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Owner gets emotional as Texana Ranch hits busy market

HOUSTON – We all know oil prices have taken a hit. While many in Houston worry about the effects of cheap oil, for some it's a chance to snatch up another asset -- ranch land -- and ranch sales are booming. You can get in on the action.

If you travel from the city to the country -- about 90 miles northwest of Houston to rural Washington-Chappell Hill, you'll find a gorgeous, multimillion-dollar ranch for sale right now.

[Photos: Texas Ranch House For Sale]

Donnie Roberts has owned the Texana Ranch for over two decades, "Raised my family here,  my daughter got married here and my son fished and hunted here."

Holding back tears, he explained why now it's time for him to sell. His kids have grown up, "It's just different when no one is around."

He hopes to sell it to another family to create their own beautiful memories.

The Texana Ranch will go on the market during a busy time. But you don't need to be a millionaire to have your own piece of land out here.

Jeff Boswell is a broker for Republic Ranches, "Sales continue to be strong."

With oil prices still struggling, and the up and down stock market, more people are choosing real estate as a better, safer place to park their money.

He says sales are up 30 percent, "Part of it we think is the low interest rate environment," said Boswell. He added, "There's not a lot of choices for where people are putting their money. I think people look at ranches as a storage of wealth."

But how far will your money go?

At Texana Ranch, you'll find an 1836 plantation house. A 6,000-square foot party barn, a lodge, a crafting home and  even a 26-acre lake stocked with bass.

So who's the typical client?

"10-15-20 years ago it was typically farmers and ranchers owned most of the properties around Texas and what we've seen occur over the last 20 years is there are a lot more folks that live in the city are now looking to buy land in the countryside," said Boswell.

If you're looking at a ranch that's top of the line closer to the city of Houston you can expect to pay as much as $20,000 an acre. For something a little more economical, look toward south Texas, where you can spend about $1,500 an acre.

Boswell warned, "There's not much on it, maybe a jackrabbit or two and that's about all you got."

"It really comes down to what purpose are you looking for in a ranch," Boswell said. He added, "If you're looking for a place you can bring the family, year round, a place like [Texana Ranch] is phenomenal.  If you're looking to park money somewhere, where you might get a small return, then maybe looking at a cattle ranch or a hunting ranch that provides two or three percent return on your investment. "

For Roberts-- selling his ranch is more than a business transaction. "It's in your soul. Once you get connected to the dirt and you know every tree on your property, every piece of water on every piece of water on your property, where you put your flowers out for your wife, it's tough."