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Old 02-03-2008, 12:01 PM
 
46 posts, read 225,189 times
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Seems to be the normal price is now a minimum of $15K an acre, and I mean minimum. Anything of 20 acres or more, throughout the Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, etc., area is now ridiculously over-priced. Why the premium price for raw land or land with a nice (but not spectacular) house or even a minimal house?

I'm guessing the prices have to do with speculation about what BRAC folks from DC (and other areas such as CA) will pay. However, not only are the realtors ahead of the move-in but also they are possibly unaware that many of those federal jobs won't necessarily be paying relocation costs. For example, many of the MDA jobs are now being posted for hiring, but few are offering to pay relocation. Top that withe DC folks' general reluctance to move here (I used to live there, got that question all the time about why I would move here), and I can't fathom why the realtors are encouraging the consistent over-pricing of land, only to let it sit on the market unsold. When the influx does come, not many of those surbanites are likely to be interested in large tracts of land. More Hampton Cove and Madison interest, at least in my experience with what DC-types will look for in general. Maybe the realtors are hoping the land developers will bite on the larger tracts?

Not trying to start a war here. Just have seen this trend for awhile now, and I can't figure out what's sustaining the high prices.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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It is my experience that people selling raw land are generally not in a hurry to sell. Thus they are able to wait for the right buyer to come along. It's not like they have a lot of money at risk with the land -- most is probably family land -- and they are more interested in getting top dollar than a quick sale.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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MDA isn't the only BRAC'd organization. For example, AMC pays relocation. Contractors usually pay. So far, it seems to me that the BRAC people are moving into the rural areas - they're used to an hour commute and want land.

NE Madison County is more hilly and watery than other areas (mountains, rivers, creeks) - people seem to like that topography. Plus, much of the city's higher end growth is out that way.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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How many BRAC folks have moved to date? I haven't met any out here in the NE area of the county yet -- not that I would necessarily know all of them, but if they buy land and have livestock, I have a fair to middlin' chance of learning that they've moved here. I am a federal employee and do keep a pretty good eye on the jobs open at the Arsenal -- haven't seen many of them advertised yet but do anticipate a wave in the future. Are some being advertised only within AMC? Or just simply transferred without being advertised?

I am not complaining about the price of the land here in the NE area. We will certainly be beneficaries if it stays as is or increases. However, what I do see are properties consistently priced high here (and elsewhere in the surrounding areas of Madison/Limestone/Morgan, etc), yet sitting for months (MLS pictures indicative of listings since summer). Many have nice houses, so it's not just a question of sitting on raw land. What I'm really trying to piece together is whether the listings are hopefuls or if there is actually some hope of selling at these prices. I will no doubt have some land to sell in the future, if so
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
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Not many BRAC folks have come yet, but we know they are coming for the next few years. The actual BRAC folks are being transferred -- you won't see a job advertised. You will begin to see more and more support jobs.

Real estate is always "worth" whatever someone will pay for it. Acreage sells at a premium right now because acreage can attract a developer, and the NE of Madison is obviously on the list for new development.

As someone who is currently selling rural acreage and has also recently been land shopping closer into town, I can vouch that buildable land properties are moving pretty quickly.

As for my acreage up for sale (with nice house), I haven't had a single BRAC-related visit, although I've had quite a bit more traffic than expected given my location. Most of the people looking have either been retired folks looking for a few acres close-ish to Huntsville (or in one case, Birmingham) or people already out in the countryside looking to upgrade.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:28 AM
 
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Not change the topic entirely, but why hasn't raw land prices south of the Tennessee river (Morgan county) increased with the Madison area? I understand most families like Madison schools for their kids, but the difference in the increases seem unjustified. For example, you can buy a nice 10 acre tract of land around Lacey Springs/Somerville for around 7K an acre. This type of land might include road frontage, a creek, and a beautiful mountian view, all within a 20 min commute to Huntsville. You would be paying 3x - 5x as much for this type of land in the Madison area.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
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I think the time just hasn't come for that area yet. Madison and south and east of Huntsville is pretty much filled up or locked up in future projects and NE Madison County is starting, so what's next?

When I was originally looking about a year ago, most of the areas I looked at there were pretty crummy -- crumbling mobile homes, rotting cottages, yards full of trash.

While there were certainly nice homes and properties available, they were surrounded by decay. It'll get cleaned up as growth pressure pushes down across the river. Buying raw acreage there is probably a good investment that will pay off in about 5 years.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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boomer - the new TN River bridges should help grow that area.

BTW, if the some of the area annexed into HSV that would help too. IIRC that was brought up last year but didn't get anywhere.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:58 AM
 
180 posts, read 716,978 times
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Hi NicoleC, yes I do agree with you. It is still rural country and there are a lot of trashy yards and broken down homes. I think part of the problem is the county commissioners in those districts. see this link: Cleaning up country junk: Some counties tapping into state law to eliminate eyesores

I am for small government and for the most part, I do not think the government should stick their nose in an individual's private life -- however, when it affects the entire community in a good way, and "if" the new laws do not embarks, encroaches, or negatively affects people's lives for the benefit of government greed then I am all for it.

I have nothing against mobile homes or small homes that may only be affordable only to the poor. I just believe everyone can do their part by cleaning up visible piles of junk, multiple broken cars, and boats. At the very least, people can build a fense around their junk piles.
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,496,235 times
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I'm certainly not for mandating these kinds of things. Almost any law can be justified by insisting it's for the good of everyone else.

There's no actual problem here. It's just suburban folks wanting to "move to the country" -- provided of course the country changes to meet their expectations. It's like when people ask me how long it takes to mow my pasture, and then wonder why I start laughing.
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