Forisk Consulting president and CEO, Dr. Brooks Mendell, discusses the dynamics of timberland investments and the impact of technology and data.
Explore 5 tips for enhancing land values, including clearing debris, running utilities, improving accessibility, hunting potential, and more.
1. Clearing and Removing Debris
One of the easiest and best ways to improve land value is removing junk and buildings and doing general cleaning. Multiple viable approaches exist depending on the project's scale and how much needs to be cleaned up. Here are a few possibilities:
- Hiring an excavation company to bring in heavy equipment can make quick work for cleaning debris up.
- Depending on the junk, you may be able to burn it in piles.
- Depending on the material being cleared, it may need to be hauled to a landfill.
Some of this work can be done by hand or smaller equipment but ultimately will take much more time and labor. Most often, it's best to get heavy equipment to come in and get the job done in just a few days. This form of work will directly impact your enjoyment of the property and ultimately increase the value by removing eye sores.
In rural areas, many times, the debris is an old homestead. If an old homestead needs to be cleaned up, utilities are likely nearby. Cleaning up the area can become a realistic building site for any future buyers, directly increasing the highest and best use of the property with less work for potential buyers.
Clearing out an area for a potential build site or other improvements is an excellent improvement to almost always consider.
2. Running Utilities
Running utilities to your land is a significant improvement that can dramatically increase its value. Contact local utility companies to determine the feasibility of connecting electricity, water lines, and other essential services to your property. The availability of utilities opens up numerous possibilities for potential buyers, making your land more attractive for development or recreational purposes.
Different parts of the country have various forms of rural infrastructure. While parts of the country will need a well drilled, which can be costly, other areas have rural water lines that can be utilized. The surrounding rural infrastructure should be heavily considered while planning out what utilities are feasible to implement and if there's a possible return for the work. According to Well Water Geek, the national average cost of drilling a new well costs around $5,500.
By running utilities, the property can be used as a campsite with power or as a building lot, which is well worth the investment.
3. Enhancing Accessibility
Improving accessibility to your land is a crucial step in increasing its value. If your property is rural, consider investing in a well-maintained gravel road to the site. Additionally, explore the possibility of entering into a road maintenance agreement with neighboring landowners to ensure consistent road upkeep. It's essential to consider the size of the road for how somebody may use it. If agricultural or logging equipment may need to access the farm, consider any potential requirements so someone can fully utilize the property's potential.
When creating an entrance or road system to the property, a gate is always a subtle improvement to increase the parcel's value and make more curb appeal.
Another form of accessibility is creating or enhancing an easement or road maintenance agreement to your land. Collaborate with neighboring landowners to establish and maintain clear access to your property. Such contracts can ensure potential buyers have a well-defined and legally enforceable means of reaching the land, increasing its value and desirability.
4. Improving the Hunting Potential
This process can be complex and easily a topic on its own, but let's cover some basics of improvements to increase the hunting potential on a parcel. For many regions of the country, the quality of hunting can directly impact the value of hunting land. There are many excellent consultants and resources that provide more specific direction for what plans to execute.
Here are some best improvements to consider:
- Creating a strategic open area to place a wildlife food plot can be aesthetically pleasing and improve the hunting potential on a farm. Using a tool like Acres makes mapping out a new food plot straightforward. I like to map out the area to understand the size of the food plot, look at the soil types to understand how productive the soil could be, and assess any potential flood risks.
- Using equipment or cultivating a food plot within an existing open area is a great way to improve the parcel's value.
- You can also take it a step further by placing enclosed blinds, or tree stands in these locations.
- Documenting the type of wildlife on the parcel with trail camera data can be a straightforward way to boost land values.
Often improving a parcel's hunting quality is removing undesired or invasive plant species to provide better habitats for all wildlife. Depending on the region of the farm, some of the most common invasive species that need to be eradicated are bush honeysuckle, tree of heaven, and kudzu. Check state-specific resources to learn about other invasive species in your area.
Removing invasive plants can take multiple years and regular maintenance, but tackling these tasks swiftly will save new owners years of effort and creates meaningful value for recreational land buyers.
5. Fixing Erosion or Drainage Issues
Proper drainage is crucial for land value and usability. Evaluate your property for drainage problems that may lead to water accumulation or erosion. Consider implementing grading techniques, installing drainage ditches, or building retention ponds to redirect water flow effectively. Addressing these issues will enhance the land's value and contribute to its long-term sustainability.
There are multiple crucial reasons why it is important to give careful thought to obtaining a perc test. Primarily, this evaluation aids in determining the feasibility of installing a septic system on the property, thereby ensuring efficient waste management.
Additionally, it guarantees adherence to local regulations and permits, mitigating the risk of encountering legal complications. Lastly, a perc test offers valuable insights into the soil's absorption capabilities, empowering informed decision-making regarding property development while safeguarding against unforeseen financial burdens in the long run.
Improving land value requires careful consideration and strategic enhancements. By addressing common challenges such as removing junk, resolving drainage issues, running utilities, and enhancing accessibility, you can significantly increase your land's appeal to potential buyers. Additionally, building structures, undertaking a perc test, and establishing easements or road maintenance agreements all contribute to the overall value of your property. When it comes to land value, investing in improvements that align with your property's unique characteristics and potential can yield substantial returns in the long run.