Inherited land

23 Replies

I've inherited about 40ac of land an I'm trying to figure out what to to with it. The land is all together and not land locked. It's located about 90 miles from Dallas. There's basically nothing near the land. There's a small college about 10 miles away. That's about it. The trees were cut about 7 years ago for the lumber value. Does anyone have any ideas on what to do with some land like this?

10 miles to a college sounds like party land to me. What's the zoning? How does lay? All trees cut? How busy is the road frontage if any? Neighbors there? What is the land use around it, might indicate the highest and best use?

I'm not sure about the zoning but it's a very rural area so there may be some flexibility there. There's about 3 to 4 acre frontage to an old 4 lane with a median hwy. No real traffic to speak of on the hwy. All of the trees were cut 9 years ago(thought it was 7) and they're growing. No real neighbors. Everything nearby is residential. Oh yeah the back of the land backs to railroad tracks.

Are the railroad tracks active or decommissioned?? If active a warehouse type business might want to locate there. Cost of gas being so high many are shipping through trains these days.

I would say you could sell to a developer for a subdivision but with the railroad tracks if they are active home buyers hate that train noise and the whistle going by all hours of the day.

A friend of mine has almost 300 acres in a rural area. He rents out part of the land for pastures to place cows etc. and then some parts lets them use for tree farms and also seasonal events.

The front part he reconditioned an old farm house and has a bed and breakfast with an organic garden for the corporate type wanting to get away from the big cities and take a vacation. he is retired so he doesn't mind just making a little profit and covering the taxes on the land.

The question is, is there any demand around the area for anything? Are the residential units all farms or subdivisions? What is the population of the area? Is there anything around that draws tourists or ? Is there any industry to speak of? How big is the college, # students?

What about a Bed and Breakfast? Agri-tourism or ? (pumpkin farm with hay rides, etc, Christmas tree farm with Santas Village, vineyard, organic farm or ranch?) Need more info. Pics would be nice too.

Updated over 5 years ago


You need to paint a better picture, it's pretty foggy, saying rural and then residential neighbors. Are the neighbors 10 acre mini estates or have land with each home or are the subdivisions?

The RR tracks issue depends on its use, frequent, seldom?

What town is this near? Cotty(ie) College is an all girls private college in a small town near here, if you go ten miles away, it's pretty rural and has scattered homes with acreage so sounds similar.

I'd tend to not go with a warehouse idea, I doubt there is a spur available along rails in rural areas where higher speeds are used and the cost could be more than the land value. From rail to house and ultimately to a truck, if it were an interstate with ingress/egress that might work, sounds like your traffic flow is limited with a far to turn backs? Warehouses tend to be near populated areas for distribution, so tenant/owner possibilities may be limited.

Ten miles out is not so far away for a subdivision, 40 acres might get you 12 or 13 3 acre tracts, depends if sewer is there or you need to have septic. Another limitation is water districts and having a well. State law may apply to water supplies and sewage treatment with a subdivision. Guessing, I'd say from the rural nature in location that a subdivision of quarter acre lots might not be marketable, probably one acre lots and 2,000 to 3,000 sq ft homes. A subdivision of high efficiency solar capable smaller homes might work, depends on your market, something more unique not wild.

I guessing to you are looking for a use without much more investment. That takes the subdivision out.

Might have a light industrial use, heavy equipment supply/repair, tractors, farm machinery, welding shop, trailer manufacture. Depends on regulations, you might get by with a metal building and gravel lots.

Really, without more information about the location, town, highway access and terrain, we are shooting in the dark. :)

All of the trees were cut 9 years ago(thought it was 7) and they're growing.

What kind of trees are we talking about, if they're pine for lumber you may be coming up on a profitable cut in about 5 years. If you were to cut now you would probably only get pulp wood for paper and they would either cost you to cut or you might get lucky and find someone to cut in exchange just to take the pulp wood.

My dad had to do that for an asphalt plant they were putting up for his company and the harvester only allowed to take 2 loads a day to the mill because of the abundance of pulp wood and the lack of value, so for him he got it cleared for free and the guy took the wood off his hands no money to either party. If it had been an older stand of lumber quality trees the harvester would have paid for the wood and done it all at once because of the value.

If they're another type of tree they may have value as landscaping trees(Oak, Holly, Birch, Sycamore, Sweet Gum) and you might be able to get a nursery out to dig them all for sale as landscaping trees.

That may be something that to consider as well is find a nursery that would like to lease the property for a tree farm. With a 90 mile trip to Dallas they may want to grow them out there where land is cheaper and then send truckloads into Dallas for retail sale.

What's the nearest town, Gregory?

Texas grows some big Whitetails and hunters will pay a good price for their own little slice of heaven. If the surrounding area has a high percentage of forest land and the 40 is mostly treed, id bet theres a healthy population of whitetails. Are there any ponds syreams or marshy areas? Any row crops nearby? Is it flatland or rolling hills? You could pay a local farmer to till up a few strategically placed 2-5 acre food plots and market it to hunters. And you could lease it to hunters until you get a buyer at your price. Id be willing to google map it and give my opinion on it if you message me the address.

Originally posted by Joel Owens:
I would say you could sell to a developer for a subdivision but with the railroad tracks if they are active home buyers hate that train noise and the whistle going by all hours of the day.

I agree that the trains are noisy, but they only blow whistles at crossing where the RR crosses a road; doesn't sound like those tracks are crossing any nearby roads. There are also methods for reducing the noise level from those trains, especially with that amount of acreage.

The land is about 90 miles east of Dallas in a small town named Hawkins. Population is like 1300. I don't know a lot about the railroad as far as if it's decommisioned or not. I haven't spent much time there since I was a kid(over 20 years ago). The college has about 600 students. There's really not anything going on in this town. I'm really like a warehouse, lease to nursery, whitetails, etc. I'm not looking to pour a lot of money and resources into this type of land.

I'd say, again I think, you need to look to the market for the highest and best use.

By that I mean find what is needed in the area. In RE, the old
saying "build I and they will come" doesn't hold true.

I wouldn't build anything out there without a tenant on the hook.

Good suggestions up there, a hunting reserve usually needs more land, you can hunt 40 acres, but not with many others, maybe birds, deer bullets go kinda far. Just having 2 or 3 paying hunters might be more trouble than it's worth.

You won't be able to come up with much until you go there and survey the place, call other business operations and investigate the market.

Renting it as is to a grower is good idea. You might just throw up a cowboy bar out there, have a rodeo, put some trailers on the place.

Just go with the market demands.

Yeah I don't think a subdivision would be what the doctor ordered because I dom't think there's any demand for it. When I said it was residential, I meant that's what the few buildings around there are used for. There isn't any growth around. It seems renting the land to a nursery is a good idea. What about lease to like Walgreens or CVS for warhouse purposes....

I'm sure both have one in Dallas, why would any large company want a depot/warehouse 90 miles east of Dallas?

Were the trees longleaf pines, for the paper mill in DeRidder or Many La.? Logging is common in the area, a logger might set up on the property running trucks through.

Have you went through who owns the land right next to you and also who owns a majority of the land in your area through the tax assessment records??

They might want to buy it or lease the land from you locally as they have a presence their and connections and already have possible things going on where they need it. This might be better than you trying to do something with the land starting from scratch.

I like the idea of leasing the land. Looks like I should spend some time researching what kind of trees are on the land, who owns most of the land around there.

buy whisky by the bottle and sell it by the shot and land by the acre and sell it by the lot. That is the old saying for wealth building. LOL!
I would hook up with local developers and get opinions, then bring it back to the BP forum. don't sign anything until you get an unbiassed opinion on the deal. Just like don't ask the barber if ya need a haircut. LOL!
Good luck.

I like what you say but how do I find local developers? Just drive down there and see who's doing the development?? Like I said before there's not much development going on there but I'm planning a trip to check it out.

You can drive around looking for development and project signs. You can also check with planning and zoning for county or city on who has applied for land use changes. They will be submitting site plans etc. to get the zoning approved and hearings etc.

You can also check with zoning attorneys in the area, architects, surveyors, etc. to see who they are doing business with locally putting projects together.

Gregory land is really my first love even though I make more money at apt buildings tell me about your land a little.
What type of soil is this can we grow trees for timber or is it to dry in this part of Tx. Your north of Dallas so you must get at least 25 inches annually right? also is the soil a black dirt or a red clay?
Personally land is an active investment and if its not going to be developed I would sell it. How ever if you planned to work the land and get trees or an orchard or anything like that going and no big deal it might be worth keeping. It sounds like its not something your going to get a higher use out of if the metro area nearby is 1300 people.
I do orchards myself on small land plots I have but nothing i have is 40 acres. I think its probably not going to be something you can do because that part of Tx is more like prairie soils or red clay in my best guess. Afisols or mollisols are what I am talking about for soil.
Red clay I would not try doing much with personally but a mollisol you might be able to plant trees? Entisol is a good soil in that area that could exist but is not the norm does drain well and can be used in many agricultural formats. Texas north of dallas is dominated by these 3 soil types however this doesnt mean your land has this. I would explore your land and see what is has. Tx can grow a variety of things ranging from dates,to palm trees to cotton and u name it.
the other thing is make sure when you think about the use of this land no stone goes unturned. My mind always things in terms of geology and is there oil or mineral wealth and then I go back to tree farming and other things i can grow. I know this if I is me and I want dirt I am after good land I can use and would trade 40 acres in a flash for 5 acres that was located close to me that I could use. Maybe a trade for something you can develop close to home? Or sell this land and just repatriate the money into a better real estate deal near home.
Do you have a geo survey of the land? I might be inclined to spend the day up there and explore the area and learn about it before selling it. also driving around it might offer suggestions as to what you might do with it. the question is what are the neighbors doing with there land nearby? Also get with a broker and find out what its worth after you have collected other data for yourself.. maybe see what other 40's near there sell for. I used to cruise timberlands in my youth and still enjoy it on a weekend w my dog. It was a hobby of mine but today most of the deals I buy I have them sold before I every step foot on the land.
here is a useful site i found about texas soil

Thanks to everyone for all of this good information. I'm planning a trip to gain more knowledge. I will follow up with more info and hopefully a deal to analyze.

@Gregory Wesley Talk to a local broker. However; you might be able to find someone that wants to trade something else of value for it, allowing you to raise a little cash. There are sites online for real estate trades, like
Good luck!

Thanks @Karen Margrave.....I will do just that.

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