One of the most common questions we receive at the Land Brothers regarding selling Maine land is "Do you have a rule of thumb for pricing Maine land?" Great question, but before answering we should look at factors that affect the value of land in Maine.
Factor 1: Access If the property is not on a state/county/town maintained road does it have legal deeded access? Is the access to the land title insurable? Is the access to your Maine land clearly defined on the face of the earth?
Factor 2: Waterfront Does the land have frontage on a brook, river, stream, pond or lake? Is the frontage easy to get to and does it have good building sites near the water? What are the building setbacks for your Maine property?
Factor 3: Deed Restrictions Are there deed or association covenants that restrict certain activities, building limits, Maine land divisions or other uses of the property?
Factor 4: Ownership Rights Do you own all rights to your Maine property above and below the surface? Otherwise known as the complete bundle of sticks. It is not uncommon on large tracts of land in Maine to have the mineral rights severed from ownership. There are different types of mineral easements and reservations in Maine and we will cover these in future articles.
Factor 5: Legal Description Does your deed contain a good metes and bounds property description? Do you have a survey map of your land? Are all corners marked with survey pins or posts? Are your property lines well defined with blazes? Are any of your boundary lines in dispute with your neighbor?
Factor 6: Neighborhood When you are driving to your property what condition are the neighboring properties in? Are there any environmental conditions nearby that may concern a potential buyer?
Factor 7: Soils Has the property been soil tested? What are the soil types?
Factor 8: Timber When was the last timber harvest? Is the property in tree growth tax status? What product class of Maine timberland do you have? Do you have a current timber cruise?
Factor 9: Location This is a broader factor then neighborhood and is based on what county in Maine or town in Maine your property is located.
Factor 10: Internal Roads Do you have access roads or trails throughout the property? Is it easy to take a walking tour of the property?
Factor 11: Points of Interest Does your Maine land have any unique and desirable features? The sound of a waterfall or babbling brook, cave, mountain views, and mature forest that's easy to walk through.
Factor 12: Utilities Are electricity, phone and high speed internet available at or near the property? Is there a utility line installment contract in place? Is 3 phase power available?
Factor 13: Demand Are there currently a lot of buyers in the market looking for property like yours? Does the property size, location and other features appeal to a large or small buyer pool?
Factor 14: Competition How many competing properties are for sale? A review of the asking prices of comparable competing land parcels will show you the approximate ceiling of market value.
So as you can see, there are too many variables to have an accurate Rule of Thumb for estimating land value. The factors above are not a complete list of issues to consider when valuing Maine land but are a good start. Every property is unique, so a thorough investigation of all factors is required to accurately estimate a value for your Maine property.