Country Minute: Tips for buying group hunting land
Mike Forst, Country Living Financial Services Officer
GreenStone Country Minute, group hunting


What’s a way to get even more out of your hunting land? Buy it with friends or family!


While making a purchase with other people has its own set of challenges, you can avoid many of the pitfalls and only realize benefits by keeping these tips in mind:


Set up an LLC
When it comes to financing, setting up an LLC makes it easier to work with your lender. For instance, if you have ten people involved in an LLC, you don’t have to have all ten apply for a loan. Instead, you can take just one or two people who have good credit and cash flow, and the lender can work with those applicants. Not every financial institution is able make the entire process simpler for groups seeking financing like GreenStone’s options provide.


Discuss your goals and management plans
Owning property comes with many options, and having answers to some common questions can simplify it. Who will be involved in decision making? What will you do with the land? Will you all use it at the same time or different times? It is also important to discuss if you will improve the land, and if so, how you will pay for it. Discussing these factors ahead of time can help set you up for success in the future and avoid difficult conversations later.


Come up with a workable budget
It is obviously easier to buy more land if you’re pooling resources, but everyone needs to know where to start. Is every party putting in the same amount of money? Who’s responsible for paying the tax bill? Are there buildings on the property that require money for upkeep? Will there be attorney costs?


Taking time to talk about these issues keeps everyone apprised of the financial impact of owning recreational land. This way, if the property seems out of reach for some members of the group, they’ll be able to decide ahead of time, not later when they’ve already made the investment. Of course, friendships are more valuable than hunting land, so be certain that all the information is on the table before proceeding. For this to be successful, everyone needs to be open about their personal financial budget.


Work with similar personality types
Whether you are the easygoing or straitlaced type, you are going to want to do business with someone who has similar views. Some groups may put all of the money needed for bills generated by the property into an account at the beginning of the year, while some may want to go month-to-month, or as needs arise. No matter how you decide to do it, make certain the people you are working with share the same views and comfort level.


Talk schedules
We’ve all heard about problems with shared vacation homes, and you do not want that experience! Avoid arguments about which hunter got the most deer and what’s fair by making certain you are buying with people who agree on when land use is allowed. Can everyone go at the same time at the beginning of hunting season? Is it okay if some people go more than others? Are guests allowed? Discuss all the issues before purchase, so by the time it’s hunting season, everyone knows where they stand.


Discuss long term plans and potential conflicts

Sadly, life events happen such as death, divorce, or job loss and new life chapters take place like marriage or geographic moves. All of these changes can complicate land ownership. It is also difficult to transition land ownership generationally when there are multiple parties involved. However, these issues can be tempered by the positives of requiring less individual money to own land, making your own rules, and sharing costs so you can own a piece of paradise to share with your friends and family.



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