Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Dirt: New Homesteaders

It seems that there is a nationwide renaissance of land acquisition. This doesn’t have anything to do with the San Francisco real estate market. Or does it?

Astronomical housing prices are forcing many Bay Area residents to reconsider the location of their primary residences. We all know a few friends or neighbors who have packed up in search of the more affordable. Conversely, we also know a few people who won’t budge as they continue to see the value of their property climb.

So isn’t it a wonder that some states are
giving away land? That’s right, it’s free. Centuries after the cry of "Free Land!" and the induction of the Homestead Act of 1862, small towns in Kansas and North Dakota are looking to increase town population. It is hard to believe, as we continuously see new strip malls and towns dotting our road trips to Tahoe and L.A., that the Great Plains area isn’t developing as quickly. But hey, if you can take your business with you, you might as well get yourself some free land to build a nice home on (complete with home office, of course), and earn few tax incentives while you’re at it.

On the investment side of real estate, a recently published
article in the L.A. Times discusses the growing trend in ditching stocks and buying “dirt.” As more people hear real estate investment success stories, they are diving in for their piece of the pie. Unfortunately, investment newcomers discover that hot markets appreciate so fast that by the time they find out about the “new hot market,” housing prices there are already out of reach. Instead they are buying up land in hopes that development will eventually strike.

Human migration is a complex and interesting thing. It involves a blend of human desire, economic necessity, real estate trends, nature, and sometimes government involvement. Whether you’re searching for the perfect new homestead for yourself or the next best real estate investment, you might want to look from the ground up.

Have more questions about trends in the housing market? Questions about selling or buying a home? Contact me today for honest, experienced answers.

Amy Blakeley, Realtor®
ablakeley at mcguire.com
(415) 296-2173 Direct

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