by Laura Mueller
Planning to improve on your land property in the new year? Even if you have no immediate intention of selling, it’s always a good idea to take steps to protect your investment and set yourself up for a better return later on.
The demand for land saw a surge in 2020 as stay-at-home orders brought on by COVID restrictions urged many people to seek out greener (and larger) pastures. We’ve still yet to see how these trends will play out long term, but if interest in land purchases continues at its current pace then there’s reason to suspect that any value-driven improvements you make to your land now may pay off big in the future.
There are lots of different types of land improvements that you can make, and all of them will add some value to your property. Here are four ideas that will provide you with more utility out of your property and increase your chances of a bigger sale when you’re ready.
1. Improve and/or Add Access
Even with undeveloped rural land it’s still always a bonus to be able to get where you need to go more easily. Poor access to and on your property can limit buyers’ imaginations of what’s possible, and it also limits your own enjoyment of the space.
There are a couple of ways to make valuable access improvements, including improving existing access roads and adding in access where it didn’t previously exist. If you’re going the latter route, just be sure to check for any easements before you expand.
2. Install Utility Lines
Lots of buyers seek out raw land with the intention of building on it. And having utility lines already in place can make that process a lot more feasible.
If you don’t want to take on the expense of fully adding in the lines yourself, there are other things that you can do. For example, provide for future lines by having surveys done to ensure viability and then have line stubs added in where appropriate. It’ll be cheaper overall while remaining a great future selling point.
3. Plant Trees
We’ve talked before about how timber can help sell your land, which, depending on where your property is located and who your potential buyers are can increase value in terms of either marketable assets or general beautification.
Of course, trees don’t grow overnight. Start planting now, since mature trees can increase property value by as much as 20%, even on undeveloped land.
4. Do Some Landscaping
Curb appeal isn’t just something that applies to residential homes. Land is inherently beautiful on its own, but some well-intentioned landscaping—think clearing away dead trees and shrubs, adding in water sources, and putting in native plants—will go a long toward boosting the appearance of your property.
Other simple landscaping tasks include getting a soil test and making soil improvements if warranted, and getting control of weeds. And like the other ideas on this list, this value improvement will increase your own potential land use, as well as that of future buyers.
More value is always a good thing. Use these and other ideas to fortify your investment—and to find more ways to enjoy your property.
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by Caroline Kirby
When it comes to real estate the topic of recreational land can be confusing to some. However, the purpose of recreational land is just as it sounds—to be used for recreational activities, pleasure, and enjoyment rather than for commercial purposes.
From hunting to camping to off-roading there are plenty of activities to practice on your recreational land but before diving into what you can use your recreational land for we’ll go over some reasons why it’s a smart money move.
Why Buy Recreational Land?
Apart from enjoying your own space, purchasing recreational land allows you to put your money in a safe and stable investment, possibly one of the safest investments you could make. In addition, when you purchase land with cabins, quality roads, and access to utilities your value will go up.
A unique investment opportunity as you can actually enjoy it, make upgrades, and many other tangible opportunities you won’t find with other types of investments.
What to Do on Recreational Land
There are a handful of factors that will be helpful in determining if the land you’re looking at is actually worthy as well as defining what your recreational land can be used for.
- Know you want to camp or build? Check that the land has good access to utilities.
- Know you love fishing? Look for land with rivers and streams with good opportunities.
- Know you want to hunt? Check for food sources among other items.
Apart from hunting, fishing, and camping you can also use your recreational land for many other activities like escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoying some privacy with your family and loved ones. Riding horses or recreational vehicles like dirt bikes and 4-wheelers, cutting your own firewood, or doing some birdwatching are also all possible depending on the recreational land you’re looking at.
The Next Step
Now that you know what you can do with your recreational land there are some things you’ll want to assess on each piece of land as these factors could affect your purchasing decision.
- Neighbors: Walk around the outskirts of the land and see if your neighbors have a smelly farm, loud music, or even barking dogs. Are any of these deal breakers for you?
- Potential for Building: You may choose to build a cabin or even a vacation home later in life, are there good buildable sites?
- Poachers: Call the local game warden and ask about past problems with poachers or trespassers, if the former owner had issues you likely will too.
Before making any purchases, you should evaluate your long-term plans and consider the costs of any improvements you wish to make to the land. Remember land will continue to grow in value and gives you the opportunity to make long-lasting memories with your loved ones.
When you’re ready to start shopping around you can browse our properties here. At LandHub we offer thousands of resources and listings—if land is what you’re looking for, chances are we have it.
by Laura Mueller
Real estate investing is often heavily focused on physical properties. But investing in vacant land can provide major returns, and may just be one of the best real estate investments that you can make.
Unlike other types of real estate, vacant land requires minimal upkeep to maintain, and is more about investing in the right location at the right time than anything else. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, or that all pieces of vacant land are equally valuable. So if you’re new to real estate investing and considering vacant land, check out the three vacant land investment tips below to make sure that you put your money where it counts.
Tip #1: Look (and Plan) Ahead
The value of vacant land is primarily in its potential — in particular the possibility that it may be prime real estate for future commercial or residential development. In order to hold that promise, however, the land needs to be properly zoned, with the right entitlements to ensure that your big plans for the future are actually achievable. After all, you’re not going to have a lot of luck selling your land off to a developer if they can’t actually use it.
When considering a plot of vacant land, be sure to get a full picture of what the land can and cannot be used for. Also take into account the topography and what sorts of utilities are already there versus what you’ll have to spring for. Cheap land isn’t so cheap if you’ll need to raze it and install water and other utilities before it will be appealing to buyers.
Tip #2: Tally Your Taxes
Vacant land is hardly a one-and-done purchase. You’ll have annual costs that you’ll need to factor in to your investment budget as well, and depending on where you’re buying and how long you’re planning to hold the property before you sell you may end up spending more in taxes than you ever actually bargained for. Be sure that you understand your tax commitment, and that it’s in line with your current and future financial planning.
Tip #3: Think Short Term
In general, you always want to be thinking of getting a return on your investment sooner rather than later. A lot can change in over time, and those changes could make your land less valuable. The sooner you can flip it to a new investor or developer, the less risk you’ll incur in terms of market changes and dips.
It won’t always be the case that you can turn around and sell your land, but timing should absolutely be a significant factor in your purchase decision. If you see the short term potential in a piece of vacant land and happen to have the funds to go all in, go for it. If you see the potential but it’s a couple decades off in the future, move forward with a little bit more trepidation. That’s not to say you can’t make a good long term land investment (plenty of investors do!), but that, as a new investor, it might not be the best way to get established.
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