This article was originally posted in the Lands of America blog.
As the world population continues to grow, the demand for quality land will inevitability grow as well. According to the laws of supply and demand, quality land can expect to slowly increase in value over time. If you don’t want to wait around for years for that to happen, here are five steps you can take to help increase the value of your land.
1. Improve Access
Even if you have the perfect property in America, the chances of the land selling will plummet if the property does not include access or has poor access. Not having access will severely limit the amount and type of buyers. To gain deeded access to a property, you may have to reach an agreement with nearby neighbors, do some serious construction, or even go to court. To learn more about the best ways to handle access easements, check out this article from land expert Eric Leisy, ALC, about the best ways to handle the most difficult situations.
Even if you do have legal access, there might be roadblocks such as untrimmed woodland, a road filled with potholes, or a stream blocking smooth egress and ingress from the land. Do whatever you can to make sure accessing the property is as easy as possible. Making it easier to access the property makes it much more appealing to buyers.
2. Add Utility Lines
According to a recent LANDTHINK Pulse Survey, 74 percent of respondents said that electricity is the top logistical concern when searching for land in a rural community.
Adding utility lines can be costly, but they are in such high demand that not having them will significantly lower the value of your property. Running utilities may be simpler in urban areas, where you may be able to just connect to lines on the street and pay the hookup fee. In rural areas, this may take a little more money and work, but will be worth it when it comes time to sell.
3. Build Structures
In most cases, adding structures such as homes, storage sheds, barns, and other structures can help increase the value of your land. This advice doesn’t apply for every land type or every structure. For example, it likely wouldn’t add value to your land if you added a hunting cabin in the middle of your vineyard. The structure needs to be beneficial to the current or future land use.
4. Add or Improve Gates
The entrance to the property is one of the first things a client will see, so you want them to create a good first impression. Gates can also protect your property from trespassers.
“New gates should be properly sized to accommodate any future needs. Consider whether there will be future timber harvests, and the width needed to get equipment through the access point,” says Chris Miller in his article on perfecting your gates. “It is preferable to have the gate installed slightly off the main road so you can easily pull in to open it without having to stop on the road shoulder. The gate also should be installed so that it will not sag and drag on the ground, or not align with their latches properly.”
5. Get a Survey
Many people are reluctant to fork over the cash for a survey. This is understandable—it’s not cheap to increase the value of your land. However, the information you can get from a land survey is incredibly valuable. This information includes:
- The boundaries of the property
- any restrictions attached to the property
- the topography and soil types of the property
- the location of any easements
“In my territory, the land is not flat and often times you can’t see from one corner to another,” says Bob Stalberger, ALC. “Spending the money to hire a professional surveyor to mark your property boundary corners as well as points between the corners will make a buyer more comfortable when purchasing your property. It also allows you to easily establish or maintain your property line. This can also be helpful when doing any logging, adding a trial system, food plots, water locations or even hanging stands and posting your property.”
These are just a few examples of ways you can increase the value of your land. We hope this article has inspired you to think of what other ways you can add value to your property.
Working with an Accredited Land Consultant is one surefire way to sell your land for the highest possible value. Check out the REALTORS© Land Institute Find A Land Consultant tool to find a land expert near you.
About the Author: Laura Barker is a freelance writer based out of California for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She has been with RLI since October 2017.