Market Factors for Buying and Selling Luna County Ranchette Lots
The Luna County Area
- Luna County is located in the high plains Chihuahua Desert.
- Florida Mountains, Tres Hermanas Mountains, and Cooks Range are prominent features. Large swaths of land are owned/controlled by US BLM and State of NM.
- Weather is mild in winter, hot in summer.
- Housing is inexpensive.
- Services are sparse, jobs limited.
- Electric power lines are mostly located along improved roads. Self contained solar is a good option.
- Water rights on ranchette lots are only for 1 domestic well. For farming, ranching and commercial activities water rights have to be purchased separately.
- Municipal water and sewer are not available for ranchette lots.
- Luna County allows construction on lots less than ¾ acre only if an "advanced sewage treatment system" is installed.
- Most roads in ranchette subdivisions are unimproved; when wet they are usually impassible.
Local resources for sellers and buyers
- Luna County provides a parcel map on their web site that gives names and addresses of all land owners: parcels-lunacountynm.opendata.arcgis.com and click on "county parcels" under the Assessor section.
- Flood plain maps (yes, even deserts can have floods): msc.fema.gov.
- Soil maps: https://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx
- Luna County Assessor 575.546.0404 determines property values for taxation.
- Luna County Clerk and Recorder 575.546.0491 repository for all recorded documents in Luna Count:; deeds, mortgages etc. filed on a property, the place to file death certificates, etc.
- Luna County Treasurer 575.546.0401 record of taxes paid by owner number.
- Luna County Environmental Dept 575.546.1464 septic system requirements.
- State of NM Engineer District office 575.546.2851 issues well permits.
- Columbus Electric 575.546.8838.
- Title companies:
* Luna County Abstract & Title 575.546.2739
* Legacy Escrow LLC 575.546.0218
* Ace Appraisal Service 575.544.4475
* Smith Appraisal Services 575.546.4979
- Real estate companies are listed on the web; search – "Deming NM real estate agents"
Interesting facts about the current market
- The Luna County tax delinquent report lists over 15,000 ranchette lots tax delinquent. About 12,500 are 3 years or more delinquent.
- According to the 2012 Luna County Comprehensive Plan, there are approximately 80,000 half acre ranchette lots.
- The County assesses all vacant ranchette lots at $600 market value for taxing purposes. Unfortunately not all are created equal. Real market value varies by amenities like electric service at the lot line, having improved road access, how deep to available groundwater and the quality of the water (some areas have high arsenic, others high fluoride salts). Some lots were laid out in flood zones.
Common options for selling
- List with a local real estate agent. Most agents require a minimum fee of $500 to sell vacant land. If you have 2 lots located a distance from an unimproved road and electric service, my experience says it's maybe worth $300 at most per lot. To list with an agent (if you can find one that will list ranchette lots) most likely will require the seller must "bring money to the closing table" ie the sale price doesn't cover all closing costs.
- Craigslist is sometimes a productive way to sell vacant land (list under the Las Cruces, NM market) Craigslist.com.
- Contact adjacent owners; they may be looking for additional lots. (I've purchased land this way).
Compiled by: Carol Felsing, LCROA Vice President, 2.15.2019