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Would you like access to seemingly endless information and data about real estate markets in Alabama? If so, you need to be connected with the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE). The Center for Real Estate is part of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama. ACRE provides a plethora of resources for many different types of stakeholders. Developers, real estate licensees and brokers, University students, economic development offices, and Alabamans all benefit from the work of the Read more…

“What is a Perc Test?” This is a very important question if you are purchasing an undeveloped piece of property that you are planning to build on. Often rural home sites are far away from public sewer systems, and you will need a way to dispose of household wastewater and gray water. A percolation test, or perc test, helps determine the suitability of the soil to allow the waste water from your home or buildings to drain and filter through Read more…

“Who loans money for land in Alabama?” We get this question quite a bit from people looking to make their first rural land purchase. There are several great lenders that focus almost completely on rural land loans and farm production loans. These lenders understand the many facets of what is involved with making a purchase of timberland, row crops, poultry farms, a hunting or recreational tract, or potential country home site. The traditional land lenders that we work with on a Read more…

Since today is Halloween, this article is a little nod to the spooky phrase I most dread to hear in a land transaction. Over the past 10 years I have seen some ghoulish situations pop up in deals, such as one of my clients having to exhume his deceased father to prove paternity and heirship to a tract of land, disclosing that a person was murdered and disposed of in the pond on a property I was selling, and being Read more…

“How big of a tract of land do I need to invest in, to harvest timber?” This is a question I have received by many landowners looking to cut timber they have on their own property or perspective buyers looking to purchase land with a timber investment component. I tell people who are looking to purchase property with an intent on cutting later in the future, to buy at least 40 TIMBERED acres. The reason why I emphasize “TIMBERED” acres, Read more…

  What does the phrase, “Good timberland investment”, actually mean?  It is a common descriptive phrase that helps illustrate a feature of a property that is for sale. All of us in the land brokerage business use this phrase (or many similar ones) regularly, because more times than not, there will be a timberland component on most rural land properties. However, just because a property has trees on it doesn’t always mean that it is a “Good Timberland Investment”. The Read more…

Both in my job as a land agent and land manager, I often hear the excuse from older landowners that they don’t plan to reforest (that is, plant trees) on land they just harvested because “Why would I? I won’t live to see those trees mature.” After wishing them a long and healthy life, I like to give the following three reasons for why they should consider planting, even in the off-chance that they head for greener pastures before the Read more…

“I want to sell, but I don’t need the money.” This is a common refrain uttered by people who are contemplating the sale of a piece of real estate. If they do not need the money, then why are they selling? Finding the “Why”, the “What”, the “When”, the “Who” is an essential part of making a real estate deal come together. Several years ago I helped some seller clients sell about 800 acres of beautiful hardwood and pine timberland Read more…

“Ready, Willing and Able” is a term often used in listing agreements to describe the type of buyer that the real estate broker is seeking to find. Sellers and brokers both want to find prospective buyers that fit this description because it means they are dealing with someone that is “ready to go”. But how do you know if the potential buyer you are negotiating with fits the bill? Black’s Law Dictionary describes this term as, “persons who are legally Read more…

Almost weekly people call me telling me they are looking to make their first rural land purchase. This article is meant to be a short primer on a bare minimum of things you need to know to get started with your land purchase. 1. What do you want? What type of property are you looking for, and what is your intended use? You need to identify and be able to articulate your “Must Have’s” in a prospective property. Is your Read more…