Buying Land

Things to Consider If You Are Thinking of Buying Recreational Property From a Timber Company

Things to Consider If You Are Thinking of Buying Recreational Property From a Timber Company

As you search recreational land for sale for a property to call your own, you may want to consider buying from a timber company with experience in managing rural timberland.

In many states around the country, timber companies own hundreds of thousands of acres. And in many cases, timber companies choose to sell some of their desirable acreage to individual property buyers, as they keep the bulk of their land for continuing timber operations.

If you find that a timber company has significant acreage for sale in the area where you’re looking for property, make sure the company has experience in selling recreational properties. Selling property to recreational users is far different from a timber company’s core business of raising timber.

So it’s important to ask the right questions if you’re thinking about investing in a rural recreational property. As you do your homework, consider these five points as you see if buying from a timber company is the right fit:

1. Rural properties are different from region to region, so make sure the timber company has real estate experts who understand the exact area you’re interested in.
As an example, the timber, soils and terrain are very different in northern Minnesota compared to southern Minnesota. With this in mind, a northern Minnesota land buyer would be smart to work with a company that has real estate experts who know the ins and outs of properties in that part of the state. A number of timber companies partner with locally based real estate brokers who specialize in recreational real estate, which can be a win-win for all involved.

2. Make sure the timber company is an expert in growing quality timber that will provide a quality environment for wildlife and recreation.
It’s important to grow timber in a way that provides a mix of mature and younger trees, helps to prevent erosion, and creates shelter for deer, turkey and other wildlife. Each type of tree carries its own unique value, and it’s important to understand the types and ages of trees on a property you’re considering, along with the soil conditions.

3. See if the timber company’s experts can help you work on a long-term plan for how you’ll use the property for recreation, factoring in your expected cash flow from timber harvesting.
Timber companies have experts or can refer you to experts who can estimate the growth of a property’s timber in the future, tied to a long-term, well-thought-out timber management plan. In turn, you can think about using some of that cash flow for making improvements to your property.

4. Determining comparable properties to help you assess your purchase price can be challenging in rural areas. A quality timber company is able to determine what a fair price for a particular property should be.
Many factors play into a recreational property’s value, from the quality of the timber, to access, to the quality of wildlife in the surrounding area. For rural real estate experts like those who work for timber companies or who work as the timber companies’ broker partners, it’s important to include all these factors, while leveraging years of experience in evaluating rural properties.

5. Make sure the timber company has experience in selling rural properties, so they can help you navigate the buying process.
It’s important to work with a seller that understands everything from making sure the property has the proper title to properly representing all the timber on the property. Make sure the timber company has rural property sales experts who can help you avoid pitfalls in the process, which will make the sale go much more smoothly. Working with a local real estate broker who specializes in recreational real estate and is partnered with a timber company can be a smart move, combining the local knowledge of the broker with the knowledge of the timber company.

Written by Natalie Cowart, co-owner of United Country Banning Junction Real Estate, part of the PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker network. With deep experience in recreational real estate, she specializes in a geographic area in Minnesota that’s midway between the cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth.

This content may not be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in part or in whole, without written permission of LANDTHINK. Use of this content without permission is a violation of federal copyright law. The articles, posts, comments, opinions and information provided by LANDTHINK are for informational and research purposes only and DOES NOT substitute or coincide with the advice of an attorney, accountant, real estate broker or any other licensed real estate professional. LANDTHINK strongly advises visitors and readers to seek their own professional guidance and advice related to buying, investing in or selling real estate.

About the author


As one of the top 10 landowners in the United States, managing nearly 2 million acres, PotlatchDeltic is committed to passing well-managed forest land on to future generations. A small percentage of our overall ownership is available and sold exclusively through a Preferred Broker Network in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota, Louisiana and Mississippi. Recreational, hunting and timberland opportunities range in size from 10 to over 200 acres with something available for every budget. Whether buyers are looking at land as an investment, for personal recreation, for a first or second home or because of the memories that can be made on it, the PotlatchDeltic teams brings together foresters, land managers and real estate experts who can guarantee each buyer finds the right property, at the right price, in the right time.

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