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Eight Tips for Buying a North Woods Getaway

Whether it’s your main home, second home, or cabin, turning your dream getaway into a reality might involve a recreational land loan. Financing options can help bridge the gap between your budget and that perfect recreational acreage for hunting, fishing, relaxing, or camping.  But before you take the leap, here are eight tips for buying land you should follow to make sure your property hits all the marks.

1. Study the location.

While amenities and attractions are great to have nearby, they also affect land values. The closer in proximity to you, the more a parcel of land will likely cost. If this is the case, check for nearby telecommunication and power lines, which can be costly to have installed. 

Additionally, a Percolation Soil Test will determine a suitable septic site for your property.

Another point to consider is legal access to the property. It’s important to determine that the property’s legal access is not adjacent to public land because this may significantly impact on the property’s value and usability. Without it, securing legal access, while possible, can be time-consuming and costly.

2. Understand the boundaries.

It’s common for recreational properties to not have marked or surveyed property boundaries. Have a qualified third-party surveyor determine the exact dimensions of your potential recreational acreage.

3. Identify the wildlife.

If you’re buying property for hunting purposes, you’ll want to know the density per square mile for the game of your choice. It’s also a good idea to review the harvest trends in your area. Each state has its own wildlife agency that manages wildlife populations and sets hunting seasons. These agencies often provide detailed information on wildlife densities and harvest trends.

4. Know your neighbors.

Reach out to neighboring landowners who border your property to help avoid potential problems in the future. How long have they owned their land? What are their views on hunting? If they have a forest management plan, how does it impact your property?

5. Identify wetlands.

Today, many laws protect wetlands, making it important to identify and define their boundaries. This will significantly influence what and where you can build and the overall property value.

6. Develop a plan for your land.

Maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem will preserve wildlife habitat and the value of your land. With proper planning, you will be able to use, and in some cases, even capitalize on, your recreational land’s resources rather than let them go to waste.

7. Evaluate your property’s revenue potential.

The variety, amount, and maturity of trees on your property can significantly impact its value as a source of timber. A selective harvest could generate additional income, potentially helping you offset the cost of purchasing the hunting land you’ve had your eye on.

8. Understand your financing options.

No two properties are the same and neither are your financing options. Explore all financial factors like loan term length, payment schedule, interest rate, property valuation, loan amount and closing costs so you can determine exactly how much your new property will cost.

Buying recreational land is a huge investment involving time and money. Compeer Lending Officer Matt Russell believes research will enhance your enjoyment of your new property.

"Take some time and just drive around in areas you consider buying,” he said. “If possible, go around in different seasons to see the potential recreational opportunities. The more time spent up front researching will pay huge dividends when the property is finally purchased.”

 Compeer Financial is unique in that we offer long-term fixed rate financing for recreational land loans. Learn more about rec land financing by contacting a Lending Officer near you today!

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