Ranches for Sale in California

Looking for an investment-grade ranch property for sale in California? We specialize in ranches for sale in northern and southern California and have up-to-date inventory at the bottom of this page.  If you don’t see a listing for your ideal California ranch featured here, contact us and we can help you find your ideal ranch property and location. San Diego ranches offer a unique combination of high meadow ranch properties to ranch style homes for sale.

California Ranch

$24m California Ranch for Sale

Ranch Property Land Values

In the US, Rural land values have increased steadily since 2010. Since the ‘delinking of agricultural income,’ recreational users have entered the ranch property market. This increased competition has lead to higher pricing and quicker inventory turnover. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future as the trend toward ruralization rises. In California, Christie’s International Real Estate is selling a 50-acre Del Dios ranch  designed by Arthur Elrod for $24m.

A Guide to Buying a California Ranch

Things like mineral and water rights, wildlife, hunting, fire risk and cattle ranching can all catch prospective ranch buyers by surprise. There are other considerations when buying a California ranch, like whether the property is deeded or privately owned and what percentage of the land is leased by the state or federal government. Access to the ranch land for sale may be problematic, with some ranch properties only accessible via an easement through other private property. Here is a quick list of things to look out for when buying a ranch for sale in California.

Consider the purpose of your ranch

  • Is your ranch strictly for recreation or will you be working the land, raising cattle or entertaining?

How much land will you need?

  • For cattle ranchers, the rule of thumb is 30 acres of land per head since they can eat one half of a ton of hay per month. Land quantity and quality may impact your budget, so speak with your broker to find the optimal deal

How much labor will you need?

  • Depending on the intended use of your ranch and the ranch for sale, you may need to hire ranch hands, maintenance people, hospitality employees and general caretakers

Soil and Climate

  • Does the soil support hay and other fodder consumed by your livestock? Soil depth, topography, and water availability can all impact the success of a ranch. Get your soil and groundwater tested


  • There are many things you can do to reduce property taxes and qualify for agricultural-use tax rates, thereby decreasing the risk to buying a ranch property for sale. You may also be eligible for an agricultural loan depending on the land use – Read more on that below!


  • Check local laws and discuss with your broker whether ranching and farming are permitted in the ranch for sale

Find a broker you can trust

  • Use a real estate agent or broker with extensive ranch knowledge, a proven track record and a network of local connections you can trust

Whether you are looking for a San Diego ranch for sale or various ranches for sale in northern California, consider the tax implications and how you may be able to work legislation to your benefit. The Williamson Act was passed in 1965 to help conserve agricultural or open space property – ideal for those interested in ranches for sale in California.

Williamson Act

Source: The California Land Conservation Act 2014 Status Report

Williamson Act California

Reduced Property Taxes for Large Acreages Ranches

The California Land Conservation act of 1965, commonly referred to as the Williamson Act, named after assemblyman John Williamson of Yolo County, was developed to restrict the use of land to agricultural or open space use. In return, landowners with approved Williamson Act contracts receive a reduction in assessed property taxes for their agricultural preserves. Today, nearly 17 million of the state’s 45 million acres are protected under the Williamson Act.

Williamson Act Contract Criteria

Owners of large acreage ranches can initiate a Williamson Act 10 year minimum contract if the property in question meets the minimum parcel size and meets the threshold for devoted to commercial agricultural use. These thresholds vary depending on the classification of the land (prime or non-prime). Here are the general guidelines for Williamson Act Criteria.

Benefits to Williamson Act Contract Holders

According to the department of conservation, the Williamson Act is estimated to save agricultural and ranch landowners from 20 percent to 75 percent in property tax liability each year. A 2009 survey performed by the University of Davis, California, found that 71% of Williamson Act-enrolled ranchers reported a net annual profit equal to or less than their Williamson Act property tax savings.

If you are looking for an eligible Williamson Act large acreage ranch for sale, contact us!

Our Ranches for Sale in California

  • Active Listing For Sale
    Martinez Creek Ranchette Homesite

    Mountain Center, 92561


    Martinez Creek Ranchette Homesite 40+/- acres of gorgeous and varied terrain to explore and enjoy scenic mountain vistas while...

      Lot Size40 Acres
  • Pending
    Julian Countryside Home With Barn On 4 Acres

    Julian, 92036


    Julian Countryside Home With Barn On 4 Acres A whimsical dome home with barn & apartment on over 4...

    • Bed4
    • Baths2.5
    • Sq Ft1417
    • Lot Size4.19 Acres
  • Active Listing For Sale
    Equestrian's Dream With Home And Hobby Vineyard

    Volcano, California 95689


    Equestrian’s Dream With Home And Hobby Vineyard Spectacular place to call home for you and your horses!  Just outside...

    • Bed4
    • Baths3
    • Sq Ft4205
    • Lot Size8.49 Acres
  • Pending
    Southern California Valley View Vineyard & Estate

    , 92082


    Southern California Valley View Vineyard & Estate Come enjoy the country lifestyle at this stunning Valley View Vineyard Estate...

    • Baths2.5
    • Sq Ft2436
    • Lot Size93.52 Acres
  • Active Listing For Sale
    Southern California Dream Mountain Retreat

    , 93243


    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DREAM MOUNTAIN RETREAT This private and peaceful 120-acre mountain retreat is a very rare offering situated inside the stunning...

    • Bed3
    • Sq Ft2000
    • Lot Size120 Acres
  • Sold
    Private Retreat in Hoskings Ranch

    , 92070


    Magnificent Private Retreat in Hoskings Ranch; History and Style Unite in a 4,500 esf Custom Ranch Home on 46...

    • Baths3.5
    • Sq Ft4500
    • Lot Size46 Acres
  • Sold
    Versatile Equestrian Property



    Versatile Agricultural and Equestrian Property A beautiful and versatile 26+/- ranch in rural San Diego County offers endless possibilities...

    • Sq Ft4461
    • Lot Size26.74 Acres
  • Sold
    160 Acre Mesa Grande Ranch

    , 92070


    160 Acre Mesa Grande Ranch An incredible opportunity awaits at this 160-acre ranch property, located in the heart of...

    • Sq Ft1990
    • Lot Size160 Acres
  • Active Listing For Sale
    Mesa Grande Ranch
    Dynamic Mesa Grande Ranch

    , 92070


    Dynamic Mesa Grande Ranch Located high atop historic Mesa Grande, one of the regions most coveted locales, lies this...

    • Bed1
    • Sq Ft1000
    • Lot Size80 Acres
  • Active Listing For Sale
    Mesa Grande Hilltop Estate



    A rare opportunity awaits at this remarkable hilltop home situated on 98.09 acres with extraordinary 360- degree panoramic views. ...

    • Bed2
    • Sq Ft1861
    • Lot Size98.09 Acres
  • Active Listing For Sale
    Lakeside View Property



    Lakeside View Property There is much to explore at this 19+/- acre property situated on Rattlesnake Mountain.  Bordering the...

    • BedN/A
    • BathsN/A
    • Sq Ftn/a
    • Lot Size19.1 Acres
  • Active Listing For Sale
    Serene Mesa Grande Ranch Getaway



    Endless opportunity awaits at this stunning 80 acre ranch located in one of the most desirable backcountry communities in...

    • Sq Ft1700
    • Lot Size80 Acres
  • Pending
    Ranching Investment Opportunity

    Sutter Creek, 95685


    Amador County Ranching & Agricultural Investment Opportunity Ideal investment opportunity awaits at this rare 146.97 acre former vineyard &...

    • BathsN/A
    • Sq FtN/A
    • Lot Size146.97 Acres
  • Active Listing For Sale
    9.47 Acres Beautiful Ramona View



    Parcel #23: 9.47 Acres Beautiful Ramona View MOTIVATED SELLER!!! Price Reduced! Sitting on 9.46 acres in sunny Ramona, this...

    • BedN/A
    • BathsN/A
    • Sq FtN/A
    • Lot Size9.47 Acres
  • Pending
    North San Diego County Orchard
    40 Acre Diamond T Ranch



    40 Acre Diamond T Ranch Located in the scenic and desirable backcountry community of Mesa Grande, a large plateau overlooking...

    • Bed3
    • Sq Ft1841
    • Lot Size40 Acres