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Tips on buying land

12302 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  karenquinn
I brought this topic up on another site with great response. Those of you who are landowners, could you give us who are wanting to purchase land tips on buying land. Ways to off set cost, government programs, things to consider, etc.

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All I can say is dont be afraid to negotiate and when you do go low. I just cut all the corners i could off of our spending for a few months prior to buying our land. It apraised so much higher than the price I got it to that we got to keep our down payment in the bank. That has both it's up side and down side as I am paying intrest on something I could have had paid already but I have reserve for an emergency.

The only way my costs will be offset is if I own in in twenty years which I likely will the trees will be mature and ready for a selective harvest. I could do a small one between now and then if I chose to but I want to wait.

I never saw much benifit to the government programs I looked at but my taxes are not opressive and I dont have crop fields.

All and all it costs me more time, money and headache to have my own place but nobody can tell me I cant go hunting (in legal season of course) I cut all my fire wood from there so i guess I heat the hous for free but other than that it consumes money. That said iot is the best investment I have ever made short of my powerstroke, it earns its payments!!
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This is a great topic. I bought my own 60 acre farm for hunting purposes. I bought mine at auction which can be a good place to get a good deal. Do your research up front to determine the value of the land. I am a real estate agent so the research was easier for me to do.

Also, walk the property as many times as you can and as many times as they will let you before the sale. There are lots of things I know about my property that I did not know up front. 1 very small example.. There is a large landscape rock deposit in a small woods on my farm. I could sell these rocks and make a couple grand easily if I wanted to. It was a cool find. Example 2.. There is a fair amount of black walnuts in my woods. I had no idea until I met with the forester how much these single trees were worth. I wish I knew some of these things up front.

Things to consider when buying land....
1. Sellers reason for selling
2. Is there good farm ground on the land and if so what is the rental rate with the current farmer.
3. If there is woods, when was it last timbered and when should it be timbered again. Knowing this can be a huge benefit. If you buy 60 acres and in 5 years you have 25,000 in timber profits that can make a difference in what you are willing to pay.
4. How is the hunting on the land. What kind of animals have been harvested. Unless they have trail cam pics or you trust the seller I would not pay too much attention to what they have seen. Every landowner thinks they have seen record class deer etc.. I want to know what has been harvested and what others in the section have harvested if possible.

In the end. land is costly. The benifits of owning are great though. Nobody tells me what I can or cant do (as long as i am legal). Its easier to gain access to neighboring properties to hunt if you share a property line. I let a few neighbors ride 4 wheelers on my property a few times each summer and in return I can hunt their land or track wounded animals on their land.

My wife and I have also found that we have a good mushroom property. That is something I didnt even think to ask when I bought it but was a added bonus. Lots of blackberries in summer too! The soil is rich! great for gardening! These are a few other things I learned that were added benefits obviously! but, if I wasnt a rooky, I would have known about these things up front or at least would of asked about them.

Some of these things main seem small but are some things I would consider when buying a piece of land. I think knowledge is power! The more you can find out the better off you are.
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From a real eastate perspective I would also consider a few other things when buying land.

Road frontage! This is important. I dont want to give away too many real estate secrets here but I know people who have bought land for hunting/recreational purposes and sold off 2-3 acre building sites right along the road and completely paid off the "back 40" and now own it free and clear. if you have a lot of road frontage it is nice because the potential may be greater. I know others who have bought land and just sold of a couple small building sites to family or friends and then built their own home and selling off these sites by the road helped pay for some of their land.

Example. Say I found 30 acres that was 3k per acre. Thats 90k. Lets say I took 4 two acre building sites along the road and sold them for 15k a piece. 15k for a 2 acre building site is a great deal in northern indiana but keep in mind it could take a couple years to sell these off. Thats 60k you would make off those 4 sites. So you then refinance and have 22 acres for 30k. That leaves you a two acre building site with 20 huntable acres for a great price!

Many sellers are not wise and in too big of a hurry to sell the entire farm. In fact, they would be better selling the land in parcels and sectioning off some smaller building sites along the road.

Most people do not want to buy land and sell some of it off but I do know many people that think they could/will never be able to own their own little piece of hunting land when in reality they just need to get creative.
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Road frontage value depends on your purpose. I've got a friend with great road frontage on his property, so he get's lots of trespassers. I didn't want everyone and their brother tramping all over my place, so I picked up some acreage in Crawford County with what most would consider horrible access (probably why it was cheap). One dead end road in, behind locked gate shared with neighbor, and then you have to cross a normally dry creek bed. I've had one intrusion I caught on my trail cam during mushroom season; but other then that I haven't seen any activity from others on my property. It's surrounded on 3 sides by a stream, so that provides another layer of security.
I honestly bought it as a timber investment, and then got into hunting after the purchase. My Dad didn't hunt, so I didn't grow up hunting. I'm hoping for 3-5% rate of return off of the timber. That doesn't sound exciting coming off our recent long up swing in the market, but history says that was an anomaly. My personal opinion is the stock market isn't going anywhere for probably 5-10 yrs; so I pulled money out of the 401k and bought land (also, if you think taxes will be less in 25 years when you cash in the 401k, I think you're dreaming, so a 10% penalty today is probably worth it in the end). It's also a lot more fun then a piece of paper with numbers on it. Most of mine is heavy timber. I cleared some junk trees this spring and planted some of the Purdue hybrid Walnut and Black Cherry trees that are supposed to mature in 30 years (if not, the kids will get the benefit). I need to clear and plant more, but that's a time management issue.
Due to the remoteness, I knew when I bought it I'd be completely off-grid when I eventually build a cabin. That should work out ok, because the only thing I won't be able to run is an A/C (without a generator); but the heat of the summer is also the prime tick season; so not the best time to be out there with the kids. Right now I have one of the new Army aluminum framed 16x16 tents out there with a wood floor. It's a lot nicer then the GP medium I stayed in in Bosnia.
Depending on your purpose, other things to consider are water source (in my case I have a year round spring, besides the creek), distance from home (I'm about an hour, so day trips are ok), topography (do you want a flat level farm, or rolling hils?), alternate sources of revenue (timber, nuts, mushrooms......). Owning land is fun; but it's also a time drain. I own a historic home in Evansville, so I'm under the gun because I've already focused too much energy on the land this spring as opposed to fixing up the primary residency. But the land is so much more fun....
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An excellent thread. Want thing I would add is to never hesitate about asking a farmer about a particular wooded area on his land. A lot of times those small 5 acre spots can be bought relatively cheap.
Hi Everyone,

I’m looking to buy land in Armstrong County. It is around 25 acres and is priced at $60000.

I asked the title company to do a search and they turned it around quickly for $200. Their report pointed out the following:


1. The premises were searched with regard to the surface owners, but not as to any oil, gas or mineral interests, which may have been severed from the surface, nor as to any liens that are not filed in the courthouse land for sale in colorado springs.

2. There are three adverse deeds to three different persons, one of them conveying around 1 acre to C&K Coal.

3. Rights of way assigned to a power company.

4. We have completed a 60 year search and state that during the 60 year search period, there appears to be no exception and reservation of timber and/or minerals in the chain of title. No instrument conveying timber and/or minerals was found during the search period. However, a conveyance or reservation could have been made prior to the 60 year search period, or not recorded in the courthouse. We can only report what is on record at the courthouse. If you wish to have further information with regards to subsurface rights (being minerals, coal, oil and gas), said information is an additional search and is not included in the standard 60 year search. Our fee for a mineral search starts at $400.


This is our first time purchasing land and our plan is to use around 4 acres for our house and private farm, around 15 acres for commercial farming (apple and other trees) and the remaining land to be kept as is for the foreseeable future.

The land is heavily wooded and we’re considering selling the trees for lumber companies to cut down and then clearing the land for our house and commercial farm.


1. Do I need to do an additional mineral search for $400? Is this something I can do myself?

2. Am I covered with respect to the timber rights?

3. If I start farming, can anyone later on disrupt that on account of some unknown rights?

4. Is it a good deal?

5. Should we do additional research? (as mentioned, we are first time buyers).
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