In our previous blog titled “Got Land?” we discussed that it was important to follow certain steps when you are starting the process of buying hunting or farm land in Michigan or any other state. In this blog we will discuss what I think are the most important steps to take and in what order you should take those steps.
Step #1 should be, and is, an obvious one, but it needs to be discussed and explained. Do you have the money and can you afford the payments? Hopefully you have this part figured out before you start looking at property or contacting a Realtor. As a young Realtor selling hunting and farm land in Michigan, I made the mistake of not asking my clients if they were pre-approved during our first conversation. This led to me wasting my time on a few occasions as it would come to light that the client could not get financing. Now,this is taken care of in the first conversation when I ask the client “are you pre-approved?” Don’t get me wrong, I will have a few conversations with a client if they are just trying to feel their way around,but if a serious buyer comes a calling, then the first thing that needs to happen is to get pre-approved with a lending institution. There are some lenders that are better than others and I can get you in contact with those lenders that have worked well for me. You may ask, “isn’t getting pre-approved putting the cart before the horse?” Absolutely not! Trust me, when you find that piece of hunting or farmland in Michigan that you fall in love with, you are not going to want to wait the 5-10 days that it will take to get pre-approved before you can make an offer. I know of and have seen properties sell the same day they were listed for sale, so you must be prepared to make an offer quickly when you find that right piece. So, step #1 is to get pre-approved!
Step #2 is to have a clear definition of what it is that you want out of a piece of land. Do you want the land to be just for you and your wants and needs? Are you buying so that you and your family can have a place to hunt, fish and camp? Are you buying as an investment, if so, how much of a return on investment (ROI) percentage do you need? These are just a few questions that you should answer before getting to serious about buying. You may ask “I don’t really know all the questions I should be asking myself”. To assist a buyer, I have created a ‘buyer’s checklist’ that can be found on my website. /surveys/buyers-checklist This document will help you work through what it is that you are looking for. Once completed, this document will automatically be sent to me and I can continue to help you define the type of hunting or farmland that you are looking for. Step#2 is to have a clear definition of the reasons you want to buy.
Step #3 is to work closely with someone you trust who knows hunting and farmland. This may be a farmer, a wildlife habitat consultant, a Realtor who specializes in hunting and farmland,or a friend or coworker who has gone through the buying process. Getting a couple different opinions is never a bad idea. For example, let’s say you are a serious hunter and you want some land to be able to plant apple trees and some food plots. Soil types are very important when it comes to planting trees and food plots. The more fertile the soil, the less lime and fertilizer you will need to apply to that soil in order to get the most out of whatever you plant. You will pay more money per acre for good quality soil, but in the long run you will save time,money, and labor by buying land with good quality soils. This is just one example of how having a clear definition of what you want to do with the land you are buying will also help you choose a person to assist you in the buying process. Would you have thought about future costs to amend soils for tree planting and food plots as a concern when you were shopping around for hunting land? Step #3 is to work with someone you trust who knows hunting and farmland.
These 3 steps will bring you closer to buying your dream hunting or farmland. Choose wisely, as hopefully it will last you a lifetime!