In general, the word “improvement” means something that enhances value or utility. In real estate, an improvement is defined as a specific and permanent change to a property that enhances that property’s value, utility, or desirability. In real estate lingo, that usually means a building like a home, office building, shop, or garage. However, when we talk about land, improvements can take many forms which, more often than not, don’t involve buildings. If you are looking to “improve” your property, here are a few ideas that will not only … [Read more...]

Water Part Three: Do your homework

I think a lot of folks want a small meandering creek because they are nice to look at, but they also want them in case they want a lake at some point in the future.  I’ve heard a thousand times that a tract had a creek and a “beautiful lake site” on it.   Here’s some advice - unless you hear that statement from an engineer who jut performed a lake design on the property, ignore it.  The simple truth is that most folks will never build a lake or pond.  It is expensive, time consuming, and in most states, difficult to get permitted.  If you want … [Read more...]

Water Part Two: Don’t get caught up in terminology……

What is the difference between a river, a creek, a stream, and a branch?  When does a pond become a lake?  While size can play into the answer to all of these questions, the definition of these words is less important to me than what the person saying them actually means.  For example, Potato Creek in South Georgia can be a raging torrent several hundred feet across, while the Mississippi River in Minnesota is small enough to jump across.  This fact was driven home to me a year or so ago when a friend purchased 100 acres with a nice “creek” … [Read more...]

Water Part One: Does the tract have water on it?

I have been involved in land sales and purchases for many years now, and the most persistent question from land buyers (me included) is, “Does the tract have water on it?”  Good question.  As a land investor, water has always been important to me because it always seemed important to the folks I was selling land to.  But, why?  Well, a few years ago I asked an older gentleman why this was such a big deal to him.  “Son, I figure a creek would be hard to add after I buy some land, so I’d much prefer to have it from the start.” Good … [Read more...]