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Thread: improving ground for sale purposes

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    improving ground for sale purposes

    Hi, I really need some help. I am absolutely by no means experienced in farming. I own a field with my sister which we inherited. It has been left for 12 years, and has considerable marsh reeds atleast 2 feet tall pretty much over the whole land. We are now looking to sell, and I wondered what would be the process to improve the ground for selling purposes. At a very random guess, I'm wondering something along the lines of cropping, spraying some form or weed killer, ploughing, then reseeding. Although it may not be as straightforward as that. Please help! Much appreciated :-)

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Best thing to do first would be to cut what is there with a Topper or preferably with a flail mower to mulch it up ,as there will be to much dead material within all the weeds & grasses to have a chance of any type of herbicide spray working properly.
    Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Thanks for your reply skoda much appreciated. That makes complete sense. Would all the cutting be collected at the same time then so as to not leave thick layers or 'thatch' all over the field?
    If ploughing (which I'm assuming will be required), then I understand that needs to be done a certain time of year? And if spraying before ploughing, again that would dictate when it needs spraying?cheers

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    I would aim to get it topped and sell as is. It takes a lot of effort and time to get rid of rushes, thistles ect and you could end up spending far more than you would recoup in extra sales revenue.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Funnily enough Barney I was just thinking (which prompted me to check the feed) that selling as is may not actually make a huge difference in what we'd make vs the effort and cost of finding a farmer to do it for us. And as the proceeds will be divided by 3 it will make even less impact. To be honest we are not concered hugely about what we make we just want the land sorted as quickly as easily as possible and to be looked after and appreciated by someone.
    So probably like you say just top it and maybe do the hedges.
    Thanks for your reply much appreciated

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    You haven't actually given any indication as to the location and that will make a huge difference as to price realised. If you are close to suburbia where there would be the potential for horsey people looking for something like what you have or is the land on top of a Mountain ? Location would also give us an idea of soil type and that will make a huge difference to any sale price. Neither have you said how large the field is, that will make a difference as well. I presume it has got at least one access onto the highway but more than that could be beneficial. I do agree with advice about topping but again, as you so rightly said, if there is too much growth of reeds, thistles, etc. then it will look a bit of a mess when topped.

    You are appreciating the help that you are receiving on here and so hopefully others will contribute as well. Could you take a photo. of the field, without giving away any hints of exact location ? That would give us a better idea of the problem.

    And may I suggest that you scroll down below this text box and click the Subscription box, then click the down arrow and click on Instantly, using email and then this system will alert you when any posts are made in your topic.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Hi zaza thanks so much for your reply.
    The land is in the countryside on flat ground surrounded by fields that are farmed. I am assuming a local farmer will buy it for grazing sheep, or, it may also be purchased for horses as there are also a lot of horse keepers in the area.
    We are not really concerned how much we can sell it for, without obviously giving it away for a silly low price, but then we are also happy to accept a bit of a loss in sale price, if the alternative were a lot of hassle and time to improve it, only to sell it to a farmer who can do this himself.
    I am about 5 hours away from the land so can't get a picture unfortunately, it is not good condition though. The land is covered with marsh reeds that are quite high.
    Thank you I have now linked responses to my email :-)

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Thank you Tina. Could you tell us how big the field is please. And even a County would enable us to give you a better idea of potential. And throughout all of this remember something that my first employer once said to me when I was moaning about the price of land and how it was going to be so difficult for me to start farming. This iwas nearly 60 years ago but he said to me "Just remember laddie, they stopped making it (land) a long time ago"

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    I like that saying!! It's very true!.
    I'm not too worried about what it would make financially, if i were id probably keep it for longer. I just wondered what the process would be to improve the conditions for sale. But I think if selling then just topping it and letting the farmer who buys it improve the grounds is the best route. We don't want to keep it and just have it farmed because it belongs to 3 of us, and we don't want it to get passed down, so if we know we want to sell one day we may as well get on with it

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by tina View Post
    I like that saying!! It's very true!.
    I'm not too worried about what it would make financially, if i were id probably keep it for longer. I just wondered what the process would be to improve the conditions for sale. But I think if selling then just topping it and letting the farmer who buys it improve the grounds is the best route. We don't want to keep it and just have it farmed because it belongs to 3 of us, and we don't want it to get passed down, so if we know we want to sell one day we may as well get on with it
    Normally it would best to prepare a property for sale at its best, but I really do not think it will make much difference in this case. An experienced farmer would not be fooled by appearances, he will have seen it over the years. A horsey buyer will probably so besotted with their dream acreage they will pay any price. In any case, if it is anything like round here, horsey fields are soon covered in weeds and thistles any way!
    Jack Caley.
    Land will always make more than it's true value.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Tina - depending on the acreage, shape of the land (hilly vs flatish vs swampy), you may want to get a soil composition analysis performed. If it is a larger parcel these results might draw some interest from further away for commercial farming purposes (vs hoppy farm - horse pasture, etc.)

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Thanks Jack Caley. Yes you are absolutely right. The farmer that owns all the fields surrounding it has said he would like to buy it, although hasn't offered a price. He has watched it over the years, and I believe he won't try to chip too much, he is very genuine.
    As for horsey person and getting dream bit of land, you are describing my mum which how we come by having a random field amongst farmers. What area are you out of interest?

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Iron head, totally get where you are coming from and really good suggestion. Ultimately, because the land has such sentimental value, (hence taking so long to come to the desicion to finally sort the field and sell) and our Mum was such an earth spirit and lover of animals, I think we would really like it to go to a local person, where we can see them regularly (we are keeping a small paddock section at the end of it) and know that (even if the instance of farming where ultimately the aim is to make money) it is more personal and appreciated, if that makes sense. Obviously if that is only possible! I thibk if we couldn't secure this type of buyer we will hang on to it and just get it farmed for sheep grazing by farmer and try again further down the long line

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    I really appreciate everyone's input to this discussion by the way, it's really great to chat to the experienced!!

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by tina View Post
    Thanks Jack Caley. Yes you are absolutely right. The farmer that owns all the fields surrounding it has said he would like to buy it, although hasn't offered a price. He has watched it over the years, and I believe he won't try to chip too much, he is very genuine.
    As for horsey person and getting dream bit of land, you are describing my mum which how we come by having a random field amongst farmers. What area are you out of interest?
    My son and myself farm about 200 acres now.At one time we farmed much more but had a family sort out.Always a difficult situation. Your proposals to sell the land do make sense, you can surely make good use of the money realised.
    Just one small point though, just investigate as to the implications of capital gains, and whether you will have any liability. Whoever you get to market it might be able to advise the form of sale. It will still be worth while to sell but just be aware. I am in a situation facing huge capital gains on land I bought 40 years ago. Land has soared in price, if not in value. As far as I am aware the district valuer is informed by land registry.
    Keep smiling,
    Jack Caley

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    200 acres sounds like a fair amount! But I wouldnt know, if you are doing different things at land at different times and having to rotate current use, if that makes sense, then maybe it's not!
    It is difficult, luckily not difficult if we sell now as all quite close/no disagreements, but with us all being scattered geographically and it passing down, I would just prefer to save the stress on future generations. I'd like to live near the land and then utilise it somehow but thats just unrealistic.
    Very good point re. Capital gains. ....it is an inheritance, and still not changed into our names, maybe this could be an advantage, not sure. And not sure if time makes a difference. In the land of tax man probably so! Sorry to hear you're having issues with that.....so frustrating :'(

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by tina View Post
    200 acres sounds like a fair amount! But I wouldnt know, if you are doing different things at land at different times and having to rotate current use, if that makes sense, then maybe it's not!
    It is difficult, luckily not difficult if we sell now as all quite close/no disagreements, but with us all being scattered geographically and it passing down, I would just prefer to save the stress on future generations. I'd like to live near the land and then utilise it somehow but thats just unrealistic.
    Very good point re. Capital gains. ....it is an inheritance, and still not changed into our names, maybe this could be an advantage, not sure. And not sure if time makes a difference. In the land of tax man probably so! Sorry to hear you're having issues with that.....so frustrating :'(
    If the land is still in her name, I think no capital gains may be taxed??
    possibly inheritance tax if enough money.
    Jack Caley

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    I do believe a transfer at death nullifies capital gains tax.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    How about if you transfer 12 years later? Or, you sell and transfer directly to someone else's name (via the solicitor) who takes their fees before passing on the money? Any ideas?

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Oh I missed your reply jack caley, yes, I think it may end up a good thing, I don't think we will be taxed on it...may even answer my question as to why the field wasn't sorted at the time which we don't know the answer to...possibly a clever person knowing we wouldn't sell it immediately may be behind it!

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by tina View Post
    How about if you transfer 12 years later? Or, you sell and transfer directly to someone else's name (via the solicitor) who takes their fees before passing on the money? Any ideas?
    Oh, didn't realise you inherited 12 years ago. I think the capital gain would have been reset to what ever it was valued at 12 years ago (the inheritance value). As it's going to be split 3 ways there may not be any tax to pay on selling. I think some decent legal advice is due.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    That's a really good point paw, makes sense - would be a bit of a loop hole I guess if you had a considerable increase in profit but tax remained obsolete!
    Lucky for me I have 2 very good friends in property law!! So I shall give them a shout.
    And yes once divided by 3 we are not looking at a huge sum anyway

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Been trying to fit together the snippets of info you're giving. Your first post reads like you've just inherited a field that has been neglected for 12 years. Am I right in thinking you inherited it 12 years ago and it's been neglected since?

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Ah, sorry for the confusion, we inherited the field 12 years ago, it was my mum's, we have not maintained it since for various reasons

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    As far as I understand it, if you have inherited the field because you mother died then the value for capital gain would have been set to the value at that time. If however you inherited before she died, I understand the capital gain will be based on it's value when she bought the field.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Thanks Paw that's very interesting. It was after she died. However that's interesting for my partners side, as he and his brother have some land, but it is still in his mother's name but she wants to transfer it to them..his brother wants to sell, I'd like us to build a house on his half (or 2 if we purchase his half), so that info is very useful for me to consider, before going ahead with anything.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Paw do you know if it is a set percentage of the purchase price (assuming the tax is on the purchase price if deed transfer takes place before death)?

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    The inheritance tax threshold from the entire estate is 325k it would seem.....and that would be for each benefitiaries. But yes that would be set at the point of decease

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by tina View Post
    The inheritance tax threshold from the entire estate is 325k it would seem.....and that would be for each benefitiaries. But yes that would be set at the point of decease
    You are correct, I think in the figure of 325 for your mothers estate. You have not mentioned your father, or if she had a partner. In certain circumstances, the wife or husbands allowances can also be added. In my case, my wife died 11 years ago but her relief can also be added, quite important in these days of inflated land values.
    With regard to your other post, the situation becomes more complex.
    In effect to gain agricultural relief, in my case especially, I am virtually condemned to farming for my whole life, especially in the case of the farmhouse residence.
    The other quirk in the case of rollover relief, if I die before rolling over the capital gains tax has to be paid out of my estate!
    The whole situation needs the advice and input from both an accountant, and a solicitor, in conjunction. Both have to be pretty switched on too!
    Jack Caley.

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    Re: improving ground for sale purposes

    Sorry to hear about your wife Jack, and I hope the struggles you seem to have had during your farming career hasn't completely made it feel like a life sentence, since you have said you are stuck with it!
    My father and mothers marriage broke down around 93 following relocation to the area in 91, so her side of things were just left to us girls. Had she have passed away 3 years previous would have been a different story as my parents clung onto the family home for about 10 years after their breakdown....but lived in seperate accomodation on our small holding, although my dad worked away 90% of the time so not entirely as wierd as it sounds!!
    Yes it'd definately need some good legal input. It's terrible you get taxed on your estate, as bad as getting taxed when you take your private pension, after all, I thought we were already taxed enough on that money we spend our lived working hard for!

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