Bought 40 Acres in Sonora Desert

About 25 miles off the highway within a reputable Ranch community. It is a parcel on an actual 16000 acre cattle ranch. Went out to visit it in March and loved it out there. Decided to purchase just under 40 acres. Closed this week. Elevation is about 4300-4500 feet throughout my plot. There are a couple of really nice hilltop homes sites. The whole place (ranch perimeter) is fenced and gated, although my property isn’t fenced off.

Planning to build out there when our son graduates from HS and we sell the place we currently live in in South Florida. That’s about 7 years down the line. I’m 43 now, so when we sell this place and build our place out there I hope to live pretty much mortgage free for the last 15 or 20 years of my work life. I’ll bank lots towards retirement.

Electric is run to the property line. Can also opt for solar and AZ buys back excess. We have to dig a well and septic tank when we build.

Regular Concerns:

Security- 3 gates deep inside a private community. Everyone there is strong Conservative and armed to the teeth.

Safety- Medical response time is under 6 minutes in emergencies. Major hospitals are not far. Emergency trips can be costly, because usually it is a medical helicopter ride. Good Physicians in area and University of Arizona Medical Facilities not too far away for required Dr. visits.

Food/Water- Land to raise livestock and to grow plants/crops if we choose to. Can’t raise pigs due to their ability to go feral and destroy the land. Well depth is anywhere between 250-400 feet dependent on where on the property we decide to dig. Land sits on top of an enormous aquifer and aside from electric bill for pump and well, water is no cost. If we go solar, no cost to power or water. Rancher and I spoke. He’d like to keep a small puddle that he calls a pond even after we build the structures. If we agree to feed the pond with our well, he agrees to provide all the meat we can eat for the life of the deal. I’ll never have to buy beef/poultry again.

Any advice? We may actually build a small place that will eventually be the Guest House when my in laws decide to retire finally. They will likely live out there before we do.

Here’s some photos from one of the home sites on the land.



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good for you bud

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Looks beautiful. I’d hope to one day have my own property like that. Do progress pictures when it starts coming together.

Looks great
Makes me think of snakes

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Careful with scorpion’s,snakes,spiders, desert pest are a bitch.


Will be illegals go through your property? What are the summer temps? How far will you have to drill to hit water? Seems you are close to civilization so will urban sprawl overtake you?

Absolutely. It feel like it’s a long time from now, but as we all know, the older we get, the faster time seems to move. My real hope is that we build a totally self sustained home and that our son will always have that place to go to even after my wife and I are gone. Eventually, I’ll set it up as a land trust so no one can touch it until my youngest living descendent is dead. Our son is 11 now, so probably won’t do that until he has a kid someday. Maybe sooner dependent on a few factors once we are ready to make the move out there. Wife loves the Desert, and it’s not too far from a thriving artsy farts community in one direction, and the Arizona wine country in the other. The night sky is so clear that the Smithsonian I stature actually build an observatory out there at the top of one of the mountains you can see from my land. It’s pretty incredible. At night, you can see the whole Milky Way. I’ve never seen anything like it.


What do you do for water? You’ll probably be forced to trade your wife for water to the water traders after the apocalypse. Not really a big deal

These are all good questions. The Ranch has been there for more than a hundred years. They haven’t had any issues with illegals, and it’s a pretty good distance North of the border. Also, the terrain is really challenging even for a reasonably in shape person to traverse on foot due to the mountains and the rocky ground. There are easier paths for illegals East and West of us and with the place being secured and having heavily armed people about, it doesn’t make the most sense for anyone to try to get through. The place is more than 25 miles off the highway, and is about an hour and 15 minutes away from the biggest major city (Tucson), so urban sprawl doesn’t seem likely at least in my lifetime. In the event it does happen, I’ll have 40 acres of very valuable land- or my kid/grandkids will.


How much did you pay for it?

We will have a well on property. Depending on where we drill, it can be anywhere between 250-400 feet.

Yeah, what is it going for per acre?

So I didn’t buy per acre. I bought the whole parcel which is about 38/39 acres. I don’t think you can buy one acre at a time in the ranch community at this time.


Be careful…


For those asking about price- I think I did pretty well. I’ve been looking at properties in a number of places over the years and this was what we wanted and it was very reasonable in terms of price. I paid about $80k but neighboring lots have been selling for more than double that. Lots the size of mine with a nice 3/2 home that is 2750 sqf. are selling for North of $800k up to about $1.3M. Of course, they don’t sell in a day like they do here in South Florida, but it still seems like a more than reasonable appreciation once a property has been built.

We love Tremors and are more than happy to learn to coexist with our Grabboid underlords.


Summer temps this year are rough. Over 110. Historically, the summer temps only go about as high as 100 or so due to the elevation. This current heatwave is intense.

Yeah, but it’s a dry heat.
Couple a window units, you’ll be fine

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Put in your well now and use it to irrigate any large shade or food trees you’d like to have eventually.