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California ranch lists for 125 times previous purchase price

Calif. ranch lists for 125x purchase price

Around the country, home prices near major metros have jumped significantly in the last few years, making the areas unaffordable for many -- and pushing long-time local residents to sell and cash in on the run-up in valuations. 

In Marin County, California, home prices have risen more than 9 percent in the last year, according to Zillow.

Mark Pasternak is a Marin County-based rancher who produces specialty meat products for local shoppers and some of the toniest restaurants in the Bay Area. He bought his 75-acre Devil's Gulch Ranch in western Marin County back in 1971 for $550 an acre and has been raising pigs, sheep, rabbits and poultry ever since.  The farm is a fixture in the local community, so it shocked many when Pasternak announced the ranch is for sale.

He said he's selling because of the jump in value. The land around his has already been snapped up by wealthy people for private ranches with large homes. The property Pasternak paid less than $40,000 for is now worth about $5 million.

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"Things did change … things you just couldn't expect, you couldn't plan for, you know? Like 5 million dollars?" Pasternak said in an interview with CBS affiliate KPIX reporter John Ramos. 

Pasternak told Ramos he doesn't want  stop ranching but would like to afford retirement some day. He noted that the cost of living makes it difficult to earn an income farming in Marin County nowadays.

"It is unlikely any of these properties will ever generate enough money to compete with somebody with a lot of money who just wants to buy it to have a big piece of property," Pasternak said.

He understands what it signals about the future of agriculture in the area.

"Is this something that's dying out?" Pasternak asked. "In the Bay Area, probably ... in areas with really high property values and a high cost of living … probably."

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