Recreational Real Estate, Should You Invest?

Should I Invest in Recreational Real Estate?

Have you ever thought about buying property that matched with your hobbies, such as camping, hunting, fishing, or hiking? Investing in recreational real estate may be just what you are dreaming about. There are many benefits that come with owning recreational real estate, but the biggest is likely the ability to enjoy the great outdoors while your investment grows in value.

A person who is ideally suited for investing in recreational properties is someone who appreciates family time, weekend getaways, nature, and hunting. While some investors will want to generate cash from renting out any productive farmland, timber harvesting, and leasing hunting rights, cash-flow does not seem to be the prime goal for most. Unlike other rural investments, recreational real estate is often a source of pride and pure joy. It is an investment that can help grow your wealth, but without the time and effort required with other forms of real estate.

What Is Recreational Real Estate?

For some people who are unfamiliar with the term, recreational real estate may be confused with other properties. Essentially, these lands are used for primarily for enjoyment or recreational purposes, as opposed to commercial timber or agriculture. In fact, a large volume of merchantable timber is often removed to make it more usable for recreational purposes. That said, less mature or non-merchantable timber will eventually grow into marketable timber. Moreover, previously cleared areas can be reforested.

The prime purpose of recreational real estate is hunting, fishing, camping, and the enjoyment of nature. In a fast-paced world, many people want to just get away and reconnect with natural world. It is an opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family through camping, horseback riding, ATVs, and hiking. So, while these tracks of land are generally considered undeveloped or not truly cash producing, they do have a true value.

Tips for Recreational Property Buyers

  1. Work with a local real estate professional familiar with recreational properties. – While it is important to get a property appraisal, some appraisers will simply use the same price per acre for all undeveloped land. A real estate professional with recreational experience will understand whether or not that appraisal represents the true market value.
  2. True comparable properties are difficult to find. – With residential real estate, even in a slow market, it is often easy to find comparable properties to make adjustments and determine a good sale price. Given the slower pace of recreational properties, it is not unusual to look at comparable real estate many miles away. What is important is that you understand how adjustments were made and feel comfortable with them.
  3. It is also a good idea to obtain an analysis of the broader area. – Beyond looking at several comparable properties, ask your real estate professional to provide you with a report on the active, expired or withdrawn, and sold listings of recreational properties across the broader region. This will give you a better idea about the average and median prices for recreational real estate in that area.
  4. What is the cost of any improvements you would like to make? – As with other real estate, the sale price is not the only cost. What are your future plans? Do you want to build a cabin? Are you expecting to put in more trails for horseback riding? It is a good plan to have some idea of the costs and your budget when evaluating a property.
  5. What are your ultimate goals for the property? – When comparing different properties, it is a good to have some idea what your eventual plans are down the road. Is it something you expect to sell off to fund your retirement or will you pass it on to your children? This will really help you pick the right recreational property for your needs.

Don’t have your own recreational real estate, check out these upcoming real estate auctions.

At Kaufman Realty & Auctions, we enjoy providing Pro-Tips and insights for real estate owners in Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. Properly cared for hunting land can be an excellent investment as well as provide enjoyment that goes far beyond dollars and cents.  If you have questions about what is best for you real estate please contact us.


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