Hunting for land in 2024

The recreational / hunting land market in 2024 continues to be fast paced. Listings are in short supply and buyers are plenty. The big change has been in the financing end of things. We're currently seeing mortgage rates in 7% plus range. A big change from the 2 to 3% range we've experienced in the past few years. We've been seeing more cash buyers in the market, and an uptick in folks dipping their toes in the Home Equity Line of Credit option. Pulling equity from their homes to use toward purchasing land. Those financing rates can be a bit lower.

Been in the real estate trade now for 18 years. My normal sales year has been 70% in the thumb area and 30% up north. Lately, my sales are starting to shift more toward a 50% thumb area, 50% up north trend. Buyers finding out they can get more acres for their dollar further north. It's not uncommon to find 30+ acres in the middle of the state selling for what 15 to 20 acres have been selling for in the thumb area. If you're thinking about searching up north, don't forget the amount of drive time involved to get to and from a property "up north". When you start getting into those 3+ hour one-way trips to get to your land you'll likely notice a bit less use. Not quite so easy to get in an evening hunt and still get back home at a decent hour to get to work the next day.

A suggestion when trying to stretch the number of acres your dollar buys, don't look past those properties that contain wetlands. Those wetland areas may not be the "park like" pictures that make most of the ads you see, but they are indeed the preferred homes to the wildlife you seek. Those big wide-open woods look nice from a stand, but the best hunting is usually a couple hour window at dawn and dusk. Find some thick, dense, damp, cover and you're likely to seeing critters moving all day. Me, I'd rather be watching wildlife in my stand than reading a book waiting for the sun to set.

Lastly, when you're ready to start the hunt for your next piece of hunting land, make up a list. Know how much you're able to comfortably spend, where you want to be located, and what sort of critters you want to be hunting. If you plan on financing your purchase, get in touch with a bank BEFORE you start your search. Know your budget before you start. It will make the search a much more rewarding experience for all involved.

- Rick Patridge

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