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Brush Removal For Access- Value?

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techbiker

Sophomore Member
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Dec 4, 2015
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General Public
State
Texas
I finally finished assembling an undeveloped city block from 7 undivided interests. The block was platted in 1878 but for some reason, development stalled out and the parcel became overgrown with thick brush and trees by 1950. Soon, the property and three adjacent city roads (2 were gravel) were allowed to return to a "natural state". For 70 years the property was owned by people who rarely visited and who had little incentive to perform maintenance. These were/are good people, however they all lived in different cities and multiple undivided interests complicated things. Grading is awful (duh), however the slope isn't too bad, legal access is great, and the property is outside of the flood plain.

Knotty, misshapen oaks, as well as invasive noxious trees and plants have invaded. I have ordered a survey (the first I think since 1878!) and have a bit of time to clear brush, trees, etc. before summer kicks in. I know it's impossible to generalize, however will I likely see a reasonable increase in value by clearing enough trees and brush for foot access? Right now, access during the summer is almost impossible and in winter it's hardly any better. I'm hoping to identify all of the poor quality trees soon.

Right now, the moment you step on the block fire ants are out for your blood. Then if you make it to the forested part, good luck getting through without getting entangled in thorny vines and covered in poison ivy/oak oil! I usually bring a machete but still haven't made it across the entire property.

Thank you!

Here is a picture:
IMG_20180216_133714674smallest.jpg
 
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Mr Rex

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
One of these would make short work out of it:

images
 

techbiker

Sophomore Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Professional Status
General Public
State
Texas
Thank you. That is exactly what I was planning to do. A bobcat or brush mower definitely seem to make good sense.

Do you think that clearing inaccessible land typically improves the land value more than the cost of thinning/clearing though? Very little marketing and no development can occur until clearing so I suppose it is worth the expense.
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
"Very little marketing and no development can occur until clearing so I suppose it is worth the expense."

IMO, you answered your own question. Trust your "gut".
 

techbiker

Sophomore Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Professional Status
General Public
State
Texas
"Very little marketing and no development can occur until clearing so I suppose it is worth the expense."

IMO, you answered your own question. Trust your "gut".

Thank you! I can picture myself investing in a small trailer and some brush clearing equipment... There are many decent properties with major brush problems here.
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
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New York
Thank you! I can picture myself investing in a small trailer and some brush clearing equipment... There are many decent properties with major brush problems here.

Rent first, gauge market demand before buying the equipment.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Trim out the small stuff, improving access and making the site attractive. Don't try to clear the big stuff because you never know what a potential buyer might want. That tree you believe is ugly may be the most desirable tree on the whole property. Just don't do a massive cleaning as that would be overkill.
 

techbiker

Sophomore Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Professional Status
General Public
State
Texas
Trim out the small stuff, improving access and making the site attractive. Don't try to clear the big stuff because you never know what a potential buyer might want. That tree you believe is ugly may be the most desirable tree on the whole property. Just don't do a massive cleaning as that would be overkill.

Great advice. I will call up my friend (who has a Bobcat) and see how much <4" stuff he can clear out in a day or two. I have also contacted a forester, however it probably won't be cost-effective to have them conduct a tree analysis/inventory. There are some good quality post oaks on the property and I believe it will be quite attractive with a little bit of work. Utilities are another issue, however I have a plan to help secure easy access to those as well. My main goal is to cost-effectively make the site as appealing as possible.

Thank you everyone.
 

DTB

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I don't think a builder would care whether it's cleared out or not. They would make quick work of it IMO.

Spend your efforts and money marketing it.

Good luck
 
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