Life+LAND blog post by Danielle Atkins
Is owning land realllllyyy worth it….
I mean the price of land in itself is not exactly cheap, especially depending on the state and county. And the money doesn’t just stop at the purchase- there’s annual property taxes, and the investment to manage and upkeep the property for whatever your desires are (and you thought mowing the grass over the weekend was a lot of work…)
And take a look at everything that can happen to your property to jeopardize the investment: natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, winter snow storms, earthquakes … because these are a more common thing now apparently…), general weather (excessive rain, drought, wind), insects and forest diseases, nuisance wildlife (hogs, overpopulation of deer, nutria), market crash, theft…When you start thinking about all the risks that can occur it is truly any wonder ANYONE invests in land.
But it’s done. Every. Single. Day.
In Georgia, 90% of land is privately owned; around 55% is owned by what’s considered “non-industrial private landowners” (NIPF: aka the average joe like you). This leaves around 35% of Georgia’s land to be owned by industry and cooperation (aka companies you’d think of in the land management game).
I say this only to emphasize that the majority of land owners ARE “average Joes and Janes” like YOU! So clearly, there are a ton of folks that DO believe land investment is worth it… besides my just telling you it is.
How else can I express to you that owning land AND investing in your land IS worth it…
Because it can be terrifying and overwhelming and all-consuming at times…
So can having kids. Having kids provides the exact same feelings. Everyone always tells you that despite everything, it is always worth it. (*Disclaimer: I understand having kids is NOT for everyone, and with that owning land is NOT for everyone… with that said, I continue…) Having kids provides nearly all the exact same risks I had mentioned about: natural disasters can occur (general weather probably not AS relevant here), kids can get diseases or insect reactions, wildlife can impact your kids (alligators, wildhogs, the neighborhood bad dog, etc), market inflation can make it financially harder and harder to provide for them, they can get lost or taken – heaven forbid ANY of these things happen to your family – the fact remains that they are all still a RISK of having children….
But having children (whether biologically, adoption, fostering, or simply having a parental impact on the children in your community) also provides a return for you: fulfillment, love, hope, sometimes even financial returns… But they don’t just provide those qualities naturally without any investment from us. We MUST invest in them first too. We must provide for them before they can start to show their return back to us. In the beginning it can seem terrifying and overwhelming and all-consuming… and even when you’ve been a veteran parent you can still get waves of those all-consuming feelings, but at the end of the day we look at their little faces, breathe, and realize these feelings are only temporary- that the BIG PICTURE is worth it.
Yet to many folks, having children seems much more plausible than trying to tackle owning land.
Having your own land, deciding to engage with your land, investing in your land, IS so similar to having children though. No… it isn’t necessarily for everyone, but for those who ARE contemplating the investment: it’s worth it. Now land can’t return your love, BUT it can provide hope. Hope of a new day and a reminder of God’s beauty from the every-day hustle and bustle of life. It can provide fulfillment. Fulfillment of growing something from the earth, leaving things a little better than they were before and leaving a legacy. And it can provide financial returns, if that is something you desire from your property. But none of these aspects will magically just APPEAR because you desire it. You must invest, engage and participate WITH your land. As is often said “you reap what your sow”…
You may have noticed I only discussed qualitative factors of owning and investing in land. This is because finances can vary significantly and the rate of return from various investments may or may not be “worth it” for different people- specifics which will be discussed in another article.
So is land investment worth it?
Is creating your own legacy worth it?
Is leaving a piece of dirt, better than it was before, worth it?
Are you willing to put in the work though….?
Only you can answer those questions. But in my opinion, as I look at my two heathen of children, at the end of the day, all the work is always worth it…
Danielle Atkins is a forester, mother, and founder of the Life+LAND blog. Learn more at https://hernandez4440.wixsite.com/lifeandland.