In the past 12 months lots of things have changed, rising interest rates, global supply chain disruptions, rampant inflation, and the war in Ukraine. How has that impacted the land market in Alabama? From what I’m seeing there has not been a decrease in land prices. There is a significant decrease in inventory. So, if you’re looking to buy land and don’t want to break the bank, what do you do? First, look for land that has no improvements and is basically a blank canvas.
Land that has nice roads, game plots, hunting stands, a cabin and nice pond will be priced at a premium and worth it. The key is to find land that has the potential to be improved into the property you want. It will be less expensive and you can make the improvements exactly the way you want and do it over time as it fits your budget. The result will be a property you enjoy and can sell for a profit. Second, take a close look, or have a Professional Forester, take a close look at the timber and its future potential. I’ve seen land for sale that had the timber select cut 5 to 10 years ago and to the untrained eye it will look like a well-stocked stand with near term potential. When in reality it has a very low value and it will be years before it recovers. As a Registered Forester I’ve seen this over and over. Having an expert appraise the timber before you buy could be beneficial even if you have no plans to cut timber. Also, land with pre-merchantable pine tends to be priced less than land with mature timber. Take a look at the age and quality of the stand. You may find it’ll only be a few years before there is an income stream from a thinning. When I sold this tract the pine trees were only a couple years from a commercial thin. The buyer can add a more extensive road system and game plots, significantly increasing the recreation potential and value of the land.
I hope these tips help you in your search for land.