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Wilderness Realty, Inc.

Maine Land Sales Specialists

MARKET REPORT BY WILDERNESS REALTY

February 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Land 101, Land Economics, Real Estate Blog, Uncategorized

My first April post last year hinted at an economic recovery from the previous year.  How has the market performed since then?

Well I am happy to report that the US economy is better now than it was 11 months ago.  The DOW is hovering around 12,400 as compared to under 11,000; consumer confidence has been steady and is slightly up from last April; personal spending, manufacturing and foreign markets are all up.  On the down side are home values which, however, are predicted to rise later this year.

When I made the report last year, I was hoping the numbers were more than just “wishful thinking”.  Looking back, I can say things did get better.  What about the current numbers?  Personally, I feel better about the economy than I did last year.  Do not misunderstand me, things are not booming; but seem to be moving in the right direction.

A recent report indicates that more money is going into the stock market and at a faster rate than in the past few years.  For those looking to invest, consider land as another vehicle to diversify your portfolio.  Wilderness Realty has a great inventory with good deals.  We have added a considerable number of listings to our inventory this past Fall/Winter.  Check out our website or better yet call 207-947-7957 and make an appointment for a showing.

BEAT INFLATION

August 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Land 101, Land Economics, Real Estate Blog, Uncategorized

Buy land now before inflation hits!  I am not usually pessimistic and I certainly do not wish for higher inflation.  Unfortunately recent events in the financial arena do not bode well for this rather distasteful scenario.

For over a decade we have been blessed with low inflation especially when compared to the late 1970’s.  The Federal Reserve has accomplished this by tinkering with interest rates.

Another Fed strategy to keep inflation at bay is to control the money supply.  The current administration is spending tremendous amounts of money at a never before seen historic high rate.  To account for this increased spending, the US government is printing money at an also never before seen historic high rate.  This has an effect of lowering the value of the dollar.

Over time this devaluation of the dollar will lead to inflation.  To counteract that, the Fed will increase interest rates; which generally have a negative effect on economic growth.

Under this scenario, prices for goods go up including land.  If you buy land now and inflation starts to increase in the future, so too will the value of your land investment.  This would be a good strategy to preserve the value of your money; turn your cash into land!  So instead of having a bunch of dollars losing value; you now have land increasing in value and in the future will be worth more dollars.

If inflation gets to be real bad, more people will buy land, which is a finite resource, and cause land prices to increase even more.  The sooner you become a landowner in the “inflation cycle” the better off you will be financially.

Although the current consumer mood is to hold back in these uncertain times, the continuing government spending spree and consequential increase in the printing of money makes a land purchase pretty attractive.

GROWING VEGETABLES ON MY LAND

Granted, one does not need 78 acres to grow a vegetable garden; it is, however, an important use of my land.  We actually have 5 separate garden spots; there is the main garden which is approximately 70’ x 25’, a smaller 20’ x 6’ strip, a 10’ x 10’ winter squash garden and two 4’ x 8’ raised beds.

We grow a variety of produce which yields fresh veggies from early May to late October.  We start by planting one of the raised beds as early as possible with leaf lettuce, bibb lettuce, radishes, spinach, spring onions, Chinese cabbage and bok choy.  This bed can be covered to protect from frost and heavy rains.  We are eating from this spot first along with the perennial asparagus growing in part of the strip garden.  The other raised bed has dill and walking onions.  There is also additional space in the second raised bed to transplant lettuce, etc. from the first bed.

The other gardens are planted, weather permitting, by the first week of June.  The main garden has edible pod peas, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, pole beans, bush beans, carrots, red beets, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.  The strip garden has summer squash, cauliflower, hot & sweet peppers.  There are 4 varieties of winter squash growing in their separate spot.

We may also grow several varieties of each vegetable, for instance, there are three kinds of onions, two kinds of carrots, two kinds of potatoes etc.  We freeze, can, pickle, ferment and dehydrate our surplus veggies to carry us through until the next growing season.  Of course we are eating fresh produce as each comes into season.  Nothing like taking a stroll through the garden, picking what is ready and concocting a meal.  At this time of year (mid-summer) the possibilities are endless.

Even with all the preserving and eating, we still have extras.  This I give away to friends and family.  I know some people who sell the excess and make a little pocket change.  Others intentionally plant more than they can use in order to supplement their income.

Gardening is yet another viable use of MY LAND.

BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE

George W. Bush’s tax cuts implemented in 2003 are set to expire at the end of this year.  President Obama has indicated that he will let them expire and not extend them.

One aspect of Bush’s plan is the long term capital gains tax which was lowered to 15%.  At the end of this year this rate will increase to 20%.

What does this mean for land prices?  Most likely sellers will recoup this tax increase by passing it along to buyers in the sales price.  It is expected that land prices next year could be at least 5% more than they are currently.

This can be a tempting time for those who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to happen.  That “something” can very well be higher prices next year.

Wilderness Realty has an inventory of prime Maine land properties ready for sale.  Call today and make an appointment for a showing, 207-947-7957.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY?!

Some points to ponder regarding the economy:

  • The market is up 75% on average one year since the stock market lows of March, 2009.  The DOW  is poised to break 11,000 for the first time since the end of September, 2008.
  • Personal spending is up for the 5th straight month.
  • Manufacturing is growing faster than expected.
  • Home values are increasing.
  • Consumer confidence increased in March.
  • Foreign markets are on the rise too, especially in Europe and China.

This is all good news.  Does this mean that demand for land is on the rise?  From our experience, phone calls are up over 100% in March when compared to February and January of this year.

Couple this with some of the most unbelievably favorable weather in central Maine this year.  We escaped the big snowstorms that socked southern New England and the mid Atlantic.  Temperatures have been mild since early February.  Most lakes shed their ice last week, a phenomenon that rarely occurs before April 1st.  Even though we did get some heavy rain in the past two weeks, it was far less than southern Maine and points further south.

The bottom line is our snow is gone, grass is starting to green and we have incredibly warm temperatures.  We have not seen this kind of weather pattern for 30+ years.

This is the perfect time to look at land.  Prices are low and interest is increasing.  If you have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for improvement, now is a good time to look around.

Brokers at Wilderness Realty are available weekdays and weekends to show property.  Give us a call and make an appointment, 207-947-7957.

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