California is not only a massive state, it’s the third largest state in the U.S. It also boasts vast rural areas that offer extreme climates. From searing hot desert to snow covered mountains, to extensive stretches of pristine beachfront property, California literally has it all. Despite rumors of residents fleeing the high-tax state for less expensive states, it remains one of the most sought after home destinations in the U.S.
With its temperate climate, stunning vistas, and vineyards, Northern California (CA) is particularly attractive for home and property buyers. Perhaps you’ve got your eye on farmhouses or rustic cabins up near Cascade Park, or bungalow homes in Mill Valley above San Francisco , or your looking at property and/or homes for sale in Galt, CA, you will have quite a selection to choose from. Of course, the price you inevitably pay will differ with each location you seek out.
According to one report, pricing rural property in California, is definitely not for the faint of heart. For instance, if you can find a log home on a nice piece of land, that’s a good place to start your home search, be it a vacation home or a family home. There are lots of variable to consider in your search. For instance, the log cabin might not have a wrap-around porch, but it might have acreage that can be used to raise livestock or start your very own vineyard. Imagine owning expensive rural CA property that actually makes you money.
Real Estate Comps (Comparables)
If you’re on the lookout for real estate “comps” in a rural area of Northern CA, it might be necessary to broaden your search to include several zip codes. Say the experts, moving to a neighboring and/or sister ZIP code can give you a decent idea of the overall pricing climate.
You need to examine all the recently closed sales and then pay attention to the average price. Then you can find the right property that suits your needs and wants as the best comp for average, size of the existing home, the year it was built, plus quality of the construction and if it needs extensive and/or minor repairs and finishes.
You can use this data to when looking at potential comparable sales in the area.
Pricing Custom Rural Property
Coming up with a price for much sought after rural property in northern CA is said to not only be tedious, but a time-consuming job. Some realtors, who shall go nameless, will attest that it’s actually quite easy to “take money from unsuspecting victims.” This is partially the fault of appraisers who set values for bank lenders who are not even located in the area of purchaser interest.
Many appraisers have no experience with rural settings in Northern CA and yet they go ahead and set a value for what the property should be worth. In a word, there is no easy way to price rural property in Northern CA. But if you are willing to put in the work and the time, you can come up with an accurate cost. The best course of action is to call agents to ask them what kinds of sales they’ve had in desirable locations such as Galt.
A respected realtor who might be located in Galt, as opposed to an appraiser, should be able to offer you’re a market analysis of the area, but also a healthy price range you can wrap your brain around. You should then take the time to analyze all the data.
Don’t just look at property that has structures on it. Look at the price of undeveloped land to get an idea of how much land acquisition is going for. An outbuilding and a shop might not be worth the price you would pay to construct them if the land is too expensive.
For instance, in an appraisal, a garage might be appraised at $20,000. But if you build a quality garage that’s outfitted with a 50-year roof guarantee that matches a custom home, it’s still going to be appraised at $20,000. Again, not worth it.
Lots of people desire property with terrific mountain views. But the prices on these properties can be subjective which means you need to find properties without the views, then compare the two. This is where an experienced real estate agent comes in.
If they have sold hundreds of homes and properties and have a good understanding of the math that goes into an appraisal, they should be able to present you with a decent market analysis of both mountain view property and property minus the views.