Thursday, February 16, 2012

I keep hearing about Topographic Maps…..what are they?

This is a favorite subject of mine. Let's discuss what they are. Topographic maps are also commonly called contour maps or topo maps. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) took over responsibility for mapping the country in 1879 and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. More than 55,000 7.5-minute maps were made to cover the 48 conterminous States. This is the only uniform map series that covers the entire area of the United States in considerable detail. 

A topographic map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines. Contour line are lines on the map that connect all point with equal elevation above sea level. If you encounter a map where the contour lines are close together, that means that the relief is very steep. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features.

Uses -  Topographic maps have multiple uses in the present day: any type of geographic planning or large-scale architecture; earth sciences and many other geographic disciplines; mining and other earth-based endeavours (such as planning and constructing ponds); and recreational uses such as hiking or, in particular, orienteering, which uses highly detailed maps in its standard requirements. Topo maps can be used determine % slope, potential pond site and other uses. A topo map can be used to determine the watershed area for a pond or potential pond. If you are dealing with LAND, your Realtor should provide you with a topographic map!

For Information on Buying or Selling Land contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF at      (706) 457-0090

Monday, February 6, 2012

How Do I Pick A Realtor To Sell My Land?

   Realtors try to be all things to all people and it is simply not possible. Basically real estate breaks down into 3 categories: Residential, Land and Commercial. Generally speaking all realtors can or should be pretty good at residential. There is tons of information on the local MLS, so realtors have access to really good information related to what is on the market. But there is where the commonality ends.
   The other areas of real estate require special knowledge and expertise related to the market. For example, a commercial specialist may have the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation. Realtors who specialize in commercial real estate can provide and analyze detail cash flow spreadsheets to determine the Present Net Value or the Internal Rate of Return of the subject property.
   Like wise, a land specialist may have the Accredited Land Consultant through the Realtors Land Institute ( I will talk about this highly esteemed designation in a later blog). Generally commercial and land realtors charge a higher commission rate due to the extra education, training and expertise they provide. Also, these specialist, in some cases will provide marketing and advertising opportunities that other realtors do not use. A land specialist can provide aerial photography and topographic maps of the property. This is helpful for determing how much of the land is forested, in agriculture, size of a pond or for other requirements. A topo map is useful to determine the percent slope on a tract or to determine if the property has a good pond site.
   NOW HERE IS HOW YOU DETERMINE IF YOU ARE REALLY DEALING WITH A LAND SPECIALIST..... have your realtor meet you at one of your corners providing latitude-longitude coordinates. This will separate the land people!!

For Information on Buying or Selling Land contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF at      (706) 457-0090