‘Local Records Office’ Interviews Professional Real Estate Buyers & Sellers

Our company “Local Records Office” had the opportunity to interview a professional real estate veteran; I’m excited to share with everyone an interview I conducted with Tom C. Brooks, founder of many successful real estate businesses. These businesses generated millions in revenue, together buyers and sellers of rural land worked together to sell and buy. Today many of his businesses consist of a network of 90 different websites with over $8 billion worth of properties for sale.

Rural investing isn’t something most investors traditionally think about, but there are many opportunities in this field. I set up this interview in hopes of educating you all about the many possibilities that exist.


What exactly are rural properties?


We leave this up to the discretion of our members. The guideline that we try to follow is defining it as property outside of a city limits and with acreage. Most of these acreage properties include farms, ranches, lake and riverfront, timberland, and mountain properties. It’s a part of Real Estate that not many investors think about because it’s not a part of their everyday lives in larger cities. It’s amazing to think about how much “rural land” there really is.


What are the biggest concerns for rural property owners?


The concerns are mostly prioritized by the use of the land. Some of the biggest concerns in general are trespassing, weather, neighboring property values, and revenue streams via the property.


What are the tax benefits of investing in rural properties?


There are two benefits that most people take advantage of. One is an agricultural tax exemption — which means if you or someone else manages livestock then you only have to pay a fraction of the property taxes that your neighbor might pay. Another benefit is if your property is being run as a business than anything you buy for it can be a tax deduction. Of course, state-to-state these laws are different and there are other ways that a rural property can assist you tax-wise.


Are there grants or subsidies available for purchasing or maintaining rural properties?


There are certain government programs that can assist you in owning rural property. One of the major ones is a government program called the Crop Reduction Program (CRP). This program was started years ago because there was an overabundance of crops being grown. The government started paying landowners not to plant their crops and is still continuing to pay them. Buying land in CRP is another way to make instant returns on your rural land investment.


If investors want to buy rural properties near developing areas in the hope of selling/subdividing, where would they best find them?


Well these properties tend to be a good distance from the typical real estate investor so the best place to start is online searching. This is what sparked us to build a website that focuses on rural property. Currently, we have just about 13,000 rural properties for sale across the U.S. I would recommend narrowing down your search to a specific state, and then a specific county. Get to know the price per acre in that area and get a feeling about how much you want to spend, if you want raw land or some kind of shelter on it. Then just get out and drive to see a few places. You have to just get out there. The more you see the better you’ll know what’s best for you. Personally, I think the best investment is to find rural land that has the potential of becoming commercial property. This seems to be where the best bang is for the buck.

‘Local Records Office’ Interviews Professional Real Estate Buyers & Sellers local records office


What alternate revenue sources exist on rural properties?


There are many ways to have the land provide you with extra income. Here are a few ways: CRP, wind generating farms, quarry rocks, lease for hunting/fishing, harvesting timber, livestock management, growing crops, billboard leases, lease highway frontage to businesses, rent housing, gas and oil production, and cell phone tower leases. The tax breaks don’t necessarily provide you with cash flow, but will help out financially.


Has the growth in ethanol affected the rural farm market?


I have not seen growth yet resulting from this specifically. It will depend on what the whole energy sector ends up selecting, as it’s primary fuel source besides gas. If its corn-based ethanol than I can’t imagine anything other than corn producing farmland to dramatically increase in value.

This could be a really interesting turn of events considering how difficult it is for farmers and ranchers to make it by financially these days. If ethanol produced in the U.S. gains popularity you’ll see a lot more “city-folk” becoming farmers.


Tell us a little about recreational land properties? Are these good investments?


I love the outdoors, so naturally I am a big fan of investing in a property that can also be used recreationally. This doesn’t necessarily set actual properties apart much, but it does help to define what exactly you’re looking to purchase. It’s so great that someone can buy the right piece of land for sale and while it accumulates value, you can use it for hunting, fishing, photography, rock climbing, biking, kayaking, camping, and teaching kids about nature. Try doing that with a stock!


Do you see the value of rural properties climbing in the future? What is the outlook for farms as cities continue to expand?


I can see land values start to slow down – a little bit – not now – but in the next couple years. As our country’s population continues to grow it’s a fact that more land is needed to accommodate that growth. There is only so much land so just like everything else; supply vs. demand will eventually force the price up. There might be an occasional dip, but overall we’ll see the trend steadily continue to go up for the value of land.

It’s interesting too because of the value of our dollar. Right now, investors overseas are seeing property in the United States on sale, so they are buying up land too. It’s a lot easier to manage a piece of rural America from overseas than it is to manage an apartment complex. These overseas investors also drive up the land values. As these values rise and the cities grow larger, it’s difficult for farms not to sell their land; this is because the taxes go up along with the property values.


What are the hottest trends in rural land right now?


The two hottest trends being seen right now are recreational buyers purchasing and developers purchasing. The recreational buyers are purchasing both to hold long term instead of putting money into the stock market, and to reinvest a previous property’s proceeds that they’ve sold. The developers are purchasing because of the demand for “country living” that has risen and because of cities expanding into rural areas.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Good luck to you. We send you our best wishes, Local Records Office!

To learn more about real estate and Local Records Office go to http://www.LocalRecordsOffice.co


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