Articles

The Value Investment Difference of a Sporting Property

By Clayton C. Jeffords, Broker, Fay Ranches

People think of many things when it comes to investing in land. Recreation, investment, privacy, safety, cattle, farms, timber, mountains, and water features, to name a few. While many of these investments have assets such as leases, timber, crop, or livestock that can add value, the property’s recreational aspects can often drive value much higher. When any land has a secondary use such as hunting, fishing, sporting trails, or wildlife viewing, it increases extrinsic value based on those assets’ features and the intrinsic value to the owner, user, or buyer.

I have been an avid waterfowl hunter since the age of five. I have watched the value of raw land, both hilltop, and bottomland, along with the Mississippi flyway increase significantly in my lifetime. I have also observed market forces such as Ducks Unlimited, Cabela’s, and social media, making waterfowling more popular than ever. A farmer wants to till, timber gets sold, and land value is based on growth as a limited and disappearing resource and income potential. If you look at acreage anywhere along the mighty Mississippi River and compare planted and maintained land that produces waterfowl and wildlife vs. just farm and timber tracts, the price difference is astronomical. People are coming from all over the country to places that offer a live sporting and outdoor lifestyle. They are discovering that investing in land can both reap significant financial benefits and provide personal satisfaction.

Waterfowling isn’t the only draw for people; there is also big game, upland birds, fishing, nature watching, and a general lifestyle change. When looking at properties, it’s always worth asking about wildlife. It may be that that spring-fed pond provides ideal hunting for migrations of all types of waterfowl looking for a wet place to land and dry field to feed in. There may be colossal deer and antelope to be had on the property. There may be abundant pheasant in the area and great programs for them that the current owner isn’t involved in. By inquiring about the sporting aspects of a property, you may find it has much more to offer than you initially thought.

The value of a property can significantly increase when considering the sporting value and potential. Perhaps the sellers liked to watch the wildlife, but they may not have made any improvements to enhance it. When they sell, will their broker know to ask about these things or see the potential to market it correctly to buyers? When you buy the property or when looking over current assets, make sure to consider all the value, potential, or lack thereof.

 Whether it is income potential or the family memories made, all landowners are investing in something. At Fay Ranches, we are advocates for the outdoor lifestyle and will always guide our clients to invest wisely based on their needs and desires. Sporting properties come at all shapes, sizes, and prices, and stewardship can be financially lucrative, good for the soul, and excellent for the wildlife. It is truly a win all around.

 

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