Western expansion is generally referred to as the movement of pioneers into the American West in the early 1800's, however, a twenty-first century wave may be upon us. In the past decade, the population of the outdoorsmen friendly state of Montana, and others like it, has been steadily increasing. Part of that may be thanks to a popular television series that showcases the beauty of the west and the outdoor and western lifestyles. These kinds of rural areas offer the promise of wide open country, wildlife, solitude and quality of life. Features like these make a great case for going rural. However, Dan says the other part of the equation in rural expansion is that people are just eager to get away from more populous places and they are seeking refuge in smaller, more rural, communities. It's not a mystery why people want to leave, he says. In the past couple of years there has been lawlessness, COVID, mandates and more. All of those factors are more prevalent in cities, thus you see people flooding to the countryside all across the U.S.
If you happen to be considering a move to a more rural area, or if you are just wanting to have a piece of recreational property where you can visit and spend time away from the city, now is the time to jump in. You don't need to be a land expert to invest in land, Dan says. The right agent can help you navigate the land buying process and be an advocate for you. If you're in the market for a piece of property, the most important part, even more important than the property itself, is finding the right agent. There are agents who sell homes, commercial real estate or land. Dan stresses the importance of finding an agent that is knowledgeable in land specifically so they help you identify the value of various properties and help you understand how to turn those properties into solid investments. These agents understand the value of properties whether it's in the wildlife on the land or the land features themselves, he says.
If you are seeking out a recreational hunting property, there will likely be an expected amount of improvements that have to be made in order to help that land realize its true potential in holding wildlife. Equating land to homes, Dan says if a person buys the house that needs the most work in the nicest community, it normally turns out to be the best investment. The same can be true of land. If you purchase land in an area with giant bucks, but it lacks staple features like water or cover, you can often purchase it for under market value. With the money you save you can put in a pond, establish cover, put in food plots, fence it off, etc. If you make the right improvements, you can substantially increase the value of the property by taking that piece of land and making it a core part of the deer's core area.