Recently, our family was gifted a Monopoly game, but not the classic one we all grew up playing. This was a recently released “Alaskan Version” of the original real estate board game. The names on the board all had Alaskan-themed streets, places, and events. For instance, instead of Park Place, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Reading Railroad, the names of places and things are those that are uniquely Alaskan like Denali, Kachemak Bay, and the Permanent Fund.
While I was playing the game, I couldn’t help but remember the famous Mark Twain quote, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore”. In Monopoly, players compete to purchase real estate then put buildings on the land and build hotels to generate rental income. The goal of the game is to own as much property as possible and charge rent to other people when they land on a property that you own. The game is a balance between keeping money in the bank and owning as much real estate as you can.
In the game, the properties that players can purchase are limited in number, just like in the real world. As players buy up properties and develop them, the availability of land on the board becomes scarce, driving up the price of the remaining properties. This reflects the real-world concept of supply and demand, where limited resources become more valuable as they become scarcer.
So, in both the Monopoly game and in real life, the idea that “they’re not making land anymore” is a crucial concept that affects the value of land and its role in building wealth.
In Alaska, being the largest State of the 50 United States, there is a lot of land, however access to much of the state is limited to the road system or rail belt system. Some property may not be all that far off the road, but only accessible seasonally by airplane, recreational vehicles, or in the winter by snow machine. Ease of access would certainly impact the value of the property, meaning if you can drive your car to your land year round, the land is going to be worth more than if you only can get to it in the summertime.
However, like any other investment, there are risks associated with investing in land. Raw land generally doesn’t have income, especially if you buy it outside of town. It’s more of a buy in the path of growth, hold it and sell when you feel the time is right. Part of any purchase should consider the availability of water and soil conditions. If the property is zoned for a particular use, a buyer should confirm the zoning works for them.
Purchasing any kind of real estate takes careful consideration, research, and planning. Having a few years of experience under your belt doesn’t hurt either. That’s why the Wolf Team is here! We can provide you with over 75 years of combined experience buying and selling all kinds of real estate and we are eager to answer any questions you might have about real estate in Alaska.
To get in touch with us just click the contact us button at the top of this page to call or email us directly. We can’t wait to talk Alaskan real estate with you!