“Determining what hunting land is worth in Alabama is not a simple task. Factors, amenities, and considerations can vary widely with any property.”
There are three main factors to consider when trying to determine the value of hunting land in Alabama. As with any piece of property, location is one of the key considerations. Value can vary widely depending on which county the land parcel is located and if the land is near a city that has development potential. Or it may be a more remote area suited for agriculture, timber or wildlife.
The second factor that comes into play on determining the value of hunting land is the topography. How steep or flat is the land parcel? Rugged slopes may not allow hunting access without some effort. Also, steep grades could prohibit timber harvest. Swampland or sections prone to flooding could inhibit building structures.
The final factor that apply to hunting land values is access to the parcel. The land could be adjoining a public road be it paved or graded dirt. Deeded legal access is key in determining land value. Creeks, lakes or ponds on the property will also affect the value. And too, the shape of the land could also be a factor.
All of these factors listed above help define a piece of land. The land appraisal is the beginning of the process in defining a piece of land.
Getting a Land Appraisal
The first step in in defining the value of a piece of hunting property is to get a land appraisal. Professional land appraisers have standardized methods to determine the value of any type of land, including hunting land.
“Our first step is to approve the loan application,” said Alabama Ag Credit VP Relationship Manager Dale Williams. “Once approved, we request a copy of the signed contract and legal description of the property to be purchased.”
After the initial paperwork is completed, Alabama Ag Credit coordinates between their land appraisal staff, the real estate agent and the seller for the appraiser to go to the property.
The appraiser uses Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as guidelines for land appraisals. The USPAP are considered the quality control standards applicable analysis for real property, personal property and other assets in the United States and its territories.
“Hunting land appraisals are valued using the same USPAP standards as other appraisals,” Williams said. “However, the recreational value of the property is considered in the appraisal.”
Recreational aspects may include features such as the timber, ponds, creeks, river frontage, road frontage, topography and of course location. Also, the type of wildlife that may be inhabiting the property. And if there is or has been any type of management practices.
What Does it Cost?
The cost of an appraisal for hunting land can vary depending on the lending intuition, size of the property and location.
“One of the advantages of financing land with Alabama Ag Credit is that we have our own appraisal department with six fulltime appraisers,” Williamson advises. “Our appraisals typically cost the borrowers $200 to $400 which is significantly lower than a typical land appraisal.”
Hunting/timber and agricultural land is valued using a comparison approach. Lands and property in the same general area are compared with the current value. Also, recent sales of similar property are considered in the comparison.
According to Williamson the value of the recreational component is highly specific to the location of the property along with all the features of the property. There could be certain amenities on the land that could make it more appealing. A mountain view or waterfront could add to the recreational component.
How Much is Hunting Land Worth in Alabama?
So the big question is how much is an acre of hunting land worth in Alabama? We have mentioned several factors above about what is considered in determining the value of hunting land. A general answer would be it depends.
“The value is comprised of all the factors mentioned above and can range widely,” said Williamson. “This range could be between $1,000 to $3,500 per acre.”
Financing hunting land is not any different than with any other type of property. The same credit factors typically apply to hunting land as related to other collateral. These include repayment ability, cash flow, credit history, net worth, collateral and the specific conditions of the loan.
Determining what hunting land is worth in Alabama is not a simple task. Factors, amenities and considerations can vary widely with the property. And too, what is valued by one owner may not appeal to another.