Conservation Easements – the good and the bad

By Tom Brickman on October 8, 2021

Conservation easements are a tool landowners can use to raise money and /or offset taxes on current income, as part of their estate planning, or to constrain the future use of their property. There are clear benefits to landowners who place their land in a conservation easement.  These have been…
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How Not To Sell Timber

By Tom Brickman on July 12, 2018

Decisions of how and when to sell timber are difficult for most landowners. That’s because selling timber is often a once-in-a-lifetime event.  As a result, landowners typically have little experience in the market place, making the outcome far from certain. To avoid regrets, your best bet is to retain a…
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Cyprus Partners Listing Mentioned In Washington Post on-line

By Tom Brickman on December 28, 2017

Cyprus Partners 7,400 acre Georgia listing mentioned in Washington Post on-line interview of Eric O’Keefe, editor of Land Report magazine, on Top-100 Landowners.

CLICK HERE to see full article.

Buying Rural Land With Borrowed Money – The First Step

By Tom Brickman on June 6, 2016

Many people use borrowed money to purchase rural land. If this fits you, we suggest your first-step be to obtain a “pre-qualification letter” (PQL) issued by a commercial lender. The benefit to you of a PQL is that it puts you in a strong position with potential sellers.  Every landowner…
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Should A Landowner Offer “Seller-Financing”?

By Tom Brickman on January 16, 2015

There are several benefits to a landowner from financing the sale of their own land.  But there are also disadvantages.  Here are some thoughts to consider: Pros 1)     Seller-financing is a way to defer the taxes paid on capital gains. A seller pays tax as payments are made.  So, by spreading…
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What age pines is the best to buy?

By Tom Brickman on December 28, 2014

Landowner question: I am 46 years old—at what stage in the life cycle should I be looking at pines?  5 years old?  cutover?  20 year old pines?  Trying to get an understanding of where I should purchase in the 30 year cycle of loblolly pines.  Also—I am a hunter and…
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A landowners question: hardwood or pine??

By Tom Brickman on September 3, 2014

Landowner question: Q: I’m about to thin my planted pines and there is hardwood among the pines.  The critters have to make a living too, so I’m inclined to leave the hardwood.  What do you think?   Forester reply: A:  I understand your point.   I kind of favor the critters…
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Using Absolute Auctions – A Landowner’s Question

By Tom Brickman on May 6, 2014

Landowner Question: I subscribe to emails from Cyprus Partners about land for sale in Alabama. I do so because I have farm/timber land which obviously has downvalued in recent years. It is out of your network but even so I wondered if you have any figures on what percentage an…
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Who Will Control The Land You Own?

By Tom Brickman on January 9, 2014

I try to stay away from political issues on our blog post.  But expanding government control of private property is an issue every rural landowner should be aware of. Private land – government control An important example of this is the US Government’s abuse of the “public use” element of…
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Is The Agent Putting You First?

By Tom Brickman on November 2, 2013

Recently we offered some Alabama hunting land for sale at a below-market price (at the owners request).  It truly was a good deal. An interested buyer asked me, “if it’s such a good deal why aren’t you buying it”? What an important question! Fact is, some agents do buy their clients…
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Real Estate Agents. Who Needs ‘Em?

By Tom Brickman on October 10, 2013

Welcome to “conflict of interest” Recently a prospective client declined my services. He said that that he never uses real estate agents because they only look out for themselves. Well, this is not the first time I’ve heard this.  Many people believe the real estate industry is a rigged game…
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Tips on rural land surveys

By Tom Brickman on August 21, 2013

Let’s say you are looking at an 80 acre tract of land to buy that has not been surveyed. Should you purchase a survey before buying? The answer, is “it depends”. Source of the acres The advertised acres may come from authoritative sources such as a deed or the county…
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Understanding Road Access

By Tom Brickman on July 19, 2013

Many people ask us what the consequence is when a property they have an interest in buying does not touch on a public road (in Alabama, many properties fall into this category). In other words, when the only access to a property from the nearest public road (that is, a…
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Clear-Cut Land: Good Alabama Hunting Land & Good Investment Land

By Tom Brickman on June 17, 2013

Today someone called about a clear-cut property we have for sale. His belief was that clear-cut land is poor deer hunting land. Deer love clear-cuts! Truth is, nothing could be further from the truth!  Clear-cut land is excellent deer habitat! The reason for this is that in the U. S….
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Press release today on Cyprus Partners – helping people buy land

By Tom Brickman on May 30, 2013

Cyprus Partners announces two new services that help people shop for rural land.  These services were developed because most people only shop for rural land in Alabama using the internet.  The problem with this is that over half of all land available for purchase in Alabama are not advertised on…
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Two New Services That Make It Easy To Buy Rural Land

By Tom Brickman on May 21, 2013

Cyprus Partners announces the launch of two services that make it easy to buy rural land in Alabama. The services were created to address a difficulty with land markets that you don’t find with residential or commercial real estate markets. The difficulty is that there is no centralized internet-based listing…
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5 Tips For Selling Your Land

By Tom Brickman on March 21, 2013

5 Tips For Selling Rural Land  As land prices declined over the past 5 years many land owners held off selling their land. Fact is, over this time there have been very few buyers for large rural properties at any price.  But this is changing! In the past 5 months…
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Making An Offer To Buy Land

By Tom Brickman on December 11, 2012

When making an offer to buy land, there is more to consider than just the price you will pay. One of the things to consider is earnest money, which can also be called the down payment.  The second thing is to know when you have a legally binding contract.  Let’s…
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Before you sell your timber consider this

By Tom Brickman on December 3, 2012

Knowing what your timber is worth ahead of time is important Rural land in Alabama often has timber on it.  So, a question many landowners ask is, “what’s it worth, and how do I get top dollar?”. Fact is, trees that look pretty can be almost worthless.  Yet, well managed,…
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Making Sure The Price Is Fair

By Tom Brickman on October 30, 2012

Prices can be unrealistic If you’ve spent any time shopping for rural land, you’ve probably learned that prices for the same kind of land are “all over the board.”  The truth is, it’s not unusual for land sellers to have an unrealistic price. So, it is important to independently test…
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How To Make An Offer To Purchase

By Tom Brickman on October 22, 2012

When it comes time to make an offer to purchase a property there are two general ways to go about it.  One way is formally in writing. The other way is verbally, followed by a written offer. Written is strongest The strongest way to make an offer is to put…
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Rural Land Investments On The Rise

By Tom Brickman on October 5, 2012

The 10/4/2012 edition of Market Watch (published by The Wall Street Journal) reports that land investments are on the rise. Commenting on the Fall 2012 issue of the magazine The Land Report, it notes  that the top 100 largest landowners have increased their ownership by 18.6% in the last 5…
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Investing In Timber – The Art & Science Of Thinning Trees

By Tom Brickman on October 1, 2012

Investors see planted pine as a safe alternative With interest rate low and the economy shaky, many investors see timberland as a safe place to put money.  In fact, over the last four years we have seen a significant shift in the motivations of people buying Alabama land for sale. …
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Confirming Timber Value – Part Of Shopping For Land

By Tom Brickman on September 25, 2012

Needed for testing asking price  In Alabama, standing timber can be worth as much as $3,000 per acre. And, a property that looks clear cut along the road may have excellent timber on the back side across the creek. Testing the asking price of a property you are considering for…
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Already Under Contract? Don’t Give Up!

By Tom Brickman on September 18, 2012

When you are in 2nd place It can happen that the property you love and want to buy is suddenly under contract. Someone else got there first.  But, all is not necessarily lost.  This has happened to clients of mine on several occasions and we have found ways to successfully…
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Before You Buy Rural Land: Confirm The Acres

By Tom Brickman on September 12, 2012

Survey only exact way to know Here’s an interesting fact:  most rural Alabama land has never been surveyed. The fact is, without a survey, no one really knows exactly how many acres are in a tract. For example, the deed may say 160 acres because the property is 1/4 of…
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If You Want To Make Money, Loblolly Pine Is Best

By Tom Brickman on September 2, 2012

There are many reasons for investing in rural land.  Some buy to hunt deer or turkey.  Some are looking for a family get-away or second home in the woods. If you are investing in land for financial benefit in central Alabama, planted loblolly pine is your best bet. Loblolly pine…
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When Buying Rural Land: Consider Closing Cost

By Tom Brickman on August 20, 2012

 Both a buyer and seller will spend money to get to the closing table.  These expenses are known as ‘closing cost’. Kinds of closing cost Some of these expenses are large (a survey of 160 acres can cost $8,000) and some are small (Alabama property taxes are typically $1 to…
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Before You Buy Rural Land: Talk To The Owner

By Tom Brickman on August 13, 2012

Believe it or not, people will say they want to sell their Alabama land and give you all kinds of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with a sincere interest in selling. Many sellers are not really motivated They might do this to get a free appraisal, or…
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Investing in Alabama timber for profit: start with good dirt

By Tom Brickman on July 31, 2012

 Many investors see Alabama timberland as a safe place to put money. So, if growing trees for profit is why you are shopping for rural land, here is a tip: Start with land that has productive soils The difference in tons of wood grown between good soils and poor soils can…
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Inspecting Rural Alabama Land

By Tom Brickman on July 23, 2012

When shopping for rural land in Alabama, only a few properties will have all of the physical characteristics you desire. To determine suitability you’ll want to physically inspect any possible purchase. Things to look for Depending on intended use, important things to consider in rural Alabama land are: neighborhood desirability…
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Timber land – A Great Place To Put Money

By Tom Brickman on July 12, 2012

A report just published by Jack Lutz, Forest Economist with Forest Research Group, looks at 61 years of data to measure the correlation of return to inflation for timberland and various other common investment assets. He also gives us a look at nominal returns for timberland over this same period. The bottom line is that timberland…
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What Is A Fair Price For Rural Land?

By Tom Brickman on July 10, 2012

Everyone wants a great deal! This is true whether you’re shopping for a car or a piece of Alabama land.  But, when it comes to land, our experience is it’s easy to be “penny-wise and pound-foolish”. So, to prevent having regrets, here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re…
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Planting Trees Is Better Than Letting Nature Do It

By Tom Brickman on July 2, 2012

Many investors see timberland as a safe place to put money.  So, if growing trees for money is why you want to buy rural land in Alabama, here’s a tip and the reasons why. Planted pine trees are best The difference in tons of wood grown by a natural forest and…
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When Shopping For Rural Land, Look At Many Properties

By Tom Brickman on June 26, 2012

When shopping for rural land in Alabama, it’s a good idea to look at many properties before making a purchase decision.  Like shopping for anything, the more you shop, the better deal you’ll find.  It’ll probably be a better price and more suited to your intentions. For most people the…
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Be Clear On Why You Want To Own Rural Land

By Tom Brickman on June 19, 2012

There are several good reasons for wanting to own rural land in Alabama – hunting, investment, rural residence, or family recreation – all good reasons for owning rural land. However, each land ownership reason usually leads to different kinds of land. For example, if you plan to live on the…
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Use Contingencies To Make An Offer

By Tom Brickman on

In my 37 years of experience as an Alabama real estate broker, appraiser, and forester, I’ve learned that there are no perfect properties or perfect deals.  So, if you’re ready to make an offer on some rural land but the property has a few issues that you’re concerned about, my advice is this: don’t…
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Question From A Timberland Owner

By Tom Brickman on May 23, 2012

Tom, I have 100 ac of timberland. My problem is that it is landlocked. I have been using an old logging road for years to go to the property but do not have an easement on my deed to go to it. I would like to sell the property or…
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How to Buy Rural Land – 7 tips

By Tom Brickman on May 9, 2012

After 35 years in the rural land business we’ve had the chance to see the smart moves and mistakes people make when buying rural land.  So, we’d like to share some hard-won experience with you on how to buy rural land. 1. Be clear on why you want to own land ….
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What Others Are Saying About Buying Rural Land

By Tom Brickman on May 1, 2012

A 10 minute scan of some of the real estate blogs I follow produced the following snippets, all showing positive trends for rural land: “With all the foreclosures and short sales being bought up I have noticed that some investors are buying up raw land, if this trend continues we…
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What Is Driving Land Prices In Alabama?

By Tom Brickman on April 12, 2012

Someone sent me a survey this week with the question, “What do you think is driving land prices?”  They did not specify “up” or “down”, so here is how I answered: Driving them up? Or driving them down?  It depends where you are in the country. In Alabama were I…
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Light At The End Of The Tunnel For Alabama Land Buyers & Land Owners?

By Tom Brickman on April 10, 2012

The last four years have been the most economically volatile of my 36 year career in the land investment and management business. For example, prices for rural land in Alabama have plunged deeply after 15 years of dramatic gains. Prices for southern pine sawtimber have dropped to levels not seen…
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A New Tool Finds Alabama Land For Sale

By Tom Brickman on October 13, 2011

A New Tool Helps People Find Alabama Land For Sale See what the October 2011 issue of the magazine Business Alabama says about Cyprus Partners, an Alabama company specializing in helping people locate and purchase Alabama land. The company has launched a new product that makes it easier to find rural land for sale in Alabama.  An unusual…
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Rural Land Prices

By Tom Brickman on September 20, 2011

Rural Land Markets – What Are Prices Doing? An Interview with Tom Brickman, September 29, 2009 Q: What are you seeing in the rural land markets right now? A: We are moving some properties but it is slower than normal. The ones we’re selling are modestly priced – at the…
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Rural Land: Making Smart Decisions You’ll Feel Good About

By Tom Brickman on September 9, 2011

An Interview with Tom Brickman, April 2009 Question: Cyprus Partners and South40 Partners are on your newsletter. Who are they? Brickman: These are two companies I manage that give our clients specialized know-how. Cyprus Partners is a real estate company I helped start that helps people buy and sell rural land….
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