A Place of Your Own Part 16: Ask a Landowner

I dreamed for 20 years of owning a little place in the country, but my dreams always seemed a long way away. I was like a kid on the high dive with my toes over the end of the board desperately wanting to jump, but afraid I was going to do something wrong and wind up doing a belly flop instead of a dive. I knew I could do it. I had seen other people do it, but I just couldn’t overcome the uncertainty that came with having never done it before. I was afraid I was going to make a mistake. The problem is that most people will never make … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 15: Land Characteristics

You would never buy something unless you understood what it was would you? You’d want to know what a tool or device was useful for, before you put it in your buggy at the home improvement store…..right? Well, before you spend a penny on land, you need to make sure you know what it IS, what it can be used for, and what its potential is. To do that, you need to understand the characteristics or the physical properties of land. I’m amazed at how many people will go and look at land, having no idea what they are looking at, and buy it, having … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 14: Natural Resources

In my part of the country (the southeast) timber is a big part of any land buying decision. In fact timber value is often the largest single value component of the landownership process. It is also one of the most misunderstood. To maximize value of land, you must maximize the value of the natural resources of the land. To do that, you need a carefully thought out plan and some guidelines to minimize mistakes and maximize returns. For those of you in other parts of the country, timber may not be the prevalent natural resource. You may have … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 13: Buyers Agent

For most folks the land buying experience is probably a once in a lifetime event. The combination of “never done it before” and “a lot of money on the line” is scary. And, here’s the rub; how do you know how to do something that you’ve never done before, and likely will never do again? How can you possibly know all you need to know, when you aren’t sure what you really need to know? Wouldn’t it be great if you could “borrow” the knowledge and experience of someone who buys and sells land everyday? Well you can! All you have to do is to … [Read more...]

Tax Considerations When Buying or Selling a Farm

Landowners who have been in the business of farming for many years make decisions that often do not come home to rest until the farm is sold or transferred to the next generation by gift or bequeath. The total impact of these decisions, which began at the time the farm was purchased and continued through each acquisition of depreciable property, affect the income taxes agricultural producers pay while they are farming as well as when the farm is sold or transferred to a new owner. The total cost of buying or selling a farm can … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part Nine: Land Buying Mistakes

A few years ago, I put together a list of the top ten mistakes that I think most first time land buyers make. It was sort of an attempt to provide a “cheat sheet” for first time land buyers to avoid some of the pitfalls of the land buying experience. Here are a few of the more “expensive” land buying mistakes: Buying More Than You Can Afford I have seen folks buy 200 acres they couldn’t afford, because they could borrow the money, when they should have paid cash for 20 acres they could afford. If you are buying property for recreational … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part Eight: Buying Land is a Team Sport

Let’s face it. Land can be complicated. There are components of land ownership, and there are characteristics of land that are not intuitively obvious. The truth is that you can study and research all you want, and you still won’t know all that you need to know. If you are serious about owning land, there are times that you are going to need professional help. You may know what a survey is and what a boundary line looks like, but I’m willing to bet that most of you are not qualified to verify a boundary line encroachment. You know what … [Read more...]

Land as an Investment

I deal with clients all of the time that want to own land but do not view themselves as a land investor, and I think that is a mistake. Land is a capital asset. In most cases, it’s expensive, and for most people, a land investment will be the single most expensive investment they make in their lifetime except maybe for their home. Truth be told, your land purchase could be more expensive than your home. If you are a land buyer, whether you are a timber man, hunter, outdoor enthusiast, or stock market refugee, you are INVESTING. You … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part Five: The Land Search

A land investor friend of mine once told me, “The deal of the century comes along about once a week! With a little work, you’ll have more land to chose from than you can shake a stick at.” He was right. Finding land for sale is easy, provided you are willing to be creative and put forth a little effort. By all means use the internet, but remember that technology is no substitute for basic blocking and tackling. Looking for “land for sale” is only part of the process, but you’re also looking for land that can be purchased but MIGHT NOT be … [Read more...]

Land is a Wise Investment

Land investing has proven to be a wise and successful strategy over the years.  By placing your money in land, you not only gain the financial benefits of both long term and short term investing, but you also gain the added value of use.  You do not get to use your stock certificates on the weekend to cook out and your mutual funds during hunting season.  It is the power and wisdom of land investment that enables you to reap benefits both now and later. One of the core principles of the Greenwood Project is that land is an investment that is … [Read more...]