The Value of Land

           value_of_landThe Northern Pass debate was featured in the just arrived Yankee Magazine and brought me to think that there was some fodder for an article that might take a different look or at least discover another point of view based on a question I deal with all the time- What is land worth? As real estate professionals, one of our principle jobs is to provide pricing guidelines to clients who want to sell or buy properties and land. These guidelines are used to set asking prices and also to suggest offers for buyers. As with any business, the standard currency we use is dollars and cents. But is there another currency that might be placed on land? Another value?

            Northern Pass is a highly charged topic here in New Hampshire, perhaps not so much here in the lakes region/central NH area, but certainly so in the North Country. A lot of those of us fortunate enough to have grown up here remember the lakes region as we now see the North Country-unspoiled and with a natural beauty unmatched anywhere. The growth in the Lakes Region was inevitable and unstoppable. With the opening of interstate 93 in the 60’s, we were only two hours from metropolitan Boston and its wealth and burgeoning population. The incredible natural beauty of our area and its accessibility to an affluent market created an unstoppable demand for vacation and waterfront homes. The undeveloped rural charm didn’t stand a chance against the development demand. We know looking back is futile, and being pragmatists, we welcome our new neighbors and the economic growth and dollars they brought with them.

            To many of us the “North Country” is a euphemism for our past. When we pine for the old days, we can drive “North of the Notch” and still find the feel of the way it used to be. The unspoiled open tracts in our North Country are incredible and those folks who struggle to earn a living there are reminders of times past here- good and bad. The desire to preserve those qualities runs deep. Make no mistake; the North Country is a hard place to make a living. Economic pressures are difficult and I make no judgments as to the decision to sell their land or not.

            My topic here is “What is the value of land?” Growing up here when farms were the norm and most everybody had a cow and a garden, I value open fields and undeveloped woods. Putting a dollar value on developed land is relatively straightforward. But what about the value of not seeing a power line running through and unspoiled wilderness? There is a mechanism that attempts to put dollar values on these called social cost accounting and I’ve studied it over time. This methodology is helpful in establishing values for views (or their loss), trees on boundary lines, and other quantifyable situations, but I feel it misses the point on larger scale concepts. One of the land owners cited in the Yankee article turned down four million dollars for his farm in Stewartstown. Is his farm worth $4,000,000? Obviously it was to Northern Pass, but not to him. A family I know well still farms in the town I grew up in and has constant financial pressure to maintain the operation. I asked them “why don’t you sell some land to ease the burden?” Their response was “then it would be ruined” To them their ties to the land owned by the family for generations was so strong that dollars and cents was not the currency they used in valuing their farm. The land is their legacy.

            So, what’s the point? I would suggest that as you look to buy or sell property, you look at not just the standard transaction. What else is involved? Most property transactions are straightforward affairs and can be evaluated in dollars and cents, but others have an added element. Once a parcel is developed it becomes a commodity. It is then able to be priced and sold on the market like stocks and bonds, corn, and pig bellies. Undeveloped land has the aspect of being whole and unspoiled. Is the whole worth more than the sum of its parts? Many people believe so.

            There are ways to preserve the state of property and still provide a return for it. Look into Conservation Easements; or if you are able, restrict the deed to limit development in the future. If you have the means, buy large undeveloped parcels and preserve them. Towns offer tax relief in the form of current use that can make holding larger parcel more economically feasible.

            What is the value of land? To some it’s so many dollars an acre. To others it is beyond value.

Post By: Kim Cedarstrom Realtor / Consultant Roche Realty Group / Granite State Advisors. Contact Kim at:  kcedarstrom@roche.g.corvida.com

Kim Cedarstrom is a licensed residential/commercial Realtor© and consultant and a principal in the Real Estate consulting firm GraniteState Advisors. After having spent a lifetime founding, operating, and selling businesses in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, he now offers a lakefront/residential real estate practice as well as commercial property and business sales services. Kim can be reached at kcedarstrom@roche.g.corvida.com or directly at 603-520-6609. Initial client conferences are always free of charge

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Home Maintenance - Person repairing wall in house

Home maintenance the difference between sold and stuck

Be honest… is your home in need of some repairs? Because the truthful answer to …

Read More →
Coins stacked up indicting inflation

Is our Current Inflation “Transitory?”

The Federal Reserve officials have described the current period of high inflation as “transitory.” In …

Read More →
ABBA Tribute performing at the Lakeport Opera House

Meet you at the Lakeport Opera House

Last Saturday, Nancy and I were invited to the Lakeport Opera House to take in …

Read More →
Picture of

The New Hampshire Advantage

All of us who live in New Hampshire’s beautiful Lakes Region certainly have lots to …

Read More →

Just like vacation seasons, vacation homes come and go

When you think about it, all homes are actually seasonal properties. Whether it’s a primary …

Read More →

Hunt for lower prices like a lone wolf

If you ever watched Saturday morning cartoons back in the day, you may recall Looney …

Read More →
Birds eye view of Lakes Region New Hampshire

Lakes Region Real Estate Market 6-Month Comparison

We are halfway through 2021 already, and as we head down the second-half stretch, I’ve …

Read More →
The "Village Store" in Gilford, NH

The “Village Store” in Gilford Has New Owners

Gilford— The “Village Store” in scenic Gilford Village, a Lakes Region landmark since 1836, was …

Read More →
Lakes Region NH - aerial view of Lake Winnipesaukee NH

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales Comparisons

I thought I would look at the real estate activity on the Lakes Region’s four …

Read More →
Island Living on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH - aerial view of Welch Island, Lake Winnipesaukee

Island Living on Lake Winnipesaukee

The thunder of motorcycles has arrived in the Lakes Region. After a long year of …

Read More →
summer fun in nh - swimming in the river

Summertime Adventures Around the Lakes Region

Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and all of us are excited to kick off the …

Read More →
Are we in a real estate bubble?

Are We in A Real Estate Bubble?

Back in April, the red hot search on Google™ was “when is the housing market …

Read More →

Roche Realty Group Sells Artie’s Subs & Pizza

Moultonborough, NH – Brian and Kara Dillard of Barrington, New Hampshire, have recently purchased Artie’s …

Read More →
Laconia, NH - City on the Lakes

Laconia— City on the Lakes

The 17,000 resident, “City on the Lakes,” is nestled on the shores of three of …

Read More →
Housing Bubble

What if it’s not a bubble?

It’s a mad mad mad world of real estate right now.  The frustrations of buyers …

Read More →
Alton, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee

Alton’s Treasures — Natural Resources

Alton, New Hampshire is a scenic community with wonderful natural resources. The town envelopes the …

Read More →
Moultonborough, New Hampshire

Moultonborough, NH — Low Taxes Attract!

Moultonborough, New Hampshire, is a scenic and idyllic community on the northern shores of Lake …

Read More →
Gilford, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee

Gilford Recognized For Its Quality of Life

Gilford, New Hampshire, has always been a popular destination and a great community to live …

Read More →
Meredith Village on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Meredith, NH—One of the Top 10 Best Small Towns on the East Coast

It’s always good to see our local towns highlighted in national publications, and recently Meredith …

Read More →

Economic Concerns for Real Estate

For the first time in decades, fiscal and monetary policy will likely remain easy during …

Read More →
The Ledges on Newfound Lake

The Ledges at Newfound Lake

     It is always with mixed emotions how we view the development of our natural areas. …

Read More →
Lakeview Golf Club in Belmont on 172 Acres Sold by Roche Realty Group

Lakeview Golf Club in Belmont on 172 Acres Sold

Belmont, NH- The beautiful 9-hole Lakeview Golf Club located at 89 Ladd Hill Road in …

Read More →
Nutmeg Inn in Meredith NH Sold

Nutmeg Inn in Meredith Sold

Meredith, NH- The historic country Nutmeg Inn located at 80 Pease Road in Meredith has …

Read More →
Housing Inventory Lacking - Lake Winnisquam, NH

New Hampshire’s Four Largest Lakes Lack Inventory

As we’re nearing the 1st quarter of sales activity in the Lakes Region, I thought …

Read More →
Lakes Region Real Estate Market - View of NH Lakes

Real Estate Tidbits in The Lakes Region

Here’s a quick update on the market and a few things I’ve observed that will …

Read More →

Roche Realty Group sells “The Anchorage at the Lake” Resort on Lake Winnisquam

Tilton, N.H. – “The Anchorage at the Lake” Resort located on Lake Winnisqaum and Route …

Read More →
New Construction in the Lakes Region

New Construction and Re-Sale Housing Dilemmas

I’ve seen a considerable amount of new construction and home remodeling taking place in my …

Read More →
Lakes Region NH

Lakes Region Market Competition is Fierce

We are now entering March, the unofficial beginning of our Spring Selling Season. We have …

Read More →
Home inspection report

Reasons Why You Should Not Waive a Home Inspection

We have a very competitive real estate market here in the Lakes Region due to …

Read More →
Photo of homes in New Hampshire's Lakes Region

NH’s Housing Inventory Needs One Thing — LISTINGS

This week I’d like to provide you with a summary of what New Hampshire’s Real …

Read More →
Wicwas Lodge and Lakeland School Property

Roche Realty Group sells the historic Wicwas Lodge / Lakeland School Property

Roche Realty Group, with offices in Meredith and Laconia, recently sold the Lakeland School property …

Read More →
Night picture of Laconia NH

Lakes Region—One of the Countries Hottest Neighborhoods in 2021

Imagine it’s Super Bowl weekend and there’s not a chicken wing or a pizza to …

Read More →
Hiking in New Hampshire

New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine Peak Attractions

In my younger years in school, I always loved geography as a subject. Living in …

Read More →
Moving day

How to hand your home over to its new owner

Remember your first home? Whether it was a freshly painted rental or your first investment …

Read More →

Roche Realty Group Reports Sales of $146.5 Million for 2020

Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc with offices in Meredith and Laconia, has …

Read More →
Lakes Region NH vs San Francisco, CA

“Lifestyle Finder” For Your Move to or From The Lakes Region

Some studies place moving to a new location as one of the top ten most …

Read More →
Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Winnipesaukee, Newfound and Squam Lake Accolades

Winnipesaukee, Newfound and Squam Lake Accolades It’s always fun to read articles where Lake Winnipesaukee …

Read More →
Kevin Shaw - Roche Realty Group

Kevin Shaw of Roche Realty Group is Top Producer for 2020

LACONIA — Frank Roche, president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, …

Read More →
Center Harbor, New Hampshire

Jaw Breaking Price Increase in 2020 vs. 2019

Last week I pulled up comparisons on year to date sales of waterfront homes on …

Read More →
NH Lake Sales Activity - picture of lake with mountains and homes

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales 2020 vs. 2019

We’re getting near the end of the year, and I thought I would pull up …

Read More →
condominiums on lake winnipesaukee nh

No Better Time to Sell Your Home

We’re heading into the holidays, and all the local Realtors® are busy. They are out …

Read More →
Real Estate News Headlines - Lakes Region NH

Real Estate and Market News

There’s a lot going on out there in the marketplace. So much in the news …

Read More →
Picture of NH condominium home with pool

Affordable Housing is Always in Demand

There’s a lot of talk lately about the lack of affordable housing in the Lakes …

Read More →
Kitchen renovation

Small Improvements Make a Big Difference

During this past spring and summer, a large number of homeowners throughout the Lakes Region …

Read More →
Sales Volume and Prices of Luxury Homes Raising Nationally

Sales Volume and Prices of Luxury Homes Raising Nationally

Many national headlines are talking about the booming high-end vacation home market, in addition to …

Read More →
Support Small Businesses

Are we seeing a retail apocalypse?

During this past summer, I have been talking mainly about the exploding residential real estate …

Read More →
House and cash on a balance scale

Tips for Buyers in a “Seller’s Market”

We are currently experiencing a strong seller’s market here in the Lakes Region. 2020 has …

Read More →
Randy Miller Joins Roche Realty Group

Randy Miller Joins Roche Realty Group

Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc. with offices in Meredith and Laconia, is …

Read More →
New Construction in the Lakes Region

Lakes Region Construction Activity Update

It has been a wild summer out here in the Real Estate industry!  I thought …

Read More →
The Opera House in Laconia NH

The Vision behind the “Opera House” Renovation: Revitalization of the Lakeport Area

There is a lot of excitement brewing in the Lakeport area! Previously shuttered for decades, …

Read More →

Leave a Comment