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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/14/2005 12:17:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 12:34:16 PM EDT by DK-Prof]
Actually a friend of my wifes is trying to figure out what to do with 240 acres of land in Georgia.

Her father just died, and this is farmland/pasture that has been in her family for a long time, but her and her mom are ready to sell. However, she does not have the slightest clue as HOW to do that, and how to sell it without getting taken to the cleaners. (So any advice would be useful to her). But with 240 acres, even being off by $500 per acre is obviouly a huge overall amount - so she wants to be sure to get the most out of it.

She is uncertain as to what the best way to proceed is - since there is increasing development in the area. A subdivision was recently build adjacent to her land (some nice houses), and close by some large and quite expensive houses have been going up. So she is thinking that the land might be quite valuable - but has no idea how to figure out what it is worth, or what the best way is to try to capitalize on the land. (I believe it is located near Rome, GA - and is currently zoned for farm/residential).

Should she just call a commercial realtor and ask them to list the land?

Should she try to find/contact developers directly, and sell them the land - maybe getting a better price and avoiding realtor fees?

Should she try to partition the land herself and sell it to individual who want to build - anywhere from 1-acre to 10-acre lots?

Should she try to actually develop it herself?


(I think that trying to develop it herself is a really bad idea, since she doesn't know anything about that - AND she is trying to finish her Ph.D., and if she doesn't get her dissertation organized very soon, she might be at risk of not finishing or having to leave her doctoral program, essentially flushing many years of graduate school down the crapper. So unless she is looking for a career change, I don't think she should even consider trying to develop it herself. I know I wouldn't want to. But - I also don't know anything about this stuff, so maybe it's easier than I imagine?)


Anyhoo - ANY and ALL advice is appreciated. If anyone knows of any BOOKS about selling/developing land, she'd probably want to read those.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:23:06 PM EDT
Lease it for hunting, your firend could make a nice little chunk of change that way, and it would renew every year.

I hate to suggest it, but thats the way the game is played these days.

If your friend decides to partition it, plans will have to drawn up, streets laid out, permitting public use of the streets, then the lay out of the plots etc, could cost alot of money to do that. Each lot will have to be surveyed off and staked. Along with utilitity right of ways.

Or sell it out right in one piece.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:23:59 PM EDT
ANY and ALL advice is appreciated?

I think she should subdivide it into tiny parcels with overpriced McMansions on it, where dinks could struggle for the next 30 or 40 years to meet payments on the house and two Lexuses in the garage.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:24:51 PM EDT
Independent appraiser.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:28:20 PM EDT
Break it down into 5-10 acre parcels and have an auction.

A good auctioneer will ensure it gets good advertizing and top price, so he can make a good commission. Most auctions done like this I have seen land go for more than it would have normally sold for on the market.

She gets money fast, a good price, and all she has to pay upfront is for the survey to subdivide it.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:28:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 12:29:56 PM EDT by wolfman97]
I inherited 44 acres of prime land in a beautiful location - 16 miles from the gates of Yosemite, the last large undeveloped parcel in the area and only a mile from the center of town.

I thought about developing it ($$$$$$). Then I went to one interminable county planning committee meeting that started at about 6PM and ended about 2AM. (At least that was when my business finally got to the agenda and I was done. Others stayed behind.)

About 1:30 AM the guy who was developing the parcel next to mine got up and said his latest piece before the committee. He had been working on the thing - attending those meetings at least once a month - for six years and had not turned the first shovelful of dirt yet. That was an experienced developer in the area who know all the local officials, had been through all the BS before and knew how to handle it, etc. The commissioners all agreed that it was the best development plan they had ever seen. That endorsement probably chopped another six years off the process, but he still didn't start construction that year. He had almost seven years into it before I heard the bulldozers next door.

I decided right then that the best course was to just hang on to it until someone came along with my ridiculous price. Anything else was going to be waaaaay too much work and expense for anyone pursuing any other life. In the meantime, it is a great vacation retreat and a nice place to shoot.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:32:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
Independent appraiser.




A big +1. That is the very FIRST thing to have done. It may not hurt to even have two different appraisals done.

Just because someone next door sold their property for houses does not necessarily mean this property is suitable. Zoning, whether it has sewer line access, etc. will dictate its suitability.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:33:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 12:34:45 PM EDT by DK-Prof]
Thanks for all the advice so far !! Good stuff - keep it coming. I know she will appreciate this!


I thought about the auction idea as well, Garand_Shooter, but know little about it. That sounds like it might be a good compromise to get a little more for the land, but without too much involvement on her part.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:39:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 12:41:35 PM EDT by Johnny_Reno]
Build a discreet, out-of-the-way substance abuse rehab center for Hollywood.

Oh wait, you said you only had 240 acres. You would need much more land.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:47:36 PM EDT
One: keep it for the time being and focus on her studies.

Two: if she decides to sell now, pick the right broker after doing LOTS of due diligence to make sure she is dealing with someone who will take care of her in an ethical and honest way. Do not skimp or try to save on fees when picking a broker. A cheap one will be much more expensve in the long run, either by incompetence or looking out for themselves and taking care of their "friends" in the business. It is a hard lesson to find out how much evil can be sufferd on the wrong end of a wink and a nod. This business attracts that type.

Back to one: If she keeps it while finishing her studies, it will only go up in value, especially in a developing area. She may get offers from developers and otherwise have an opportunity to learn more about what she has as time goes by. Also, having time to learn who's who in the business and the market in general is very important. Not taking the slow route may end up costing a lot in the long term. If she plays her cards right, she could not ever have to work again.

I would tell her to keep it unless she has no choice. If affording it is the problem, try to use it to generate income like the hunting lease idea mentioned. The time invested in learning to succeed in a venture with this property will pay her back for the rest of her life.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:47:56 PM EDT
If she'll take 500.00 a acre shoot me a e-mail !!!!
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:52:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GREYGHOSTt:
If she'll take 500.00 a acre shoot me a e-mail !!!!



Heh - if she was willing to take 500 an acre, I'd own it right now and you bozos would never hear of it.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:54:43 PM EDT
An appraisal can be extensive and expensive.

Get a BPO ( Brokers Price Opinion)

This can be done fairly inexpensively.
Get a Broker who specializes in acreage in that area.

As far as devolping it herself, a much better plan would be to partner up with a succesful developer who can provide the expertise and financing that it takes to make money developing residential property.
( unless she has the expertise and money to do it herself)
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:59:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 1:02:09 PM EDT by Oslow]
If real estate is selling pretty well in the area there is always a public auction as a possibility. Possibly divide the property into smaller parcels, maybe 40 acre tracts. Sell it to some horsey people that want to be near town or developers.

You can't just sell lots in most areas. You would have to deal with a zoning commission and provide roads and utilities.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 12:59:54 PM EDT
Contact a consulting forester. Sell the timber-keep the land.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:04:54 PM EDT
is there any harvestable timber on it? or at least harvestable soon? my G/F is looking for timber land in the N FL / GA area.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:05:15 PM EDT

Are there any books out there - like "selling commercial real estate for Dummies" or something like that that would be useful to her??


Thanks again, guys - lots of good stuff.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:13:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Are there any books out there - like "selling commercial real estate for Dummies" or something like that that would be useful to her??


Thanks again, guys - lots of good stuff.





Sure there are. There are lots of good books on the subject. However, be aware that more than likely she cannot sell the property herself, she will have to use a broker/realtor, etc., someone who is licensed to do so.

Also be aware that there will probably be tax implications for her if and when she sells. Consulting a good tax attorney who also specializes in real estate would be helpful.

A complete survey of the property would also be a good start, find out *exactly* what and how much she owns.

Some or all of these things do cost money, but don't be penny wise and dollar foolish and try to save a few bucks and end up selling it for a lot less than it is worth.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:20:35 PM EDT
you can ballpark it against similar parcels here:

http://www.farmandranch.com/

shame to subdivide it (the earlier post should be noted was with [sarcasm] on) lots of people looking to get the hell out of the city and find a little bit of land, ideally 40-160 acres, depending on what they want to do with it. 5 acre lots aren't bad either, but have seen too much farmland carved up into suburbia hell

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:22:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Are there any books out there - like "selling commercial real estate for Dummies" or something like that that would be useful to her??


Thanks again, guys - lots of good stuff.




Where In GA?
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:24:36 PM EDT
Build a very large shooting range! Lots of parking, football-lengths of target distance, house to house shooting ranges, etc...
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:38:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Her father just died, and this is farmland/pasture that has been in her family for a long time, but her and her mom are ready to sell.



This happens more and more every day. Farmland was bought and worked hard for many years by people who take pride in it, then after a few generations, someone inherits it and doesn't give a rat's ass what happens to it. All they see are $ signs. I don't know if this is the case in the situation above, so my apologies if I'm off base. Farmland in my area has been divided into housing additions and hunting grounds are shrinking up.

I hunt on a 400-acre farm behind my home that is one of about a dozen local farms owned by the same family. The father committed suicide last year, and luckily the son has continued on with the cattle business right where his father left off. I hope that he never decides to just part it out, as I'd hate to lose one of the few places I have left to hunt, not to mention having a few dozen neighbors crammed right up against me. Right now, I can shoot my firearms right in my yard due to the low population in the vicinity of my home.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:42:17 PM EDT
Find a well known, financially stable Developer. They have a much larger interest in making money, more so than anyone else out there. Well next to mortgage companies that is. It is unbelievable that we allow these lenders to take their money first, instead of applying it equally over the loans lifetime.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:48:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ThreatResponse:
Find a well known, financially stable Developer. They have a much larger interest in making money, more so than anyone else out there.


They are no more interested in making money than I am.




Well next to mortgage companies that is. It is unbelievable that we allow these lenders to take their money first, instead of applying it equally over the loans lifetime.

Pay cash for your next house.........and let us know how that works out for ya.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 1:51:05 PM EDT
If I had inherited it, it would be in my family for at least two more generations. But I think they should hold it for now, it will only go up in value as long as they can pay the taxes. If not lease it for livestock or hunting for the taxes. After all they don't make any more land.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 2:06:51 PM EDT
Land development should not be undertaken by someone without experience. She can decide to either make a smaller profit by selling the land outright or partnering with an experienced developer for better profits. If she chooses the latter, I suggest she retains a good real estate attorney to protect herself and her interest.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 2:08:13 PM EDT
Develope the land, keep a few acres for business, and start a new town, retire early.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 2:09:09 PM EDT
and look at what the "developer" has done with to other properties.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 2:26:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By M4Madness:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Her father just died, and this is farmland/pasture that has been in her family for a long time, but her and her mom are ready to sell.



This happens more and more every day. Farmland was bought and worked hard for many years by people who take pride in it, then after a few generations, someone inherits it and doesn't give a rat's ass what happens to it. All they see are $ signs. I don't know if this is the case in the situation above, so my apologies if I'm off base. Farmland in my area has been divided into housing additions and hunting grounds are shrinking up.



My understanding is that the land has been unused for a long time, and it's been many generations since it was used for farming. (So my intial description of it is probably inaccurate - but you're right that it once was farm).
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 3:07:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 3:48:54 PM EDT
Ok first move it to NJ....land is real short here. In all seriousness it is Location. Our lot is 1 acre and we paid $38,000 4 years ago. Now it is worth $150,000 minimum. But 20 minutes away it is worth only $20,000 an acre.

What are you near ? What is on the planning for the next 5 years? You wnat to seehow hte area will develop, the county should have a master plan. Subdivinding would be a good way to sell some now and hold some for the future. Remember you will be paying income tax so selling it over a peroid of years might be better.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 7:12:58 PM EDT
If it were my land I would not sell it, not now at least. Find someone local to rent the land, enough to cover taxes and keep the land.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 7:26:08 PM EDT



I decided right then that the best course was to just hang on to it until someone came along with my ridiculous price. Anything else was going to be waaaaay too much work and expense for anyone pursuing any other life. In the meantime, it is a great vacation retreat and a nice place to shoot.



Bingo...just sit on it...sooner or later, it will be worth MILLIONS, unlessthis land is in a swamp. If you are anywhere near the 'burbs, it probably won't bee too long a wait...5 years maybe.

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