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wellington womble

Buying land

I need to educate myself about buying land. Presumably, one does not simply look on Rightmove!

I assume there are specialist agencies? Are they any good, or are they like estate agents these days (ie impervious to what you actually want, and unable to do anything other than count bedrooms)

I'm looking for just land, not buildings of any descriptions, location is not desperately important, but quality and type of land may be. I have not yet decided whether to buy outright and have less, or get some sort of mortgage and have more. It depends partly on prices of land and finance available, so things are at quite an early stage.

So I need to find out about buying land and (possibly) financing it. Where do I start?
dpack

Laughing

on downsizer

give us a clue towards your intended purpose and we might be able to be sensible,maybe.
Ty Gwyn

A good start would be an Agri auctioneer in the area you intend purchasing.
Hairyloon

Prices are very dependant on location.
Treacodactyl

Re: Buying land

I need to educate myself about buying land. Presumably, one does not simply look on Rightmove!


That's how we found our woodland IIRC, or Primelocation. They have a special category for it.

Round here at least there are several estate agents than sell land (they're often the ones that also run livestock, farm etc auctions, as Ty suggests).

Often 'lots' of land are sold off when a farm goes up for sale, so it's also worth looking for expensive farms and seeing if it's lotted up.

If you're interested in an area then you can look through the local paper and see which agents deal with farms and land.
wellington womble

I'm not tied to an area. I want to buy some land and put a solar farm on it. I'm not going to live there and the actual kit and caboodle will be taken care of by someone else, so it doesn't matter where it is, from Cornwall to the Midlands. I need low quality agricultural land (or a brownfield site) with a high voltage electricity supply and not in an ANOB or similar.

I've between 100 and 200k to invest to keep us, and I do not want to put it into the stock market. Initial research suggests that agricultural land doesn't vary so much as property, and I'm looking at 15-30 acres, or I could get a mortgage and buy more land. This would be leased to a solar company for between 1000 and 1500 per acre, per year.

Obviously, I need planning permission, but in order to start jumping through those hoops, I need to start pricing things up and also pick a plot and get on with it. So I need to start looking at land.
Nick

Agricultural land round here is about 15k an acre. The smaller the plot the more per acre.
pollyanna

Land for a solar farm is best sited near an electricity sub-station as far as the solar farms I have seen. Otherwise some of the income is spent paying off the farmers whose land you have to cross with the cables.
dpack

it needs to be near the necessary electric infrastructure

security?in both senses ( any kit on site and of the investment)

is investing a little in a variety of schemes sensible?(eggs/baskets etc etc )
wellington womble

Agricultural land round here is about 15k an acre. The smaller the plot the more per acre.


That's why I'm wondering about a mortgage for a bigger acreage.

I realise there needs to be proximity to a supply - that's why I'm starting to go about looking so I can start vetting. The solar company take care of security and fencing, as well as planning and screening.

Eggs and baskets, well yes. I'm investing for income generation specifically. I already have a house. I have no debt. Bonds and cash are barely beating inflation and I'm not comfortable with gambling on the stock market with this particular pot. I could stick 15k in an ISA, but realistically, what else is there? There should be a comfortable level of guaranteed income (leased for 25 years) to enable a bit of flirting with stocks and bonds, and perhaps gold later on (I do quite fancy a safe full of gold!). The land can also be rented for sheep or poultry grazing and if it does all go horribly wrong, I'll still have the agricultural land, which is a good capital investment though the returns are generally quite low. There are also tax incentives in renewables (at the moment, although I'm not sure how long it will last)

I've seen a financial advisor in the past. They were fairly useless, because they were only focused on investing in stocks and shares. I don't want to invest in shares with this money. I will see another one as soon as the cash hits the bank on Monday, but I'm not expecting great things. Solar energy does at least fit with my ethics and ideals. It's the best solution I've come across, but I'm open to suggestions.
tahir

Wouldn't a buy to let flat be easier? Gives you a yield straight away and increases in capital value generally outpace inflation. Hairyloon

I cannot help thinking, although I am reluctant to mention, that there are projects on this board that are in need of investment... Nick

And, as an added perk, I guarantee its a useful object, whatever the value on paper, in ten years.

We have two for that reason. Small, regular return, zero hassle, and useful for when I kick the kids out.
tahir

I cannot help thinking, although I am reluctant to mention, that there are projects on this board that are in need of investment...

She needs a secure investment, I can't think of any investment requirement on here that fulfils that brief
Hairyloon

I cannot help thinking, although I am reluctant to mention, that there are projects on this board that are in need of investment...

She needs a secure investment, I can't think of any investment requirement on here that fulfils that brief
I would not claim to have an in depth knowledge of the entire DS investment potentials, but I appreciate your point.
wellington womble

Wouldn't a buy to let flat be easier? Gives you a yield straight away and increases in capital value generally outpace inflation.

I've got one.
tahir

Wouldn't a buy to let flat be easier? Gives you a yield straight away and increases in capital value generally outpace inflation.

I've got one.

I assume that was relatively straightforward? Can't see any ethical issues with it either...

I'm sure the solar farm idea has legs, but not sure how useful they are, they look horrific, and a site will be difficult to find.
wellington womble

I cannot help thinking, although I am reluctant to mention, that there are projects on this board that are in need of investment...

She needs a secure investment, I can't think of any investment requirement on here that fulfils that brief

Yes, this one needs to be solid. There will I think, be more scope for higher risk investing later. But this will be the backbone, and our main income.
wellington womble

Wouldn't a buy to let flat be easier? Gives you a yield straight away and increases in capital value generally outpace inflation.

I've got one.

I assume that was relatively straightforward? Can't see any ethical issues with it either...

I'm sure the solar farm idea has legs, but not sure how useful they are, they look horrific, and a site will be difficult to find.

Finding a site will be the most difficult bit. But the returns are better than BTL and the security is better too, with a 25 year lease. I'm looking to diversify a bit. I'll be planting some woodland as well (different site) and probably an ISA and some truffles.
tahir

Well, round here the prices are ridiculous, and I have no idea on the finances of solar farms so I can't help. wellington womble

Just looking for advice on purchasing land now at the mo. The rest of the fun and games come later. I'm expecting it to take a year or so.

I'm was hoping there might be some sort of national land agent who could advise. Or just get on with it, but that was always a faint hope!

Do you not think the tide is turning against evil buy to let landlords? I understand they are scrapping the tax relief on mortgages for a start. (Income from solar is currently tax exempt)
Nick

Anything that has tax breaks and incentives on it is only ever available for a short time. If the advantages are good, it attracts people, and the government feels it's missing out.

Not all btl landlords are bastards.
Hairyloon

Anything that has tax breaks and incentives on it is only ever available for a short time.
Forestry still has tax breaks I think. Has done for ages.
Shane

Not all btl landlords are bastards. Seconded! john of wessex

Why not go onto a site like Abundance.

There are projects looking for finance and you could either stump up enough to get some of them off the ground, and/or spread your investment over several projects?
Mistress Rose

As far as financing, there are some companies that specialise in mortgages on land, but the alternative is to get a mortgage on your house.

Some estate agents do cover land; I put it out to local ones when I was looking for the wood, but again there are specialist ones.
wellington womble

Can't have the government missing out for too long, of course! Wink

Do you know of any examples, MR?
Nick

Santander lent me money to buy a field, with no other security, a massive overdraft and an appalling credit card history with them. It's the only mortgage I've ever had.

I'd avoid them like the plague. They're clearly idiots. Wink
vegplot

I cannot help thinking, although I am reluctant to mention, that there are projects on this board that are in need of investment...

in need of investment or worthy of investment? Wink
Hairyloon

I cannot help thinking, although I am reluctant to mention, that there are projects on this board that are in need of investment...

in need of investment or worthy of investment? Wink
Certainly in need. I'd expect some are worthy, but I am in no place to judge.

But this does come up relatively often: that someone has some money to invest, and there is an absolute shed load of talent and ability on this board, so I think there is potential to put some kind of project together.

Not this time and probably not for any one large investment, but maybe we should have a think about it.
wellington womble

Santander lent me money to buy a field, with no other security, a massive overdraft and an appalling credit card history with them. It's the only mortgage I've ever had.

I'd avoid them like the plague. They're clearly idiots. Wink

I know. My ex-marital home mortgage is with them as well! Didn't know they did land as well though.

I think there is a place for peer to peer lending and/or crowd funding. Not for this pot, as you say, but there will be others, I think. It's definitlely something I will consider for my pension investments.

Abundance looks interesting too. Again, not for this instance (I particularly want an income producing asset, here) but I may well put the pension funds into something like that.
Cathryn

There is a company who specialise but we have no experience of, called AMC http://www.amconline.co.uk/

If I was looking for a field I would ask the local auctioneers.
wellington womble

Thanks, Cathryn. I need to find the pub where the farmers drink.

It might be a non starter, I don't think they are taking on new projects, because Cameron and co are pro fracking and nuclear, and anti solar. Bloody typical. I've been waiting for this money for nearly two years!

Back to the drawing board!
henchard

Just as an addendum farmers were getting 1000 an acre per year from solar companies to lease their land.

As somone pointed out they need to be situated near the correct distribution infrastructure. In additition the whole package needed to be put together with planning permission before funding could be arranged.

Subsidy cuts have now scuppered most

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/30/uk-solar-growth-stalls-following-government-subsidy-cuts

Still probably reasonable returns, because of the housing shortage (and that's another moral topic to discuss), on buying terraced house to let in the right areas (student towns?).
Mistress Rose

I think Stride in Chichester do land as well as buildings, but they will only cover the West Sussex/East Hampshire area. Land is expensive round here, and we have lots of solar farms already in place or planned, so might not be the best area. There must be other companies in other parts of the country that do similar mixes; old established ones that deal in land. Try a market, or ex-market town for suitable ones WW. dpack

Thanks, Cathryn. I need to find the pub where the farmers drink.

if you combine that with the auction thought the local livestock market is where one gets a good concentration of farmers in a chatty (for farmers)mood and the auctioneers might well know about land agents etc etc as well.
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