Finding Your Needle in a Haystack: Farmland for Sale in NC, A long Term Investment
Agricultural land (“ag” land, or farmland) in North Carolina can be an attractive long-term investment, both in terms of financial appreciation and in creating a crown jewel in your family legacy. Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina can provide you with professional guidance in selecting your ideal agricultural property in any of the MLS areas in which we operate, or we can connect you with qualified agents in other parts of the state.
Finding Your Needle in a Haystack: Ag Land for Sale in North Carolina
Looking for your dream farmland in North Carolina, whether you’re an NC native or still considered just a visitor, can seem like the proverbial task of “looking for a needle in a haystack,” even when dealing with native, seasoned real estate brokers. Searching for the perfect-sized farmland with the right specifications – whether your goal is to be an absentee owner of a piece of paradise or you want to start homesteading yourself – can be tough if you’re trying to go it alone.
Here are some of the tips and tricks we’ve learned in presenting properties for folks just like yourself who are searching for farmland here in the Tarheel State. All these considerations can help point you in the right direction in terms of buying the perfect North Carolina farm.
- First and foremost, communicate the purpose behind the purchase clearly to your agent. Be honest with them to ensure they understand your intent and your limits. If you’re buying farmland with the intent to develop and flip it, tell your agent up front. Want horses? – perhaps looking for a property already cleared for timber operations is the way to go. A very clear conversation with your broker about your wants and needs will make their research for your dream farmland all the more focused and successful.
- Tune in to your zip code. Pinpoint the center of your search on a map and draw as big a circle as you find comfortable out from this spot. Your “center of the universe” may be a bit different from what your agent’s assigned MLS areas is, so be very clear with the broker regarding your location requirements.
- Select acreage brackets. No one wants to waste time viewing properties that are too big or too small. If you’re looking to start your own nursery you will need much more land than the quarter- or half-acre space many of us have in our backyards, for example. Make a decision as to how big you want to go, or at least how big your budget will allow you to. A large piece of land often sounds appealing – and yet, do you really need such a large piece of farmland? Mowing the grass may be your Zen moment for the week, but for many, it’s just another chore. Your own health considerations, too, are something else to consider; the demanding lifestyle of a farmer isn’t for everyone. The adage “go big or go home” doesn’t always necessarily apply in the context of seeking your dream farmland.
- Decide on features that add or take away value. Water access, fencing, stands of timber, open fields, working agricultural land rental, even characteristics of the land itself – hills, knobs, valleys and/or lowlands – can be pluses or minuses depending on your perspective and your goals. Do you really want four creeks separating your open fields and complicating the plowing and sowing operations? Perhaps another owner enjoyed four-board creosote fencing, but are you aware of the costs involved in maintaining that fencing? Maybe there IS no fence, but you really need that fence. Determining which features will make or break your decision to purchase ahead of time will help you weigh your options objectively when multiple opportunities – all with different “land personalities” – inevitably arise.
- Organize your paperwork ahead of time. If you are seeking a loan, go ahead and get that pre-qualification letter; some agents require you to have this up front before even showing you properties. If you are selling a property to get the money to invest in this one, disclose and discuss the differential. Many people moving to North Carolina are doing so simply because their dollars stretch farther here, so capital gains may be a concern – and you may be buying two properties, or more than your dream acreage, just to correctly 1031 exchange. Research zoning and land use regulations in your area; NC maintains extensive online resources to help you navigate the rules outlined for usage, and each county also maintains regulation data online. Has the farm you’re considering purchasing been in continuous agricultural use for 100 years or more, as is the case for more than 1,600 farms across North Carolina? Make sure the NC Agriculture Century Farms database is updated if you do decide to purchase that land.
Interested in Putting Your NC Farm on the Market?
If you have your own ag property for sale in North Carolina, no matter how small or how large, please call us. With over 70 combined years of experience in farms of all sizes – from 1 acre to 5,000 – as well as horse properties, timber lands, and multi-million dollar homes, Legacy Farms brokers will help you list – and sell! – your agricultural property with a real estate marketing package that will make your property irresistible.
Specializing in land and farms for sale in Wake, Franklin, Chatham, Granville and other counties in the Piedmont region, Legacy Farms offers brokerage services to central North Carolina landowners. The rural lifestyle is one that we live, know and value. Contact Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina today at 919-749-3177 to speak with our brokers Gardner Reynolds or Frank Gombatz and get started!