Wednesday, April 15, 2015

LAND..What's Selling..Whose Buying?

I recently participated in a survey with Land Brokers across the country and the results were recently published by the Realtors  Land Institute. As expected there were some very modest improvements in sales and sales price. The following chart shows how the country was divided into regions for reporting purposes. We'll focus on Region 3 where I practice Real Estate. The bulk of property selling in Region 3 is primarily timberland and recreational properties.

Country By Regions

Region 3 Reported Average Sales Close to 100 Acres

As you can see most participants reported 2 -3% Increases

The chart above shows Increase/Decrease By Land Type and by far most reported 0 - 5% Increases

Now, Who is Buying? Generally speaking Corporations are buying development and commercial properties. Families and Individuals are buying ranches and recreational properties. See the following graph.

I think there are 2 very important points: 1) If you have been waiting on prices to bottom out, you have probably waited too long and 2) in my opinion, interest rates will move up (not down). If you have been waiting to buy that tract of is the time!!!!

If you would like to see my listings, visit   If you have questions about buying and selling LAND, contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF @ 706.457.0090

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Are There Different Type of Water Rights?

One of the first cases involving water rights was Tyler v. Wilkinson in 1827. This was a dispute between 2 mill owners. Could the upstream mill owner impede the flow of water to the downstream mill owner. Thus Riparian water rights came into existence.

Generally speaking the type water rights you own depends on where you live. Those who live in the eastern United States have 'Riparian rights'. Those in the western US have 'Doctrine of Prior Appropriation'. Following is a pie chart showing who holds the most water rights in the U.S. 

Percent of Water Rights Held

Lets describe what these different type water rights are: 

Land-based or Riparian Rights
Riparian rights are based on land ownership, and are protected by property law. Riparian rights state that only the owner of the banks of the water source have a right to the 'undiminished, unaltered flow' of the water. Riparian rights are only transferable when the riparian land ownership title is transferred to a new owner. Typically riparian rights are not severed from the land.

Doctrine of Prior Appropriation
The use of water in many of the states in the western U.S. is governed by the doctrine of prior appropriation, also known as the "Colorado Doctrine" of water law. The essence of the doctrine of prior appropriation is that, while no one may own the water in a stream, all persons, corporations, and municipalities have the right to use the water for beneficial purposes. The allocation of water rests upon the fundamental maxim "first in time, first in right." The first person to use water (called a "senior appropriator") acquires the right (called a "priority") to its future use as against later users (called "junior appropriators"). In order to assure protection of senior water right priorities and to maximize the use of this scarce and valuable resource, many states have adopted detailed schemes for the determination and administration of water rights. These state regimens define to a large extent just what a water right is.

However as one might expect most states have adopted a Hybrid System. Many of these states originally operated under the Riparian Rights then later adopted parts of the Prior Appropriation rules

To see my listings visit Buying or Selling Land? Contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF at      (706) 457-0090