If you’re looking to buy recreational property in Mississippi or Louisiana this year, it’s important to know how the rural real estate market is doing, and how that might impact your purchase.
As we look to the year ahead, all signs point to continued strength in recreational real estate, both in the South and around the country. That’s backed up by PotlatchDeltic’s annual survey of its Preferred Broker Network, which handles sales of recreational properties in six states, including Mississippi and Louisiana. As a group, the brokers expect 2022 sales to match or exceed last year’s levels.
The pandemic only intensified demand from recreational land buyers who want to get away from it all, whether it’s to have a home base for hunting, to own a place for family activities, or to build a second home. At our brokerage, Tom Smith Land and Homes, we are expecting a 15% year-over-year increase in rural land sales this year.
So what does this mean for buyers? Here are five big takeaways from the PotlatchDeltic survey, along with what each trend means for recreational land buyers in Mississippi and Louisiana:
- Desirable rural land continues to sell quickly, tied to a shortage of quality properties for sale.
If you find a recreational property for sale that fits your needs and is priced fairly, odds are that it won’t be available long. So, it’s important to work with an experienced recreational land broker who will know when desirable tracts are becoming available, so you can be ready to move quickly when opportunity strikes.
- More rural land buyers are looking to buy with homesites in mind, as opposed to only buying for a hunting spot or a place to camp.
If you’re thinking about a second home now or want to keep your options open for the future, be sure that the property you’re buying has a good spot for a home, along with access to water and utilities.
- Recreational land buyers are using money from home sales, home equity lines and stock sales to buy rural properties, along with funding from loans.
Buyers are finding a variety of ways to get money for purchasing recreational properties, and many buyers are taking advantage of rising property values to tap into cash for all-cash purchases or for down payments on loans. Mortgage rates continue to be favorable on land loans, making those transactions even more of a value.
- The recreational real estate market includes a significant number of first-time buyers.
A number of trends are bringing first-time recreational land buyers into the market. Some want a legacy property to pass along to their children. Others want a rural home where they can work remotely. And some want to have a home base for all their recreational activities. Many of the aspects of buying a rural property are new to people who’ve only bought homes in the past, so getting advice and help from rural real estate experts is a key to success.
- Even though rural land buyers want to get out in the woods, they also want modern conveniences.
For many buyers, it’s important to have access to good cell service, quality internet and power, even if a rural tract is a bit off the main road. Again, it’s important to work with a real estate broker who knows the geographic area you’re focusing on, so getting answers to those questions will be simple and easy.
As we start to think about summer vacations for the kids or fall hunting season, it’s a good time to start the process of finding the right recreational property to buy. As you do, make sure you do your homework, and get advice from experts. This will ensure that you are happy with your purchase for years to come.
Tom Smith is a Principal Broker and Owner of Tom Smith Land & Homes, one of the top recreational land brokers in Mississippi and Louisiana, and a member of the PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker Network. Find out more at 601-898-2772 | www.tomsmithland.com.