. If the average auction selling price is above market average, then by all means, do the auction. But otherwise, I think I'd be content to accept fair market value, and auction the junk. Sometimes that old junk actually brings money.

Rod
 

Been There

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One thing that often happens in estates is people feel they have to leave equal shares of a place to all their kids, which usually isn't the way it should be.
If a son has lived and worked on a place, usually for a far less income than his siblings are getting, I figure he should inherit more of the place than the rest. Estate planners will tell you there shouldn't necessarily be equity in estate giving.
 

Northern Rancher

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That's a bad deal for sure-but for every door that closes another one opens-new friends-new experiences-new opportunities. Don't do anything rash and things will all come out in the wash.
 

theHiredMansWife

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Been There said:
One thing that often happens in estates is people feel they have to leave equal shares of a place to all their kids, which usually isn't the way it should be.
If a son has lived and worked on a place, usually for a far less income than his siblings are getting, I figure he should inherit more of the place than the rest. Estate planners will tell you there shouldn't necessarily be equity in estate giving.

And sometimes there's just not enough place that everyone can make their living on it (low or otherwise) so only one kid gets to stay home and everyone else has to leave.
and then the one that already got to stay home gets to keep the whole kit and kaboodle? That's not really fair, either.
(Having watched my dad's family go through this)
 

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