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#6343617 - 06/22/16 05:50 AM Before you buy land...
JohnRussell Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 1318
Loc: Cedar Creek, TX
I was just sending an email to Macy Ledbetter and wanted to make a note here. If you do not know who Macy is, google him and Wildlife Biologist.

BTW - I am writing this for a point - I am watching good friends lose their ranches right and left because they do not take their WLM seriously from the start. Good people... that did not factor in a LARGE sum of money (and I am talking a few thousand) right off the bat as part of their ranch cost, to get professional help OR to buy the tools needed to kickstart a really aggressive WLM plan, thus they lost it and got taxed out of their ranches, which they REALLY did not plan on).

I get on my "soapbox" all the time about Wildlife Management. I love it. I am no expert, not even close, that is Macy. I bent that guy's ear so much it is probably dragging the ground right now and the man came back with a smile and not one but multiple answers every single time.

So, why am I making this post? I get 1-2 minimum emails every month of people looking for land in Edwards county, or land in general, and how to buy, what to look for, what to run away from. Again, I am no expert, don't have a Realtors license, heck, I do not make money on any of it, but I sure do make a good amount of new friends, and to me, that is worth it. What do I have? I have a Wildlife plan.

Big deal, right? I thought so....till I started doing a plan 6 years ago. At that time, I was amazed at the total lack of wildlife plans on the internet. I am a DBA (Database Administrator). I have been a tech guy since Yahoo was gray pages with blue text and the only game in town. I have given seminars on Internet and Marketing etc for thousands.. and yet I could not, for the life of me, find real examples of what a plan should be.

I remember trying to get help. My God, I would call one TPWD biologist who would send me to another and another and a chain of events would transpire..no returned calls, emails sending me this way and that, fights between one TPWD district with another, drama unfolded over it all. I even had a regional TPWD manager call me and try to chew me out on the phone till I ripped him up one side and down the other.

The point of that was, everyone, at that time, would talk about the three things you need for a WLM.. I mean EVERYONE.. "Cut Cedars, Provide Protein Pellets, Provide Water".

We are normal people, well except that Erathkid guy!.. lol A Real plan needs to be one that costs as little as possible, and does not meet 100% of the needs, it meets 200 percent so there is no doubt you will not lose it. If you do not keep the costs down, you may as well pay the taxes, right?

We spent a heck of a lot more the first 4 years than we would ever spend on taxes, setting up the infrastructure, but now we can support the WLM without the huge yearly/monthly costs.

Okay, I am going on a tangent.

Folks, if you are looking to buy land, you have GOT to factor in a cost of getting ramped up on your WLM. This is something I cannot stress enough. You do not need to provide protein pellets, but you CAN provide protein in the form of tubs. You can get water tanks to provide water, and you can hunt hogs which actually counts as two items. If you want to know more, we can go into the hunting section and talk WLM all day and night, but I wanted to post this.

Land is not just about the down payment and the monthly anymore. The costs are too high and the taxes are a real factor. If you are going to buy land, you either need to "go back to school" and really.. REALLY learn what a WLM is and what it means so you can formulate a plan that is not just the 1-D-1 form with fill in the blanks and check boxes, but a plan as if you were walking into a bank to ask for a business loan. Then, you need to seek professional help to make sure you have every single possible little sliver of WLM capability out of your land that qualifies, so when you file each year you can sleep well knowing you are not in for a fight and you can enjoy your ranch for generations to come.

Don't become a victim of not knowing, not preparing, and watch your dream of a ranch slip away because you cannot afford a tax rate hike of 10x.

Okay.. that is what I wanted to say :P

It's easy guys....it really is.. and does not cost a lot, after you pay the price of becoming a WLM "expert".. heh.. or at least an "expert" of your own ranch.

Russ


_________________________
Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.

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#6343713 - 06/22/16 08:10 AM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
TexasKC Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1342
Loc: Houston & Lexington, Texas
If Macy had charged for all the free advice he's given out over the years he would be a millionaire several times over. I've heard so many stories about Edwards county that I wouldn't even think about buying land there.

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#6343789 - 06/22/16 09:25 AM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
Brother in-law Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 24456
I'm so confuse

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#6343799 - 06/22/16 09:41 AM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
cabosandinh Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 1153
Loc: Dallas, TX
you went through all that when you can just point them to the county tax office

they have everything needed listed

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#6343927 - 06/22/16 11:43 AM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
JohnRussell Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 1318
Loc: Cedar Creek, TX
Well, cabos - everyone has a tax office to go to, yet I still see people that keep losing their WLM exemption.

The point of this was really a rant. I have a neighbor to my ranch. They love their ranch like crazy and they fell into the trap of not doing enough, not understanding enough and now their taxes are too much for a fixed retirement income and it just sucks.

I have seen people buy land and then lose the wlm they had time and time again and not due to Edwards County, but due to not understanding what they were getting into enough and not budgeting enough at the start to be able to buy the water tanks or supplies to build an infrastructure to support their WLM. Time and time again they would say, "we are working with ECAD..." , "We are trying to come up with a plan.." etc, when they could have hired an expert to step in and get it going for them. 2 years later, they still had no idea what to do and by then, it is too late.

So, yea.. I went to all that. directing them to the CAD does not seem to get it done and, frankly, I hate seeing people lose their ranch or stress over it.

If we rant about the issue, if we talk about it back and forth enough, maybe it will save someone the heartache later. Who knows..

But, I was mainly ranting.. heh.. just really hate losing a good neighbor and seeing an older couple lose their ranch because they did not understand enough.

R
_________________________
Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.

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#6343934 - 06/22/16 11:59 AM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
DQ Kid Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/20/12
Posts: 4063
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
John, any chance there was a bit of overextending oneself at play; buying more land just like more house as many often do? Just asking.

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#6343939 - 06/22/16 12:08 PM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
JohnRussell Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 1318
Loc: Cedar Creek, TX
Nah, they owned the land when it had an AG value.. then the PoA swapped over to WLM and kicked the cattle lease off. My wife and I met with a lot of new owners and a few of us got together as sorta "study groups" like in school.. and we all learned and helped.

Then there were a few older folks or people that just did not like us (gasp! imagine that!.. lol) that just tried to do it on their own. You know how it is when you don't go there that often.. 1 month turns into 3 then a year and you keep thinking you are going to get to it.. then you forget what you heard, get confused.. don't let folks help you and BAM.. you lose the valuation.

That happened to this couple.
I have also seen folks that bought land and did not really verify the WLM existed.. and then found out it was LISTED on the tax site as WLM, but the process had already been started to remove that because the previous owners did not file or file well.

Then there are those that flat out did nothing but fill out the 1-d-1 and did the bare minimum, but did not have receipts for protein, water, or whatever... did it half-baked, whatever.. and lost theirs.


Nothing we can do, cannot save them all, but folks buying land have got to plan ahead. It's like a friend of mine that built a house.. had a deck added on, you know the cookie cutter houses that let you add a 10x10 covered deck.. that is never really large enough in Texas to stay in the shade.. heh.. so he adds a small little 10x10 next to it, uncovered. Now he wants to add another 10x12, next to that, when, if he had planned when he built the house, he would have saved the whole cost of that one 10x10 and made a really nice porch for less that actually looked like you did not piece it together :P

heh.. sorry, just one of those days. I remember the first time we saw the couple next to us. We were driving down the road leaving and we saw a white pickup leaving a gated area and this little old lady was just waaaaavvving at us like we were santa in the Christmas parade.. funniest thing. Turned out to be the nicest little old couple around us.

We offered to help numerous times, but they said they were fine. Now, nothing we can do... so irked.. heh

Anyway, sorry for the rant. Hope it saves one new owner a heartache though.

Russ

_________________________
Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.

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#6343940 - 06/22/16 12:10 PM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
Wilhunt Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 2309
Loc: New Braunfels, San Saba county
And could be some people have a change of plans. Hats off to Macy a good guy.

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#6343951 - 06/22/16 12:20 PM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
JohnRussell Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 1318
Loc: Cedar Creek, TX
wilhunt - you bet. Some folks just want a change, nothing wrong with that.

One guy in our area said he "voluntarily" gave his WLM back (?) no idea what the heck that was. He listed it as having a WLM on the sale. I tried to tell him that without paperwork for a history and approved WLM plan, no way did it have a WLM or would the new owner be able to "get it back" just by asking. He swore he was told they would be able to and refused to talk about it.

So, the new owner bought the land and now has no WLM.

The blame falls on the old owner and the new.. but, just another example of how I wish that owner would have been able to google WLM etc and find a link to a rant of "hey! don't believe the hype! you can get rooked!".. heh


Macy is top notch, I agree wink

Russ
_________________________
Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.

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#6344081 - 06/22/16 02:48 PM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
therancher Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 5331
Loc: Mountain Home, Uvalde, and Big...
I got the wildlife exemption on my first ranches way back when it first started. Easy as pie. Must be different now.

A much easier route is bison or a few mouflons.
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"I cant wait to see if he plays this week, and if he does if he can actually break 50 percent completion ratio. Haha or maybe even throw for 200 yards. Possibly break a QB rating of 75." - Texas Tatonka
www.bigironranchadventures.com

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#6344193 - 06/22/16 05:04 PM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
PMK Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/10/12
Posts: 4942
Loc: Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
yep, it's changed quite a bit over the years. My first indoctrination was in the mid 1990s with a friend's ranch, he did all the paperwork and I did almost all of the physical work since I had tractors/implements/tools/knowledge (he was a rich city boy want to be land baron). In exchange for all my efforts, I got to hunt and manage his properties, treated like my own and really turned things around over about a 10-12 year time frame once I got the adjoining ranches & their hunters on my methods and thought process. More recently, I converted my own small ranch over from Ag to WLM due to the drought and feral hogs demolishing my fences to get to the artisan springs on my place (which is the only water within miles during the drought). This time I had to do all the front end paperwork, meeting with the tax office for approvals after getting with the county TPWD biologist to help come up with the initial plan. I learned a lot more doing all that portion but it's not a simple cake walk to keep it maintained. I have since heard they are getting a lot stricter on converting and on maintaining these exemptions because people will get the WLM exemption and then not continue to do the improvements/maintenance after the first year or two, therefore getting it revoked.

it is not hard and doesn't have to cost a fortune with enough backbreaking hours and sweat several times throughout the year. Of course that's depending on the size of the place and what improvements listed in your plan.

edit: I also learned that my Ag tax exemption was no longer valid and I no longer qualified to have "farm" tags on my trailers ($5/year versus $90+/year)


Edited by PMK (06/22/16 05:05 PM)
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#6345507 - 06/23/16 05:37 PM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
woodduckhunter Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 04/25/11
Posts: 212
so if you don't mind me asking, what ended up happening to the properties that could no longer be afforded due to taxes? were they actually "auctioned" off? was there a reasonable attempt to let the general public know when the auction would be? who ended up with them? etc I went through the wildlife tax deal with my first few properties. To renew the first year of ownership, they(the county) told me I had to get a tpwd biologist to do a survey, and actually do what he said. The amount of years in wildlife qualified me for ag, so I went with that and there has yet to be anyone from the county even get remotely close to looking/checking to see what was there. after my experience, I couldn't figure out why anyone would go the wildlife route.

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#6345537 - 06/23/16 05:59 PM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
JohnRussell Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 1318
Loc: Cedar Creek, TX
Well, a couple people simply defaulted on their property and the original owners (a company down there) took them back. I think those tracts were "contract for deed", and then they re-sold them without an AG exemption. A few more sold as whatever, without the exemption. A few more sold with the owners representing them as having a WLM exemption and when the new people took them over, they lost the exemption because the website said they had a WLM, but in the boonies, websites do not get updated quickly. Had they gone in and checked the status, they would have realized the WLM was bogus.

And still others transferred early in the WLM being under dispute and were able to either salvage the WLM or they worked their butt off but were not fast enough or knowledgeable enough to salvage the WLM.

The key on the latter ones would have been to hire a professional to work it all out and ensure the WLM did not get lost, then come back and learn more to keep it lower cost.

A WLM is full of things we do already, as hunters vs raising cattle. We hunt hogs.. so that does 2 of the 3 things required. We provide protein, that does the 3rd.. we provide water, now you are ahead of the game.

If you do these already... the WLM is not a big deal.

R


R
_________________________
Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.

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#6345869 - 06/24/16 01:06 AM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
Txduckman Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11716
Loc: Big D
Sounds like some can't fill out paperwork. My buddy has had it for years and hardly cost him a thing.

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#6346001 - 06/24/16 08:33 AM Re: Before you buy land... [Re: JohnRussell]
woodduckhunter Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 04/25/11
Posts: 212
I was kinda thinking there's more to it myself

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