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 reddit
Share on pinterest
Picture of author in the Grand Canyon

Is Lake Region Real Estate Drying Up Like The Southwest?

I just returned from a trip to Nevada, Arizona, and Utah this past week. Put …

Read More →
Brook Hill at Meredith: New luxury homes in Meredith, NH

Brisk Sales at Brook Hill in Meredith

Meredith— Sales at Brook Hill, a new luxury townhouse community in Meredith, have been exceptional …

Read More →

Impressive Sales at Lakeside at Paugus Bay

Laconia— Sales at Lakeside at Paugus Bay, a new luxury waterfront condominium community on Lake …

Read More →

Four Decades of Change in Lakes Region Real Estate

We were talking in the office the other day regarding how much the real estate …

Read More →
Supply and demand graph, real estate housing

The driving forces in the demand for NH housing

It is no secret that our country has seen some incredible growth in the real …

Read More →
Holderness, NH

Holderness Bridges Big Squam and Little Squam

Holderness is a lakeside community in the foothills of the white mountains on New Hampshire’s …

Read More →
high inflation

Energy & Ukraine Crisis Compared to 1970s Inflation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has emerged as a black swan event rattling the world during …

Read More →
Tilton, NH

Tilton — The Gateway to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

Tilton, New Hampshire, is considered the gateway to New Hampshire’s beautiful Lakes Region because of …

Read More →
Map of USA: How Real Estate Trends affect the Lakes Region

How Real Estate Trends Affect the Lakes Region

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region & New Hampshire Can you believe a new analysis from Zillow …

Read More →
Laconia NH

Laconia, NH — A City on the Rise

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

Read More →
Two ice sailing enthusiasts on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Waterfront Sales Activity and Real Estate News

Here’s an update on the waterfront sales activity that we experienced over the past two …

Read More →
Tuftonboro, NH

Tuftonboro — “The Diamond in The Heart of New Hampshire”

Located just west of Wolfeboro, Tuftonboro is called “The Diamond in the Heart of New …

Read More →
Aerial view of Lake Winnisquam and Sanbornton, New Hampshire

The Rural Character of Sanbornton, New Hampshire

Sanbornton embodies all that one expects to find in an old New England town. This …

Read More →
Castle in The Clouds is one of Moultonborough's largest attractions.

Moultonborough’s 66 Miles of Shorefront Captivates

By landmass Moultonborough, NH is the largest lakefront community in the Lakes Region with 59.7 …

Read More →
Kevin Shaw - Roche Realty Group

Kevin Shaw of Roche Realty Group is Top Producer for 2021

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

Read More →
Wolfeboro, NH — The Oldest Summer Resort Town In America

Wolfeboro, NH — The Oldest Summer Resort Town In America

Wolfeboro: a Brief History Nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains and on the …

Read More →

Roche Realty Group Reports Record of $170 Million in Sales

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

Read More →
Meredith NH

Gilford and Meredith NH – How Do They Compare?

There are 25 towns and cities comprising the Lakes Region. This week I thought I …

Read More →

EM Heath, LLC Acquires 1084 Union Ave in Laconia

The future of Ace Hardware EM Heath LLC in Laconia became solidified this past week …

Read More →
Roche Realty Group Sells Landmark Commercial Building in Gilford, NH

Roche Realty Group Sells Landmark Gilford Commercial Building

Gilford- One of the most visible, historic landmark commercial properties in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region …

Read More →
New Commercial Constructioin in Lakes Region

Commercial Sales Increasing in the Lakes Region

Recently I’ve been outlining the sales activity for residential, waterfront, and multi-family apartments in the …

Read More →
Laconia NH Commercial Building Sale

New Owner for 8,447 Sqft. Commercial Building in Laconia

Laconia— Exciting news for the downtown Laconia district. Another substantial commercial building, including approximately 8,447 …

Read More →

Strong Demand for Multi-Family Apartments in NH’s Lakes Region

Last week I was driving through Loudon Road in Concord in the busy heights area, …

Read More →
NH Lake

Area Lakes Show Considerable Appreciation

Below you will find data and insight into what’s happening in sales activity on 8 …

Read More →
inflation in shopping center / grocery store

More Inflation Concerns

More Inflation Concerns I submitted an article a while ago titled “Is Our Current Inflation …

Read More →
Alpenrose Village Retail Center located at Rte. 11 B / Rte. 3 in Weirs Beach, Laconia

Roche Realty Group Sells Alpenrose Village Retail Center

Laconia, NH – Tom Drouin of Roche Realty Group in Meredith represented both the seller and the …

Read More →
As the Real Estate Season Turns

As the Real Estate Season Turns

“There’s hope for buyers on the horizon, with more real estate opportunity to come.” This …

Read More →

10 Things to Consider if You’re Buying in a Seller’s Market

Anyone looking to buy a home today knows they are in a seller’s market, which …

Read More →

Third Quarter Update – Lakes Region Real Estate Activity

I’ve pulled up some data to provide all of you with some current insight on …

Read More →
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 →

Leave a Comment