Tag: Alabama Land for Sale

How do I Prepare to Buy Land in Alabama

This article is focused more on the buyer who wants land for family recreational purposes and not a timber land investor. Most timberland investors have a very good idea of timber values, proximity to mills, timber growth rates and bare land values.

The first priority is to make a list of the amenities that you want if you could find the perfect property. Do you want a cabin, a fishing lake, a barn, established wildlife plots, etc. Some buyers prefer a “turnkey” family hunting/fishing property but this costs much more than “raw” land. Some buyers have the desire and expertise to construct amenities which takes time but saves a lot of money.

The second priority is to decide how much you want to spend on a property. If you need financing to buy the property you should meet with a lender who specializes in land loans. In Alabama, two of the most aggressive lenders are Alabama Ag Credit and First South Farm Credit. They will ask you for tax returns and a credit report. You may need about 15% – 20% of the estimated purchase price for a down payment. Your lender will be able to tell you in a very short time the loan amount, interest rate, term (number of years) and the monthly payments.

The final thing you need to do to prepare to buy land in Alabama is to find an experienced real estate agent to help you. The term is a Buyer’s Agent and it costs you nothing! Ask your banker, CPA, or friends who have bought or sold land to give you a short list of agents. Then look at their “bio” on their website to see if you feel compatible with any of them. Pick one and call him or her to discuss your property requirements. If they promptly send you some tracts to look at, then they may be a good choice to work with. Hopefully, you can meet him, tour some properties and get comfortable allowing the agent to represent you. When you are ready to buy, your agent can prepare the sale contract and assist you with the details to a successful closing.  Please give John Hall and Company a call at 334.270.8400 and speak with one of our experienced sales agents to discuss your perfect property. www.johnhallco.com.

Happy Hunting!

-John E. Hall, Jr. CCIM

Buying Land in Alabama – The John Hall & Company Advantage

We live in the age of information overload. It’s no surprise that today’s potential buyer is more informed than ever before. However, that same buyer is often more confused and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices and information. It is now more difficult than ever to discern the accurate and relevant information needed to make informed and wise decisions, especially when it comes to buying large tracts of land.

“Getting information from the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant”

Mitchell Kapor

A prospective buyer may look at Zillow to find the purchase price of a similar sized hunting tract that sold in the general vicinity. But it is hard to gauge from online information if properties are really comparable because there is so much not said in the listing. Properties listed online are going to highlight the positive of the properties. It requires diligent research, asking the right questions, and understanding land to really determine the true value of a property.

Last week, a friend found “the perfect” property listing on the internet that had a nice cabin on a beautiful lake. Like all of us would do, he got excited and called the listing agent before talking with me. He loved the cabin and the lake so much he immediately put in an offer with the listing agent and was ready to buy the land.

Thankfully, his offer was not accepted. He learned afterwards the listing agent failed to mention that the mineral rights didn’t convey with the property. I’m sure it was an honest mistake, but the point is my friend would have been under contract had his offer been accepted.

He trusted the listing agent even though they had just met. He didn’t have another trusted set of eyes representing his best interest.

He called and asked me to be his Buyers Agent.

When we become your Buyers Agent we take properties and their agents to task by research and asking lots of questions.

Examples of just a few questions we ask on behalf of our buyers:

  • What are the circumstances surrounding the sale?
  • What is the contributing timber value?
  • What price was placed on the lodge?
  • Did the lodge already have power or did the owner have to run the utility at considerable cost?
  • Is the owner an adjoining landowner?
  • Is the land being sold by a family member who was in financial distress?
  • Has the deer been managed to QDMA standards?
  • Is there supplemental feeding?
  • Was the property leased to a hunting club who shot anything with horns?
  • Has the best species of hardwoods been select cut from the bottoms?
  • Is or was the lake stocked and intensely managed? Was it stocked with F1 Tiger Bass?

We customize our questions for the buyer’s needs and the type of property they are seeking.

Our clients depend on John Hall and Company to collect the pertinent information our clients’ need and filtered out the rest, give proprietary knowledge and expertise, discern which listings are legitimate and which ones should be avoided despite the pretty pictures, present accurate evaluation of land options using comparable sales information determine a property’s value, narrow down search to focus on the most important characteristics our clients are wanting to acquire, and, most importantly, streamline the buying process and make it easy on the client.

John Hall and Company has 33 continuous years of experience in land transactions. We have intimate familiarity of listed properties, amenities, and contributory values in Central and South Alabama.

When a potential buyer becomes a client of John Hall and Company you become one of our own. We introduce you to our network of advisors and experts in the fields of financing, forestry, wildlife biology, surveyors, lake builders, 1031 tax deferred exchange intermediaries, appraisers, closing attorneys, and more. Together we make up a team that ensures every possible consideration has been thoroughly covered and planned.

Please, call us today to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our agents.

-Pete Hall, ALC

Click here for part 2, written by Hoke Smith, “How Does Buying Land in Alabama Work?”

Preparing Your Land to Sell to a Recreational Buyer

Welcome to the John Hall and Company Selling Land in Alabama series.  This is part four in the series. Go here to read, part one written by Pete Hallpart two written by Hoke Smith, part three written by Josh Hall& part four written by Robert Smith

There are things most people do when they prepare to sell their home: service the HVAC; paint, repair rotten wood where needed, clean up landscaping; straighten up furniture and closets, etc. The same concept applies to preparing your land for sale. All property is not the same. You would treat a 60 acre wooded tract differently than a 400 acre recreational tract with amenities.

Let’s begin with preparing a 60+/- acre wooded tract for sale. The owner should consider thinning some timber and using the money to install a good trails system and 1 or 2 wildlife plots. They should consider getting a boundary survey or at least mark each corner clearly. It is important that there are no boundary line disputes or easement issues with neighbors. Finally, a sturdy metal entrance gate with a lock is a nice feature. If the owner doesn’t know how to hire a logger and/or contractor to do the improvements, a good land brokerage company, like John Hall and Company, has access to these people. The main reason to do this work is “you can’t sell a tract unless you can show it.” If the owner does not want to prepare the tract as we have recommended, he can sell it strictly to a timber buyer. The owner will probably get 25% to 30% less i.e. $400-$500 per acre less at the closing of the sale. If the property is real secluded and has no road frontage it would not be wise to do the improvements herein.

Now, let’s discuss a 400 +/- acre tract of recreational property with a cabin, equipment, shed, a 3 to 10 acre fishing lake, and some wildlife plots with permanent deer stands. This type of property is a land broker’s dream listing, but only if it’s maintained and “shows well.” What should the owner do to prepare this property for sale? Some actions are similar to the small tract discussed earlier. The owner should mark all property lines and corners and install “No Trespassing” signs. It is very helpful to have a boundary survey but the cost can be $5,000 to $7,500. A survey is the only way to determine the exact acreage and our property in this example in this example may sell for $3,000 to $3,500 per acre. The trails need to be bush hogged and “limbed up” and wildlife plots need to be planted in winter or mowed in summer. The pine stands need fire lanes established if the owner has not done so. Many owners fertilize and lime their pond to provide plankton for a healthy fish population. The fishing lake should have some clean, mowed areas along the bank, a well maintained boat dock and fish feeders. Hopefully the pond provides good fishing because it is such a joy to see a 3 year old catch his or her first fish! The cabin needs to be put into very good condition with no roof leaks, no rotten wood, etc. The HVAC, plumbing, and appliances should be in good working order. The equipment shed needs to be cleaned up with all equipment/tools neat and orderly.

Basically, the owner needs to incorporate best management practices for his land, timber and wildlife. Not every practice is cost effective for every owner. It is very important to create a good first impression for your land broker and your prospective buyer when they arrive at your property!

-John E. Hall, Jr. CCIM

What Does It Cost To Sell Land in Alabama?

Welcome to the John Hall and Company Selling Land in Alabama series.  This is part four in the series. Go here to read, part one written by Pete Hall, part two written by Hoke Smith, & part three written by Josh Hall

As a land agent, initial conversations with clients usually involve cost associated with buying or selling a piece of property.  These expenses vary among transactions, but it important to understand basic structuring of how these costs are distributed. Sellers will be responsible for certain closing costs along with real estate commission to the listing broker. Other up-front cost may be required to make the property suitable to sell.

Up- front costs to the seller are not always necessary, but can greatly improve chances of maximizing profits on a particular sale. A property owner will want to make needed changes to improve the aesthetic appeal for prospecting buyers. A key component to this would be having a good road system established. A good internal road system will be appealing to a future owner and also gives curb appeal with accessibility during showings. Cost of an internal road system is dependent upon condition of existing road and the size of the tract. Other important aspects a property owner can adjust for are maintenance expenses such as mowing, land clearing, spraying, planting, etc. These costs are relatively minor part of the transaction but can go a long way in getting the property sold.

A second expense a seller may want to take into consideration is the completion of a survey.   A survey is not required, but is a great asset in selling a piece of property. A buyer will often want to have a clear understanding of exact acreage and boundary lines before moving forward with a purchase. This will give assurance of no underlying issues such as encroachments or any kind of boundary line disputes. Costs of surveys vary depending on size and shape of the property. It is best to consult with your listing broker to determine if having a survey done is justifiable before putting a piece of land on the market.

After an agreed upon sales price, funds will then be settled at closing. While majority of fees are negotiable as to who pays between buyer and seller, there is often standard fees assigned to each party.  Sellers often account for cost such as agent’s commission, deed preparation, prorated taxes, attorney fees, and any judgments or liens tied with the property. Commission is an agreed upon percentage of the sales price between agent and seller and is the primary expense of the seller.

All land sale transactions are unique in their own way but this gives an outline of standard costs applied to the seller.  All of these factors emphasize the need to consult with a qualified broker. Selling a piece of property can seem like a big task but having an experienced land agent guide the process is critical in obtaining a desired profit.

-Robert Smith

Click here for part five of this series, written by John. E Hall, Jr, “Preparing Your Land To Sell to a Recreational Buyer”

Selling Land in Alabama – What is My Land Worth

Welcome to the John Hall and Company Selling Land in Alabama series.  This is part three in the series. Go here to read, part one written by Pete Hall, and part two written by Hoke Smith

Owning a piece of land for many has always been part of the American dream. It can provide a getaway back to the country for hunting, fishing, horseback/ATV riding, gardening, farming and building family memories.  Due to these memories and activities, many landowners will often “bake” these great times into the value of their land when it comes time to sell. This mistake can result in an overpriced listing that can be difficult to sell. An accurate estimate of value of your land is very important whether you are a buyer or a seller. Therefore, the question that is often asked “What is my land worth?

The first thing to remember when estimating a value of your land is that value is only an opinion and that opinion is only as good as the amount of market data and the detail of data available. A contract is a fact, a listing is fact and a closed sale is a fact and those are some of the data points utilized to arrive at an opinion of value. The market uses the term “comp” for comparable sale or listing. The key is to make sure the data is truly comparable.

Land is often difficult to value due to the lack of availability of sales and listings data. Unlike residential houses, where 80% of all sales are typically input in a multiple listing service (MLS) and the data is readily available, land transactions are not usually included in the MLS. Much of the sales data is scattered amongst many land brokers and consultants and is difficult and time consuming to collect.

So, let’s move to the basics of what is my land worth. The first important step is to accurately assess all of the important economic and physical attributes of your property. I am often asked “What is land going for around here?” That is when I ask…What type of property is it? Crop land, pastureland, wooded land, timberland, cutover land or turnkey recreational land, etc. These different types of land carry different values. My other question would be; “Where is it located? What do the surrounding properties look like? You get the picture. Not all rural land is the same.

Once the owner’s property type and description has been assessed it is time to move on to gather sales and listings of similar property. Sales of similar property should follow this definition of “market value” set by US Federal government for financial Institutions.

A definition of “market value” is below:

The most probable price which property should bring in a competitive an open market under all conditions requisite to a fare sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undo stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and passing title from seller to buyer whereby:

  1. The buyer and seller are typically motivated;
  2. both parties are well informed or well advised and each acting in what he or she considers his or her own best interest;
  3. a reasonable time is allowed for exposure to the open market
  4. payment is made in terms of cash or US dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto
  5. the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.

What this means is when looking for comparable sales in order to arrive at an opinion of value is that the sale should be normal.

A land sale in which a seller is forced to sell due to a court order or a bank foreclosure or where the adjoining property owner paid a premium because it was next to them is typically not a comparable sale.

A land sale that brings a premium sale price due to the owner offering below market financing (say 0%) is not typically a good comparable sale.

A land sale that was not exposed to the open market and the seller accepted the first offer they received is typically not a comparable sale.

A sale where one of the parties to the transaction was uninformed, such as a party did not know the true timber value or did not know the property was contaminated or had a WRP easement attached to it is not typically a good comparable sale either.

Although most sellers would appreciate it if the adjoining landowner would pay a premium, this is not typically the case and is rare.

Once a sale has been identified for comparability to your land it is then important to research the transactional and property characteristics and compare them to your property.

Transactional adjustments include:

Property rights conveyed: Do all rights go with sale, mineral, surface, timber, etc?

Financing terms: were terms normal or favorable due to owner financing?

Conditions of sale: Normal sale or not. Maybe the buyer paid a premium because they were on the back side of a 1031 exchange or maybe the sale was to a family member for a discount.

Expenditures made immediately after purchase: Did the purchaser pay a commission, or did purchaser have to buy access or clear a title problem after the purchase?

Market conditions (change in value over time). If the sale is a year or two old has the market changed?

All of the above have to be known, considered and adjusted for as it compares to your property.

Property adjustments include differences in:

Location: Area or neighborhood differences and proximity to major cities or major interstates.

Physical characteristics: access, topography, interior road system, flood zones/ wetlands, size, shape of site, improvements on the property.

Economic characteristics: CRP rent, timber leases, hunting leases, surface or mineral royalties or amount of timber.

Non-realty components of value: Land transactions often include personal items such as tractors, ATV’s, trailers or furnishings to name a few.

It is vitally important to understand each sale used as a comparison to your property to draw a credible conclusion in understanding what your property is worth. The more sales and listings available the more credible the opinion. Also, having the sales data is the first step to know what your property is worth but accurately analyzing the data is equally important. A business analyst once told me “just because you have the recipe, doesn’t make you a good cook.”

Remember, market changes are not linear.  It goes up and down and is like a wave in which there are troughs and crests within the rise and fall of overall land market movement. If your property is listed at the same time many similar properties like yours are listed, it could a trough moment where the supply exceeds demand and vice versa, a crest moment where demand exceeds supply if yours is one of the few listed properties for sale at the time. So, the number of listings also needs to be reviewed in light of the comparable sales.

Over the years I have seen many investments in land not optimized due to the seller not wanting to pay a knowledgeable broker or consultant prior to selling their land. I have seen this in other industries as well and have personally not paid for advice when I should have. My advice is to keep your day job and do what you do well and have a professional broker, appraiser or consultant help you with pricing your land and exposing it to the market in order to maximize what you receive for it.

– Josh Hall, MAI

Click here for part four of this series, written by Robert Smith, “What Does it Cost to Sell Land in Alabama?”

Click here for part five of this series, written by John. E Hall, Jr, “Preparing Your Land To Sell to a Recreational Buyer”

Selling Land in Alabama – How Does Selling Land Work?

Welcome to the John Hall and Company Selling Land in Alabama series.  This is part two in the series. Go here to read, part one written by Pete Hall

Selling a piece of property can be an intimidating or foreign concept to some landowners who have never sold property before. The following information is for those who ask themselves the question “where do I even begin” or “what are the steps I need to take in order to acquire the best value I can for my property”. We at John Hall and Company are here to provide you with the knowledge and confidence so that when you are selling a property, you know you are making educated decisions that will ultimately benefit you come the day of closing.

The first thing a landowner needs to recognize when deciding to sell their land is the understanding of what they own. It may sound simple, but when trying to maximize the monetary value that can be received a good understanding of what your property has to offer is necessary. Understanding what the property has to offer can be identified in several different ways. The location of a property can make a big impact on a property’s value. Depending on the location, the demand may be higher or lower than others areas. What is the best use for the property? Is it a potential development property, a home site, timberland, agricultural property, recreational property, or a combination of these? John Hall and Company is happy to help landowners wanting to sell their property understand the different aspects that will affect their property’s value. We do this by offering what we call a Brokers Opinion of Value or “BOV”.

The next question a landowner may have is “how do I value these different aspects of my property?” This is where you will need help. John Hall & Company is here to give our professional opinion with data to back up our statements, but we also have an extensive list of other professionals who can value individual characteristics of your property to help come up with a total value for the property. We have contacts such as certified foresters who can provide timber values, certified appraisers who can put together an official appraisal of your property, or we can use recent sales of properties that are similar to yours and in the same area to identify what other properties are selling for.

Once a landowner has a good grasp and understanding of their property, the next question is “How do I sell my property”. Real estate brokerages that are specifically catered towards selling properties such as yours are who you need to be looking into. If you have a home you want to sell, then a residential real estate agent may be your best option. If you are selling a commercial building, such as office space, then it would be most beneficial to seek out a commercial real estate brokerage. If you are selling a recreational hunting property, timberland property, farm, or other type of rural property even if it may have a home on it, then a real estate brokerage that specializes in that category (such as John Hall & Company) would be who you need to seek out. We encourage Sellers to ask as many questions about our company as possible so that you know we can be trusted and depended on. We want you to know that we are here to represent and serve you as our client in your best interest. Buyers for land come from all over the country. John Hall & Company’s marketing strategies are put in place to make sure that we are able to gain maximum exposure and in front of potential buyers.

After you have identified as real estate brokerage that you would like to represent you, the next step is listing your property to put on the market. A sales plan needs to be put in place and an initial listing price needs established. Once the real estate brokerage compiles all of their marketing materials and begins to advertise the property you may want to ask them to provide a monthly report on the traffic your listing is receiving through website views, phone calls, emails, etc. Upon receiving an offer(s) it would be beneficial to consult with your listing real estate agent and listen to their opinion. It is your real estate agent’s duty to represent you with your best interest in mind. Having knowledge of the market and experience in negotiating deals they will most likely have a good insight on how to navigate you through the negotiating and in turn ending with a contract and that is beneficial and pleasing to you as the seller. That real estate agent should then work with you and update you through the due diligence period of the contract and on to closing.

Selling land can be complicated in some situations, but it doesn’t have to be. The best advice for a landowner looking to sell their land is to find a real estate brokerage that specializes in selling property such as theirs. They should find an agent they can trust and depend on to represent with their best interest in mind. The end result should be you, as a seller, getting up from the closing table knowing that you got a good deal in a timely manner!

-Hoke Smith

 Click here for part three of this series, written by Josh Hall, “Selling Land in Alabama-  What is My Land Worth”

Click here for part four of this series, written by Robert Smith, “What Does it Cost to Sell Land in Alabama?”

Click here for part five of this series, written by John. E Hall, Jr, “Preparing Your Land To Sell to a Recreational Buyer”

Selling Land in Alabama – The John Hall & Company Advantage

When John Hall and Company is hired to sell your land, our goal is simple. We endeavor to command the highest possible return on your investment by marketing to a class of buyers willing to pay a premium for the time, effort, and stewardship you have poured into your property.

Selling land is our passion. We don’t see it as a job as much as a calling and serving our clients is our reward. As a 4th generation land owner my values and love for the land were shaped from my great grandfathers on down. One farmed cotton and owned a gin in North Alabama and the other bought acreage for his timber and cattle operations in Montgomery County. My father grew up on these properties, taught his boys to hunt, and our passion was fueled from lessons learned through conservation. My father started our company 35 years ago upon the foundations of INTEGRITY, SERVICE, and PRACTICING THE GOLDEN RULE. As such we only hire specialists whose passion reflects our own and who adhere to the core values he outlined so many years ago.

The experience gleaned from 35 years in the business, years of good will from building relationships, and first-hand understanding of all types of land transactions in Alabama ultimately give you, the land owner a significant advantage. We sell hunting plantations, timber investments, AG and cattle land, conservation easements, mini farms, and all types of land investments.

Selling Hunting Land:

The Company and Broker you decide to hire is the most important decision you’ll make after deciding to sell. In an overcrowded industry where corporate land companies have moved in and hired weekend warriors or anyone willing to get a real estate license, the industry has lost its heart and soul. You deserve a specialist with local market knowledge, technological marketing expertise, experience, and the information on hand to maximize your investment. You deserve the difference that results from using John Hall & Company.

There are a host of influences that can affect your property’s market value. Some you can control some you cannot. You may not be able to choose the timing or what pine pulp wood is selling for but make no mistake about it the broker who sells your land will make a difference in your net profit whether you are in a bear or a bull market.

At John Hall and Company we understand the significance the power of information will have on your net profit. When it comes to serving our clients, we have an intimate familiarity in the markets we serve because we put boots on the ground. We understand there are outliers and characteristics of certain properties that are rarely taken into account by most brokers and appraisers. There are certain areas where we find micro markets within the same county allowing us to justify a much higher bare land value than a property that is located fairly close by. It may be due to their better soils which produce better food sources and ultimately bigger wildlife. Certain areas may have been influenced by an institution like the bird dog field trials in Union Springs. Over time the field trials attracted a wealthy clientele of purchasers willing to pay a premium in this coveted area. A seller may own a smaller hunting tract surrounded by predominantly larger landowners who typically manage their plantations for trophy wildlife. Are you taking into account higher building costs and permitting issues associated with building a lake when assessing its worth? How will the new timber mills coming online effect the value of on your timber?

Whatever the case may be we can often identify these outliers and justify a command a higher price when we evaluate your property.

We have an incredible database of comparable sales we collect from the transactions we have sold, our relationships with appraisers, and the institutions that finance land. Being informed gives us the advantage when negotiating a price because we can justify it.

The biggest tool in our arsenal is our holistic marketing plan we have implemented to help identify and target our buyers. Quite simply, our strategic reach is second to none. We are continually educating ourselves in order to remain on the cutting edge because marketing in this day and age is constantly evolving. After engineering a personalized brochure of our client’s land we advertise the listing on a host of aggregator websites. This provides us the opportunity to expose your land on a local, regional, and national level. We utilize social media campaigns, Search Engine Optimization, create videos through our drone footage, and attract potential buyers through interactive mapping software. Newly listed properties are blasted out by reaching thousands upon thousands of past and potential clients. Every land broker and residential agent in the state receives a copy of the marketing brochure and they are encouraged to bring all offers.

To those of us who love the land, we understand the value of investing in hunting land is more than financial. Memories made while passing down your values through hunting and good stewardship cannot be measured in dollars and cents. The safety and security of knowing your family has a place to go during uncertain times is impossible to quantify. We know that during the time you own your property it’s almost inevitable that you will put more money in the land than it can produce. The financial that can result from investing in a hunting plantation is realized when the land is sold.

There are a host of influences that can affect your property’s market value. Some you can control some you cannot. You may not be able to choose the timing or what pine pulp wood is selling for but make no mistake about it the broker who sells your land will make a difference in your net profit whether you are in a bear or a bull market. When it comes time to selling your land, you can trust our team to guide you from the initial assessment through closing. I welcome you to take advantage of our knowledge and unique skill set in order to maximize your investment.

-Pete Hall, ALC

Click here for part two of this series, written by Hoke Smith, “How Does Selling Land Work?”

 Click here for part three of this series, written by Josh Hall, “Selling Land in Alabama-  What is My Land Worth”

Click here for part four of this series, written by Robert Smith, “What Does it Cost to Sell Land in Alabama?”

Click here for part five of this series, written by John. E Hall, Jr, “Preparing Your Land To Sell to a Recreational Buyer”

Land – The Ultimate Investment During Uncertain Times

As Alabamians began returning to work the reality of the new normal began to take shape. I, for one, was excited to get a haircut and to grab a meal from my favorite restaurant but it quickly became clear that the new economy looks vastly different than what we are used to.

Safety measures are being enforced. Social distancing is in effect. Bars, restaurants, retail, and the service industries are limited to the number of customers allowed in their stores.  Don’t even think about going to Costco without a mask! Gone are the days of cubicle farms as the down-sizing of office space continues. Similar precautions are in place everywhere from the dentist to manufacturing plants.  And how long will it be this way? By all reasonable accounts a vaccine will not be created, tested, and available to the masses for a year to 18 months. 

In fact the more we open the economy we find there are more questions than answers. What will universities and schools look like next fall? Will the manufacturing and supply chains throughout the country bounce back quickly or will there be enough demand? Will the stock market continue to vacillate wildly on any given day? Is my portfolio sufficiently diversified? Is my 401K safe?

Tony Robbins, the great motivational speaker has an insightful quote that says, “The quality of your life is a direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably tolerate.”

So how do we respond? We focus on what we can control and find ways to help our fellow man. We make sacrifices both large and small to protect one another and we adapt to the new normal finding dependable resources in the process.

These tenants are not new to John Hall & Company. For 33 years we’ve built our business around them. And because we implemented a holistic marketing strategy before the epidemic hit we were well situated to flourish in the new normal. In fact our clients have found that we have been able to provide the same level of customer service they have come to expect and depend on. 

Fortunately our team has not experienced a disruption in our productivity as land out performs other investments. We continue to list land and market our customer’s property through a variety digital marketing techniques including social media campaigns, email blasts, and Search Engine Optimization. We have been able to show land to potential purchasers through drone videos and interactive mapping software. For our Seller’s we still go out and physically evaluate their land to provide an assessment of value. We provide comparable sales data and up to date market analysis and then maximize their return by exposing the property to the right buyers. And despite the shut-down of “non-essential” businesses we still close transactions electronically and continue to connect our clients with services they need such us closing attorneys, surveyors, foresters, etc.

What many may not realize is that while the stock market continues to fluctuate and other commercial investments falter land values have remained strong. In fact we have seen as much or more interest in recreational hunting and timber tracts than ever.

My father, who started John Hall & Company is 75 years old and has had a few health scares over the last three years. He personifies the category of those most vulnerable to the virus. While he took all the necessary precautions, isolated, and worked remotely the single biggest blessing we realized was the family farm. The farm provided a safe place for him to go and find purpose. He drove out there several times a week, strategized with a consulting forester about our timber cutting program, fixed up roads, worked on the fishing lake, and managed all those small projects we talk about doing but never quite get to. I can’t think of one other investment or asset that can provide a place of refuge, financial security, and purpose other than owning a piece of land.

If you have been thinking about buying land in Alabama there’s never been a more prudent time. Call us and let our company find an asset that will allow you to pass down your values and create a legacy to leave for future generations.

Pete Hall

Accredited Land Consultant

John Hall & Company

Key Considerations in the Land Buying Process

Key Considerations in the Land Buying Process

When beginning the process of buying recreational hunting land in Alabama there is a host of considerations to keep in mind. In fact these key considerations are so numerous many are over looked in the selection process.  While overwhelming these factors are vitally important not only finding the right tract, but they will ultimately determine your enjoyment of the land, and your return when selling.

When representing buyers I provide my clients with a list of these factors to consider. But I also impress upon my buyers to clients pare down all of these options to the top 5 most important characteristics in order to aid in the selection process. What are the “must haves” and the “nonnegotiable?” Here is a list to consider when buying land…..


In a series of upcoming articles I am going to explore many of these. For today we are going to look solely at Location which rightfully so is at the top of the list.

Travel time – How far is the land you purchase from your residence or office, door to door? The travel time to your land will impact how often you go there. Distance from home will be a factor in how easy it is to manage the land. Will you need a land manager, a company to help with wildlife services, planting food plots, etc?

Location determines the price you pay as well as your exit strategy in terms of resale. Some counties have micro markets where dirt values are higher in a certain pocket of a county. In Bullock County there such micro markets exist because there are many large land owners of 500 to several thousand acres. It is also home of the field trials and many named quail plantations. You can be sure that your neighbor is has the same game management goals you do. They are planting food plots, supplemental feeding the deer, managing to QDMA standards, harvesting doe to control over population and for the most part are shooting mature bucks only. While you may pay a higher dirt value to purchase the land you can rest assured the land holds its value better than most areas.

Location determines the quality of the land you purchase and the types of hunting available to you. For instance the Black Belt region and outlying counties provide the soils and food sources that are major factors in the size of your deer, mass and quality of your racks, and your herd’s population. Water sources i.e. rivers and creeks provide better timber and food sources, cover for deer, roosting areas for turkeys, and potential duck habitat.

Location can determine topography which also effects wildlife quality. For example in Autauga County if you are south of CR 14 the land is level to gently rolling. It’s close to the Alabama River and the wildlife is bigger and more abundant. North of CR 14 the land begins to become hillier and even steep. The soils change and there are not only fewer deer per square mile but the size and racks are inferior.

Proximity to larger metro areas – If you are within an hour from larger metro areas you have a larger buying pool when you decide to sell. An example of this is the triangle between Montgomery, Columbus, and Auburn. That being said Birmingham buyers are used to driving two hours plus to get to their land and we have many buyers from Georgia, and Florida who seek out recreational hunting land in Alabama.

Distance to timber markets can make a big difference in the value of your timber. How far are you from these mills? What types of mills are they? Is there competition or is one major mill setting the price?

Location can also adversely affect your land value. Are you are close to a high crime town, a landfill, or surrounded by small land owners? Are there hunting clubs with the “If it’s brown it’s down” mentality?

For more information or if you need a consultant to talk about buying or selling land in Alabama call Pete Hall at 334 312 7099.

Pete Hall

Accredited Land Consultant

John Hall & Company

Autauga County 77 +/- acres – SOLD!

John Matulia just closed on this 77 acre recreational tract in Autauga County! Also would be an awesome homesite! We love to help people buy and sell land!

“Only a short drive from Prattville, Alabama this tract provides great recreational opportunity along with possible home sites with around 0.5 miles of road frontage on CR 119. This tract is composed of 45 acres of predominately hardwood with some pines mixed in and the remaining 32 acres is previously used pasture land that is now young natural pine regrowth. There are 3 food plots on the property well placed that range from roughly 1 acre to 0.25 acre with room to expand if needed. The 45-acre hardwood stand has practically been untouched leaving potential for new food plot sites, road systems, or leave to remain as a sanctuary for wildlife. A small power line runs down the west side of the property parallel with CR 119 giving a buyer access to power along with water nearby. The topography of this property is considered rolling with much of the property slowly changing in elevation 30 – 40 feet with a wet weather drain that feeds into a creek along the east side of the property.”

Call us today to sell or find your next recreational property! 334-270-8400