I think people who aspire to own land have a mental image of a peaceful country setting….a place to go relax. They have an emotional commitment to getting a place in the country, but have no idea how to connect the dots between I want it and I have it. So, most people just go out and look at land. Their plan is to keep looking until something hits them at an emotional level. They are waiting for that “eureka” moment. It’s not a very efficient way to conduct a land search.
I believe you need a process to keep you focused on what to do now… and what to do next. Here is the process I follow. It is a proven way to create a profitable and rewarding land ownership experience, and to have fun doing it.
- Get a Plan: A wise man once said, “Most people want, but most people won’t.” You can’t want your way to a place in the country. You need to put a plan in place to get you there.
- Know what you want: You can’t find it if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It’s not enough to understand the land, you have to understand yourself. You have to know things like how far is too far, how big is too big, how much can I afford, and what do I want it to look like.
- Think Like an investor: Everyone is looking for a return on investment, whether that return is measured in dollars, trophies, or memories. Even if you don’t think of yourself as an investor, you need to understand how professional land investors evaluate and analyze property before they buy it.
- Educate yourself: You must understand the land. It is amazing how many people want to buy land and have no idea the characteristics, the components, the potential, or the value of the land they want to buy. Knowledge is power, and ignorance is expensive.
- Assemble a team: Buying land is a team sport. You must assemble a team of people to be successful as a land investor. You cannot be an expert in every topic but every topic has an expert and you need to find them and educate yourself on how to use them.
- Locate the Land: It doesn’t have to be an Easter egg hunt, but you do have to look. There are ways to find land that are obvious and some that are not. The best land deals are not the ones in the real estate flyers or on the internet. You need to know where to look.
- Evaluate the land: What a piece of land is determines what it could be. Your ability to understand the characteristics, or the “properties” of the property, will determine your success in getting the tract you want.
- Acquire the land: Financing, negotiation, offers, real estate agents, the whole bit is a complicated process and for most people, it’s a process they have never done before, except for maybe buying a home. The process of acquiring land is not like buying a house, and for most of us it is a once in a lifetime experience.
- Enjoy the process: Every thing about owning land is fun, so enjoy the process. Both the journey and destination of land ownership are opportunities to have fun, whether it’s spending a day in the woods looking at land or spending a day on your land planting trees. Owning and buying land is fun. Don’t miss it!
- Share the experience: One of the greatest enjoyments of land ownership for me is the ability to share the land I have with other people. It’s one of the most important parts of land ownership – to share with others. Share the experience.
If you are interested in owning land, think about it and dream about it. But, do something. Hopefully this process will motivate you to get started….to connect the dots between I want some land, and I own some land.