IRA Advantage for Buying Land

Earlier this year, we wrote a piece about using self-directed IRA funds to buy property, so when we saw this recent Land Think article talking about more advantages to buying property with an IRA, we just had to share it!

And, don’t forget…Potlatch Preferred Brokers are experts in doing transactions like these, while working closely with Potlatch’s real estate managers. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, or about anything concerning buying recreational and rural real estate, contact our team today.

Lesser Known Advantages to Buying Land with an IRA

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Pack Carefully as the Weather Turns Colder

winter-campingHeading outdoors to hunt, camp or do other outdoor activities in the winter should involve some advance planning. After all, the weather this time of year can sometimes be unpredictable.

Tom Smith, one of the Southeast’s top recreational land brokers, goes out in the woods all year long, and has some tips that can come in handy as you prepare for your next outdoor excursion.

“Even after checking the weather, surprises can happen with the weather changing,” says Tom, a member of the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network. “You never want to be caught unprepared.”

With this in mind, here are six tips from Tom as you pack for your next trip:

  1. Consider taking a heated jacket, which can be adjusted to match the temperature. Some of them are rated to keep you warm even when the temperature drops below zero.
  1. A compass can be a major help if you lose your bearings, and don’t depend on using the compass on your cell phone. What if your phone runs out of power?
  1. Most outdoors enthusiasts know that wearing layers gives you the ability to adjust to the weather, but also think about what will happen to your head if it rains. Bring a couple of extra head covers so you can bring out an extra if needed.
  1. People often overpack their gear but don’t pack enough food. Remember to bring food that’s high in protein. One favorite snack of Tom’s: quick-dried fruits in zip-lock bags.
  1. Fanny packs might seem a bit dorky, but don’t worry about it. They can come in very handy. As an example, 6-ounce bottles can easily fit in a pack and provide a good amount of water for your trip.
  1. Make sure your cell phone stays charged by bringing two battery-charger travel packs.

As you get outside this winter, it’s a good time to think about buying you own piece of recreational property as a base for your excursions. If you’re in Mississippi, Tom Smith Land and Homes is a great resource, and in other states, another member of the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network can help. Give one of them a call today.

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Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Potlatch

May the good things of life be yours in abundance,

at Thanksgiving and throughout the coming year.

If you cannot reach any one of us this week, it’s because we’re celebrating
the holiday with family and friends.  Please visit with us online or
try us again on Monday, November 28th.   Thank you!
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Iron Sight Rifle Shooting Helped Us Learn Essential Skills

For many of us whoshooting with iron sights hunt, it’s a family activity that brings back fond memories of our own childhoods.

We in the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network were struck by an essay by T. Edward Nickens for Field and Stream, recalling how he learned his first shooting skills at the age of 14, spending up to 15 hours a day with his beloved Crosman Model 760 Pumpmaster air rifle.

Enjoy this walk down memory lane!




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Veterans Day 2016

Veterans Day Pic 2015

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Shopping for Land? There are no dumb questions!

As the weather gets chillier, there’s still time to buy your own piece of recreational property in time to enjoy it this year. But to do that, you’ll need to shop efficiently. So how do you that?

Charlie Chernak, broker/owner of Bear Island Land Co. in Ely, Minnesota, has helped recreational land buyers for more than 20 years. Chernak, a member of the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network, has a number of tips for making the buying process more efficient. Here are five:

  1. Narrow your search geographically as much as you can when you start looking at properties. And as you assess different geographic areas, evaluate characteristics like deer densities, access to nearby amenities and the age and types of timber. “Narrowing things down as soon as you can is very important,” Charlie says. “After all, if you wanted to look for properties across an entire state, that could take several years.”
  1. Work with a reputable, experienced real estate broker who specializes in land. This professional is going to save you time by knowing how to match you with the property that works for you in terms of location, amenities and price. “Selling a home is completely different from selling land. A quality land broker will know where to focus in searching for the type of property you are looking for.”

    Sturgeon River Parcel | St. Louis County, MN | 30 acres | $55,000 | Listed by Bear Island Land, Co.

  1. Know how much you feel comfortable spending. “Doing this will save you a lot of time in itself. Some lenders will pre-qualify you. And even if you are paying cash, knowing your budget is an important part of finding a property in an efficient way.”
  1. Evaluate the access into the property. “Are going to be okay with driving down a gravel road that isn’t maintained? That may be fine, but you may want a spot that isn’t quite as remote.”
  1. Think about resale, even if that isn’t in your plans anytime soon. “Make sure that what you are buying isn’t so unique that no one else would want to buy it if you decide to sell later. People’s situations change. As an example, you may think that you want to pass the property along to your kids, but when the time comes, make sure the property would be attractive to buyers if the kids decide to sell.”

And remember this: There is no such thing as a dumb question as you start your land search.

“One part of a productive relationship with your real estate broker is that you feel comfortable asking about anything,” Charlie says. “Often, an issue can come up because the buyer was assuming something that wasn’t the case. Don’t be shy: Just go ahead and ask. Getting an answer to your question now will put your mind at ease, and will guarantee that there won’t be an issue later.”

If you’re in Charlie’s neck of the woods in the Ely area of northern Minnesota, give him a call and get the land search going. And if you’re looking in other parts of Minnesota, or in Idaho, Mississippi, Arkansas or Alabama, any of our Potlatch Preferred Brokers will help you make the process efficient.

Start the search now, so you can have your own recreational property before 2017!

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Witching you a Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2014.2

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Have a Quick, Easy Close on your Property.

When you are buying a recreational property, getting a surprise at the closing table is no fun. Surprises or complications can cause delays in taking ownership, and that could keep you from using your property right away.

So how do you make sure you won’t get any surprises? We asked for some tips from Deb Kline of First American Title in Baxter, Minnesota, one of the state’s top experts on rural property closings. Here they are:

  1. Ask questions. “Don’t be shy,” Deb says. “Make sure you know what your real estate agent, title/escrow company and lender are supposed to do, and if they’ve done what’s required for the closing.”
  1. Be responsive. “It’s fair to expect everyone in the process to move quickly and efficiently,” she says. “That also includes you, the buyer. Respond quickly to any requests for documents or information; that is a critical component of a successful process.”
  1. Talk about any special arrangements or situations early. “For example, since signatures of all parties are required to close,” she says, “talk it through if someone can’t attend the closing and documents need to be sent out, or if power of attorney is involved.”

Following these tips will add more certainty to a process that can be fraught with complications. And preparing diligently for the closing is important no matter the type of land sale.

As with every step of the land buying process, it’s important to work with professionals who understand recreational property sales. Look for an experienced title/escrow company that has extensive experience in rural property closings and supports the American Land Title Association’s Best Practices.

With their deep knowledge of recreational land sales, Potlatch’s staff and business partners are highly skilled in doing everything they can to prevent surprises. So from the time when you first start thinking about buying a property, considering working with a broker from the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network. Their goal is to make every step of the process simple and problem-free, from your first property visit to the closing.

Contact the Potlatch broker in your neck of the woods today!

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Using your Deer Stand Properly


Here’s an alarming statistic: According to a study of tree stand accidents in seven states, nearly one in 10 of the falls resulted in death. That’s because such falls are usually from significant heights – the ones included in the study averaged 17 feet each.

These statistics, compiled from the 2010-2015 hunting seasons by the Tree Stand Safety Awareness organization, are enough to get anyone’s attention. So how do you make sure you aren’t the next statistic?

Image result for tree stand safety

A recent story posted on the Quality Deer Management Association’s website does a good job of detailing things to think about. And as deer hunting seasons get started around the country, this is a good time to think about the safety of your stands.

Here are three highlights of the safety tips in the story:

  • Check your stands for cracks in the metal or welds, and for wear and tear on the chains, cables or straps that hold the stand on the tree.
  • As you set up your stands, make sure you are choosing live trees to hang the stands on, and remember to use a safety harness as you set up each stand.
  • A safety harness is also essential for when you use your stand. It’s also important that you be in your harness as you get in and out of the stand – that’s when accidents often occur.

Many of the recreational properties offered for sale by Potlatch are quality hunting sites themselves or are near public lands that are. And the members of the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network are experts in matching your hunting needs to your property search.

“Our Potlatch Preferred Brokers know hunting, because they love outdoor recreation themselves,” said Mark Bice, who handles real estate and acquisitions in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi for Potlatch. “It’s important for recreational buyers to work with someone who knows how to find and buy a property with access to quality hunting.”

With deer hunting seasons getting underway around the country, it’s a great time to think about buying your own recreational property. By working with a Potlatch broker, you will save time, because our brokers can quickly help you find a property that fits your needs. Call one of our brokers today!

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Hunting Season is Here.

Stay up to date on the latest from each state you hunt with these quick links.  You might even see a Potlatch ad in there with a special link to free real estate guides!  Before you head out? Be sure to check weather conditions, hunting regulations and the latest news and updates. Be safe and have fun!

ALABAMA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

ARKANSAS Game & Fish Commission 

IDAHO Fish & Game Commission

MINNESOTA Department of Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks

And, if you are interested in another US state or Canada, start your search here.


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