First let’s define what “wetlands” actually means.
DEFINITION: Wetlands are protected areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.
What does this information
mean for land flippers or investors?
When it comes to buying and flipping land, you must always do due diligence on the physical attributes of the property before buying, especially if it’s in a part of the country where wetlands are common.
Wetlands make it very difficult to build on, and in most cases it is NOT possible to build on at all.
This means we have to charge LESS for this property if we try and flip it.
The best course of action is to find out whether a parcel is on wetlands, or if it’s going to be negatively affected by wetlands.
How do we do this?
If you’ve followed along with previous tutorials, you should know how to apply an Overlay to Land ID, but here is a link if you need a refresher.
In this example, we are looking at a property in South Carolina, a place that has large areas of wetlands, but feel free to follow along with your own property.
Now, after you’ve got your property pulled up in Land.ID, and have the Wet Lands Overlay turned ON, you should now see something similar to the example below.
Before we move onto opening our property in the next tool, make sure you Convert to Mapped Feature in Land ID.
A box will pop-up; make sure it is set to “Boundary” and click Save.
Next , open a new tab in your web browser and search for the National Wetlands Inventory Map.
We want to compare these two maps in order to analyze both accurately, and ultimately to determine whether this land is good for flipping.
Once you have this tool open in your browser, go ahead locate your parcel.
This can be difficult as this tool does not offer the same functionality as Land ID, but you should be able to zoom in on the same area and look for nearby roads or landmarks.
Make sure Wetlands is selected on the left hand side. See example below.
If you go back to the National Wetlands Map and click on a section of the wetlands (marked in green), you will see a pop-up box featuring even more information about the land.
If you do move forward with buying this property, this information can be
used when negotiating the price down.
See example below.
Now that we have found our property on Land ID and the National Wetlands Map, we can now analyze the data using both tools and can compare them side by side.
Land ID looks to be showing slightly more wetlands covering the property than the National Map, but it’s safe to assume that the only buildable land we have here is going to be in the top left corner.
See area in the red circle below.
If you do move forward with buying & flipping this parcel, you will need to buy it at a slight discount. There is enough wetlands on this property to hurt the market value.
Negotiate with the seller using the information you’ve learned above and get a good price; you will have no problem selling it!
Now that you know how to find and analyze wetlands using both Land ID & the National Wetlands Inventory map, you can take this knowledge and apply it to your own land flipping business model.
Knowing how to find this type of topographical information will help you price your land properly and secure better deals!
Still not sure how to find wetlands? Follow along with our full tutorial below! ⬇️
Dan: This is a long term strategy to build great wealth. And you’re talking about an asset that you cannot make more of. You can buy land and do absolutely nothing to it. You’re taking your money, your capital and putting it somewhere. And it’s something I’m, I’m a huge fan of. Hey everyone. Welcome back to the real estate investing podcast today.
I’m talking about holding land as a long term investment versus other asset class. I’m your host, Dan. And I really wanted to talk to you guys today about holding land longterm. It’s something I do. It’s something I’m looking to do more in the future. And Ron and I as well. And it’s something I’m, I’m a huge fan of, especially for the diversification aspects of it and just the longterm, uh, appreciation of the asset.
And in this episode, we’re really going to go over. The pros, the cons, the trade offs, right? Because there’s a lot of trade offs with holding land. You’re taking that anytime you invest in something, there’s a trade off. You’re taking your money, your capital, and putting it somewhere when you can be putting it in other places.
And it’s all about understanding the trade offs and who this is really for and figuring out if it’s for you or a future plan for it as well. But there’s some really cool ways. To hold land as a long term investment with using very little capital. Um, but in general, we’re going to compare this to alternative assets outside of land.
Because traditionally we’re buying and flipping land for cashflow, right? Holding land as a long term investment is not going to be for cashflow. There are ways to cashflow a little bit. Renting it out, things like that. But we’re not really focused on that here because it’s not a ton of cashflow. If you guys want cashflow, Stick to buying and flipping land, get your cash, get extra capital, and then come to asset classes like this, the stock market land, things like that.
But I’m going to talk about land cause it’s something I do and it’s something I’m a huge, huge fan of from the appreciation and a lot of other aspects we’re going to get in today. So stay to the end of we’re going to talk about in the final segment, we’re going to talk about how to really save. Your money, uh, when you’re buying land and not spend all your capital in one place and how to get it without using too much capital.
So stay with me to the end, but let’s start with talking about who is this good for? Because a lot of people coming in our community and looking in land investing, they want one thing, right? Most of the people want one thing and that’s to quit your job, make more, get more cashflow, right? And like I said, this isn’t going to get you more cashflow, which isn’t going to get you out of your job or whatever your goal is.
But. This is a long term strategy to build great wealth. It’s a long term strategy. It’s something when you guys do make money, that’s why this episode is for anyone. Even if you don’t have the capital now, this can apply. One, it’s just going to help you understand holding land as a long term asset and some of the pros and cons of that.
And two, when you guys do have cash, cause all of you will eventually, if you guys are in this industry, buying and settling land, doing real estate, making cash. This is going to be, you’re going to look for spots to put your money in the future. And that’s the main part of this is, is it’s a huge diversification strategy.
It gets your money out of certain asset classes. I mean, I I’m heavily invested in land, but we also have real estate. I just closed on a mobile home park. Um, and. In general, although we’re going to talk about ways to use minimal cash in general, this is more capital intensive than, uh, than a lot of other asset classes because you’re not, uh, there are ways to leverage loans and things like that, which we’ll get into, but you need more capital in general to buy land as a longterm hold.
And that’s, that’s what I want to say is for someone who’s looking to for a longterm appreciation, longterm growth. Uh, low maintenance and things like that. We’re going to get into the pros and cons here soon, but that’s mainly for who it’s for. If you guys want cash now, buy in Flipland all day long. But if you guys are looking for long term investments, long term asset holds, um, even their strategies for Airbnbs and short term rentals on land, if you put, you know, buy the land, get it under market value, and you put, uh, some sort of structure on it, container home, things like that.
It’s not that difficult to do. That’s an option for cashflow as well, using this strategy. And that’s something I’ve been looking into lately as well. So it’s for anyone with capital in general, and they’re looking to place their money in a really, really solid historical asset class. That’s very, very stable.
Um, it’s extremely stable. One of the most stable asset classes. Obviously they’re not making more land, but after that guys, let’s get into. One of the biggest things when you guys are buying land is for a longterm hold, especially is to get it under market value. And the reason being is because then you immediately walk into equity and if you ever needed to sell it or anything ended up happened, you’re not over leveraged.
You can sell that and make an immediate profit. And that’s just, you know, 80 to 90 percent of land listed on the MLS. Is priced to not sell. It is way overpriced and it’s not going to sell near what it’s listed. I’d say about 80 percent is like that. And so. You were to sell land. It’s not like a house, right?
They don’t just put on the market and it flies off. You have to do proper marketing. You have to get your drone photos. You have to get it on the MLS land. com, Facebook marketplace, all these other and collect good leads. But it’s not like a house where it just flies off the market and it’s really important to get it under market value.
We typically sell our properties when we’re flipping around 90 percent of market value or so. Um, in hot areas, you can go more and slower areas. You can go, you have to drop it even more than that. We’re talking about the liquidity of land here. So the lower you drop the price under market value, the more liquid it is.
So if something say came up, you needed that money quick and you had that land, you can liquidate it pretty quick at 80, 90 percent and you want to buy it under market value. So you’re not over leveraging that. And if you did need to sell it, you’re not going to take a loss. And like I said, 80 percent of properties are listed above market value.
And you might look in an area and be like, land is so, so expensive. But once you learn how to comp land properly, you’ll see the sold comps and the good comps. And you’ll realize it’s not as expensive as the for sale seem. I have a lot of friends that aren’t invested in land and they just look at the for sale and they’re like, this is crazy.
1. 2 million for 20 acres. And I’m like look more into it. Okay. It’s been sitting on the market 400 days. It has no saves. No views on zillow And it’s just not a good listing. You have to be able to filter out those listings. Go after, you can buy land on the MLS for 80 percent of market value. You just have to give a good offer, um, and find the good opportunity and you get enough, uh, offers out there and you get enough, um, offers and, uh, opportunities out there and put them in front of you.
Then things really come together and one will land eventually, but it’s very important to get in under market value. So when you’re looking to buy land for a longterm hold. Get it under market value, right? Give them a good offer, cash, whatever it is, or if it’s been sitting, just give them a low offer.
Because like I said, most properties are overpriced and you can get it a lot cheaper than the listing price is. But I want to go into the pros and cons, so the advantages and disadvantages of holding land long term. And the first thing that comes to my mind is just the potential for appreciation. Right.
The land historically appreciates about 10 to 14. It’s, I think the average is around 12 percent annually depending on the year, but it’s much less volatile than traditional real estate. So if this traditional real estate in the stock market and everything dropped 20 percent land will still drop historically, but not much.
It only dropped a couple percent, a few percent in 2007, 2008, 2009, it was very stable and it shot right back up in the last, I think, it’s only had one or two years that has land prices on average have dropped. And you’re talking about an asset that you cannot make more of. So as population grows, as a income keeps rising and different things happen, the cost of land continues to go up and it continue.
It will continue to, especially here in America. Um, there are people are very, as, as the market starts to drop, people look to place their land or their money in the land, which is just really. Cool to hold land and understand that there are people looking for it to hedge against inflation, actually. And that’s a really, really cool part of it.
The next thing I want to talk about is the limited maintenance cost. You can buy land and do absolutely nothing to it. That’s a huge misconception when people think you have to buy it and maintain it. You do not need to maintain it. It can be completely wooded. weeds up four feet tall. It doesn’t matter.
Land is land. You are buying the dirt. It’s land. You can let it be land and there’s nothing required. No ongoing cost needed unless you were going to use it and wanted to do something or put a mobile home. Like I said, not a mobile home, a container home or something of that sort. On the land, that’s when you’ll need the maintenance.
But other than that holding land, that’s why I love it is you buy it. It appreciates and you don’t really have to do anything, which is really similar to stocks, right? But like I said, land is an asset that’s not growing. So that’s the difference between this and there’s a lot of differences between this and stocks, but land is an asset class where you can’t get more of it and it creates a really cool opportunity in the market because there’s just such a limited supply of it.
So when you buy and hold it, you automatically know you from historical standpoint, you know, that you’re going to get appreciation and just keeping a limited maintenance cost is important. I didn’t, I, we’re gonna on our land in Kentucky, for example, we bought it for, I think a hundred and something thousand dollars, a hundred thousand dollars or so.
Um, that property today is worth over 200, 000 from absolutely doing nothing. And we bought that well under market value is probably worth one 60 at the time. And just letting it appreciate in a good area, find areas you believe in outside of the main cities, just kind of like we teach at land investing online.
Outside of main cities that are growing, uh, a couple counties removed. Ours is one county removed from Cincinnati and Grant County, Kentucky, so it’s right there. It’s a growing area. Northern Kentucky is a great area to be. People are looking for land, I believe, in the long-term growth of it. And those are some of the things you want to.
Start to think about if you are, or ever are looking to buy land. So we have potential for appreciation in the limited maintenance cost. The next thing I want to talk about, and I mentioned this is the stability of the asset. It is extremely stable. It doesn’t go down much when the market goes down. Like I said, it does not crash when the market goes up.
It will go up with it, but not to as not to an exit extreme standpoint as a lot of houses. Well, like houses in some places went up 30 percent the last couple of years annually. Land didn’t go up 30 percent in those areas, but it did go up 15, 18, 20%. So as you see the, the real estate curves go up and down, it mirrors those, but not to an extreme standpoint.
So it’s a great, uh, hedge against the market essentially. And then I mentioned this earlier as well. The fourth thing I want to talk about is the diversification. So land puts you in another asset class that that’s very, very, very safe. Um, it’s been around forever. It’s extremely safe and it just, It allows you to diverse your portfolio.
If you guys are in stocks or other things or buying and flipping land, it’s something just they’re building your net worth over time. And I love it because of that. And fifth, one of my favorites is the tax, right? There’s not a ton of tax benefits to holding land unless you have a ton. There are some different carbon credits and things you can do with it.
Um, but in general, taxes are very, very low on land. You’re paying, I think I’m paying a hundred dollars annually for a 250, 000 property in Kentucky. So depending on the area, tax always changes, but it also comes as a disadvantage. We’re going to talk to, because there are investments like stocks and things where you’re not paying any tax on them until you sell them.
But property tax on land. On raw vacant land is very, very cheap. And I think that’s a huge pro cause you’re getting all this appreciation. You’re getting all these, the stable, the stable land, you’re getting all the limited maintenance costs and all the advantages to holding land with very, very low tax bill.
And I love it because you can buy hundreds and hundreds of acres with very, very minimal tax. So now we’ve talked about. There are disadvantages to be aware of. And I mentioned most of those in the beginning, but the main disadvantage of holding land longterm is the lack of cashflow. Unlike rental properties, unlike flipping land, you’re not getting that type of cashflow.
You’re not going to make six figures renting it out unless you built a different business model off of it. You can rent it out to hunters. Yeah. You can lease it out to farmers. You can do all this stuff, but that is minimal. Uh, that’s minimal cashflow. It’s just not great unless you did something like put a container home on it or got creative with something and rented it out.
You’re not going to see a ton of cashflow unless you started another business on that land. And that’s the main disadvantage, but you’re getting a lot of other things like stability. Like I said, all those advantages at the long term appreciation with it. But if cashflow to get out of your job. Don’t look to buy land for a long term hold yet.
Like I said in the beginning, look to flip land, build your capital, and then put it in the, put it into long term holds. Or maybe you even have a property like Ron and I did when we bought our Kentucky property. It just fell on our plate from our business model. Right. And this opportunity came and we’re like, let’s just hold this one.
And you’ll run into opportunities with that. That’s the cool thing. You have a really, you can pick, right? You go through a hundred properties, uh, you know, a year if you’re buying and flipping, let’s say 50 properties a year, even 12, even if you’re just flipping 12 properties a year, eventually one’s going to come.
You’re like, I love this land. I love the area. It’s not far from my home town, whatever the situation is. And you keep that piece of property so you can cherry pick them and get the best piece of property for under market value. Doing the same exact thing we do at land investing online, sending blind offers, they’ll come on your plate eventually.
But if you guys aren’t doing that, if you guys aren’t buying in flipping land, there are still ways to get it under market value. We like to send blind offers about 40 to 50 percent of market value. So that’s what our option is. But you can buy on the MLS for, you know, 70, 80 percent of market value. The second disadvantage I want to talk about is it can be a liquid if you don’t know what you’re doing.
For us, we know how to sell land. The people in the community know how to sell land. And if you don’t know how to do it right, it can sit for a while. Uh, just like a piece of property can, any property can sit. It’s not, you can’t just, it’s not like the stock market where you hit a button and you just get your cash, right?
It’s It’s more illiquid than that. You have to list it, get the, uh, get the property, uh, on the market and get the leads and then sell the property and get the cash, go through closing all that stuff. I don’t think it’s very illiquid. I think it’s kind of the middle ground, but selling land can take time and finding a buyer willing to pay your desired price can be a challenge too.
That’s why I said you want to get it under market value so you can keep cutting if you ever did need to say it. So you’re not over leveraged. The worst thing you can do is buy a property. Overmarket value. Something goes wrong. You want to sell it and you lose money. That should not be happening ever.
There are too many opportunities out there to get land under market value and hold it that just don’t force opportunities. So you should really be able to avoid that one because land is very liquid at a certain price, right? Assets are liquid when you keep dropping the price, especially like land when there’s a mass market looking for it.
It’s not like you were talking about, uh, 400 unit, you know, 400 unit apartment complex in Miami, Florida, where there’s only so many people that are going after that size of properties. This is more liquid than that. I think it’s kind of a middle ground here. Um, the other thing which I said was an advantage can be a disadvantage.
Also, there are market risks like. With any investment, you’re not going to get rid of market risks. Markets go up and down and it’s influenced by land is influenced by market conditions and economic factors, of course, but, uh, more importantly, it can be the, the local market can affect it more. So you really want to be aware of the market you’re going into.
You want to believe in it. You want to be believe it’s trending, right? You want to look at the history, look at the history of the average price per acre, make sure it’s going up, make sure in a city where people want to be and they’re not flocking away from. Um, and there just are market risks risks, but you’re not going to see a massive drop off.
Typically ever. We saw a little bit of a drop off after COVID cause things were booming. And then this past year, I don’t want to say it dropped off, but it stayed fairly flat and land is what we saw in a lot of markets. But some markets obviously boomed. It went land prices went up again in 2023, but we don’t have the exact numbers on that yet.
The fourth thing I want to talk about, which was also an advantage is there are property taxes. If I’m comparing this to stocks, Stocks don’t have any taxes when you buy them and hold them, right? But when you sell them, you’re going to have income tax, but there’s no cost to holding them. There are minor costs to holding land, which is property taxes.
They are very, very minimal. So, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about that, but just plan, look at your tax bill, look what it’s going to be, talk to your, the tax, uh, in your county, the tax department, and see what it’s going to be, the property tax, and you can come up with that before you buy it. But that can also be a disadvantage when you’re comparing it to different asset classes.
As soon as you put a structure on that piece of land, Taxes go way, way up a raw piece of land. You’re going to get see a couple hundred dollars of taxes. A lot of times annually you put a structure on it and the value increases, they come in appraise it and they actually do this and then they actually collect taxes.
Uh, you know, for you’ll pay six to 10, 000 on an average house, uh, for tax in general. So it just really depends on where you are in the local market. Everyone’s, everyone’s has, every County has a different tax system. So you really want to look at what’s going on in that area. Look at the tax bill and you can figure all that stuff out before you buy the land.
So those are the main pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of holding land as a long term asset. And I just wanted to give you guys a quick nugget on how to do this, um, and really save your money. So obviously you guys can get loans, right? So a lot of land for sale is, uh, seller financing. So you can always do that to save your cash and get seller financing and really negotiate down.
to a low interest, right? You do not want to be paying 12 percent interest on land typically because you’re just going to wash out the appreciation that you’re getting. So you’re not going to see appreciation. If you’re getting 12 percent loan for five years, you’re not going to see anything. It’s going to wash it out historically and you won’t see anything for after that five years.
But you can negotiate interest rates. So that’s one way to do it. You can, uh, put a very, very low down payment if you’re doing seller financing. And you can also really, really push for a low interest rate. They’re going to tell you 12 percent push back on them. See what you can do. Look for other opportunities.
If you don’t have the capital to buy in cash, if you are buying cash, you should really get an under market value. Uh, be aggressive with your offers. You have the cash be very, very aggressive. You can always refinance later, potentially. But if, if you have the cash, there are ways to get your cash back. And I want to talk about that for a second because let’s just use my 40 acres in Kentucky for an example.
If I really wanted, I bought that for 100, 000, um, a year or two ago. I can’t remember exactly. But if I really wanted to get my money back, we have 40 acres there. It had 2, 000 feet of road frontage all across the road, right? Um, all across the land, 2000 ft of road frontage. I could easily split up two acres or five acre properties or even more.
And let’s say split up for five acre properties, right? And if I put, if I split that up and then put that on the market for five acre properties, I could get a very, very large part of my down payment or my property price back, and then I’ll own the rest for pretty much clear, um, with no skin in the game anymore.
So if you guys are looking for land, you guys can look for a lot of road frontage with a good subdivide opportunity, and it can be a little project you do on the back. So yes, you’re going to have capital out at first. but you can split five acres off. You can split a couple of acres off. If you have a lot of road frontage in the right situation to do it and you can get your capital back fairly quick.
Let’s even say you bought, you know, 50 acres. You could subdivide off as much land as you want to keep. Um, you can keep, so you can even subdivide off 40 acres and keep 10 and make money on that. You will make a lot of money doing that. Um, or you can do, you know, if you just want to split in half, you can do five, five acre properties.
and split that off, subdivide it off and sell it because you’re buying this under market value with cash so you can get a really good price on it. And then. It’s economies of scale. So the more acres you buy, the less price per acre, it’s going to be. You subdivide it off to two acre lots. Instead of buying one fit, you’re, you’re about one 50 acres.
Obviously two acres is going to be much, much more price per acre than 50 acres. So if you do that a few times, you can get a large, large portion or cover it completely, or even make money depending on how you want to do it. And then you’ll own your land free and clear and just keep off the best section of the property for yourself.
And you can, like I said, you can do that by a hundred acres. If you want to keep 10. Subdivide 90 off and split it up into however you want or if you buy 100 acres, you want 50 subdivide the 50 off and you’ll make money on that. The more acres you buy in general, the more opportunity there’s going to be for that and the more economy is of scale you get.
So the better return you’re going to get. With the more acres you get. So obviously buying a hundred acres and subdividing it off is going, generally going to be better than buying 20 acres and doing it. So just wanted to leave that with you because land really doesn’t require that much capital. If you do it right, you will have that cash out or choose the seller financing method.
work with them, get a low, very low interest rate and try to get it under market value as well. Hope this episode was good to you guys. As always, please like and subscribe our YouTube channel. It really helps drive our mission forward. Thank you for joining and we’ll see you next episode as always. Thank you for joining.
Please do us a huge favor and like and subscribe our YouTube channel and share this with a friend. It really means the world to Ron and I, but more importantly, it could help change the life of someone else. Thanks for joining and we’ll see you next episode.