The stock market could crash, but your land isn't going anywhere. Land broker Jonathan Goode explains why investing in rural land pays off.
Economic uncertainty and turmoil around the world is leaving investors looking for the safest place to invest money. There are as many different investment strategies as there are investment gurus touting the safest place to invest your money in this economy. But what really constitutes a “safe investment” these days?
Several years ago in most of the major cities across our nation, people were gathered in parks and banding together to “occupy” and protest. What they were protesting, even they were not in agreement on. But they were bent on shutting down Wall Street, burning trash in the streets, and vandalizing businesses. All while 90% of Americans were able to get up and go to work every day. Imagine if things got really bad. Just look at how the protests in Greece or France were sparked by their economic woes. What if our economy deteriorates and the protests become like those of the 1860s?
What is a safe investment right now? In my mind the definition of a “safe investment” has changed somewhat over the past few years. As a land agent, I believe land is inherently a good place to invest money -- one that has historically shown appreciation in value. And I believe rural land, if purchased at the right price, is still a great investment to make. But it is the word “safe” that I have placed more weight on in recent months. Here is why I personally believe land is the safest to put your money if you are an average person with some means.
Land is Permanent
When you purchase land, you can rest assured that your investment will be in the same place every day. It is not going anywhere because it is fixed. I read in a New York Times article that up to 75% of trades made on the New York Stock Exchange are done electronically, taking place in millionths of a second. These are computer-generated transactions with no human involvement other than inputting what should signal a trade. This scares me to think that so much of our nation’s wealth depends on this imperfect system to work perfectly. All of that money is simply floating around in the air. Not so with land. It is a certainty that if the sun comes up tomorrow, your land will be there too.
Land is Useful
Stocks, bonds, and gold have all been solid investments at times, however in periods of uncertainty, people should put their money into an asset that not only has potential to appreciate in value, but is also useful. Rural land is the safest investment to me because if things get really bad in our country it may be necessary to grow your own food, fuel your own home, and provide your own water for some period of time. You simply cannot do this in a studio apartment in a major city. In this survival scenario, owning a property than can sustain livestock, support some agriculture, and provide fuel in the form of wood or gas will be more important than having gold bars and stock certificates in your safe deposit box. If you don’t own land, you’ll be looking for someone you know who does.
Land is a Buffer
People are great. Crowds are crazy. Mobs are madness. People in close confines meld into mobs that lose all reason in a hurry. In 2009, in my small town of Marion, Alabama, I witnessed about 200 people assailing the police station in protest of a person being arrested. State troopers, sheriffs’ deputies and officers from surrounding counties rushed to the scene to disperse the crowd and restore order. I have seen officers with automatic weapons on the street corners in my town. Owning acreage is a great way to put a buffer between you and the potential madness that economic distress causes. Having a defensible space will be important in that scenario.
I am not normally prone to be a conspiracy theorist or one to cry it’s the end of the world. But I look around at what has happened in Europe and see that it could happen here. Greece nearly went under because of a little over $50 billion in debt. The United States owes more than $18 trillion. The Federal Reserve Bank is leveraged 53 to 1. If a client came to me saying they wanted to finance land with only 2% down, I would say, “Good luck.” Our country is there right now.
Several years ago, The Discovery Channel aired “What’s America Worth?” hosted by Donald Trump. The premise of the show was Trump stating the dollar value of residences, infrastructure, agricultural assets, etc. The most telling statement Trump made was that he valued all of the residences in our nation at $16 trillion. I instantly connected the fact that Americans would need to sell nearly every private residence in the nation to cover our national debt! That is staggering and scary.
The takeaway from this article is that land is the safest place to put your money. Not merely to protect your money, but to protect you and your loved ones. This investment strategy is not limited to the super rich. Smart investors like George Sorros and Ted Turner are way ahead of me on this. This advice is aimed at the person that can scrape together at least $10,000 for a down payment and can make monthly payments of $500. In many areas, you can find a property that will sustain a family for that price.
Land is the safest place to invest. if times get tough, land will be a lifesaver. Someone is going to own it. Will it be you?
Are you ready to begin your search for the perfect rural property to suit your needs? View country land for sale throughout the South from Florida to Texas on our parent company’s website, raydientplaces.com.