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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Housing Bust Winners: Some Farmers in Illinois

by Calculated Risk on 6/19/2011 07:03:00 PM

Here is a story about some farmers who sold land to home builders during the bubble - and are now buying back land at a fraction of the price ...

From Mary Ellen Podmolik at the Chicago Tribune: Shrewd investments enable farmers to live off the land they sold, then bought

... the [Baltz] brothers stood ... on 246 acres that, at their peak, sold for $65,000 an acre and in 2005 were annexed by the village and zoned for more than 400 single-family detached homes.

The Baltz brothers paid $3.6 million, or about $14,500 an acre, for land that already has subdivision utilities brought to the property line. This year, though, the only thing rising out of the dirt will be the corn that Bob Baltz planted last month.
And another example (not buying back the same land - but similar):
Bob Dhuse, whose family has been farming southwest of Chicago since the 1850s, decided to split up the family's Kendall County land seven years ago, selling 90 acres for $34,000 to a housing developer.

... last fall he paid $12,000 to $15,000 an acre for land on the west side of Joliet that was to be a project of Neumann Homes, which, like competitors Kimball Hill, Kirk Corp. and Pasquinelli, all went bankrupt.
Nice timing!

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