Blog: R.E. Tales
(Hey, not every place is pretty...)
What Affects Land Values?
What gives land (not buildings) its value to people? Here’s what is most commonly valued, based upon the order I think of things. You may order them differently - and should.
WHAT ADDS VALUE ?
1) A mixture of open and wooded land
3) Water (steams, rivers, farm ponds, lakes – generally, the bigger, the better)
4) Green open fields, or fields growing impressive crops
5) Privacy and quiet (which are not the same thing)
6) An area where folks want to live
a) Condition of nearby properties
b) Low taxes, good schools, distance from jobs
c) Proximity to amenities
d) Who the neighbors are (relatives, friends, values, and mores….)
7) Timber value (many fail to consider this – a few do; everyone should)
8) Variety in the topography and landscape
9) Quality of soils, levels of fertility
10) Organic certification (some could care less – I look at this as a selling point more than something that adds dollar value, meaning it attracts, but only a few would pay extra for it)
11) Recreation potential (off road vehicles users and hunters regularly buy land, cyclists and fishermen don’t)
12) Easy to visualize boundaries
13) Sunset potential, along with a general feeling of brightness
WHAT HURTS LAND VALUE ?
1) Woods that have been recently heavily cut, especially those showing big ruts with slash lying around (buyers think “rape”)
2) Neighbors that are too close (most of my buyers come to escape urban and suburban landscapes)
3) Large power lines and, to a much lesser degree, pipelines (this aversion was much worse many years ago, but it still persists)
4) Lack of access to electric power and, to a lesser degree, internet, natural gas, cell phone service…)
5) High taxes (high taxes hurt far more than low taxes help)
6) Wetlands and, less often, steep land
7) Lack of eye appeal (duh)
8) Inability to see most of the property from a single vantage point (truly hidden places are fine to advertise but are harder to sell)
9) Rights someone else has over your land (mineral rights, Right of Ways, water or hunting rights, deed restrictions, tenancies…)
10) Lack of easy vehicular access – nobody wants to build up driveways over wet land, to erect bridges, or to bulldoze away knolls that are too steep
11) Famously poor or disliked schools
12) Brush – it says you do not care enough about your land to keep it clean or maybe it wasn’t worth improving – and it also tells folks that if they want it to look clean, it’s going to cost them in both effort and money.
13) Being surrounded by nearby higher land (they call it “being in a hole”)
14) Weird shapes to the land boundaries (believe it or not, some folks have a thing for straight lines and rectangles)
Naturally enough, each of these does not affect every buyer the same. Each sets their own values, none embrace or reject all those which I have described above. So, I speak in generalities. Take neighbors that are too close for example: I have actually lost a couple of sales because the wife or someone wanted nearby neighbors and didn’t feel they had enough of them at a particular place. But for every one of these which I lost, there were 50 who rejected a property because the neighbors were too close. One man’s meat, another man’s poison.
Some are merely amusing, some can be an immense help. All are interesting.
After 40 years, I've learned a lot, & acquired unforgettable experiences. Follow these long enough and you'll eventually get the whole book. (Names probably changed, for obvious reasons.)