Market Overview

The stock market has been hovering around 10,000 for about four weeks showing signs of stability, but the overwhelming majority on my roster of advisors, clients, and principals are anticipating an immediate decline in the stock market. The obviousness of impending super- inflation has some, if not most, that have recovered significantly in the stock market, heading toward raw land investments with excess liquidity. Watching their money erode in a 3% CD is not going to be tolerated by investors who kept their powder dry through the recent storm. The commercial real estate playbook looks sketchy according to most investors, but the raw land market is ripening on the vine and some deals are ready for picking. Many of the sellers, who did not sell prior to the decline in the market, are still attempting to field offers. We are seeing major pricing corrections on older listings and more realistic asking prices on new listings. The banks have been given money they are now loaning at sub-five percent interest rates on long-term loans to credit-worthy buyers. Who would have known gold would be this high? Oil appears to be stabilized in the mid-70's to mid-80s. These interest rates won't stay low forever so the time to buy is now. There are buyers pulling out of the stock market and making offers on land, but they are being deliberate and selective.

The time is now, but where? Wyoming more than other neighboring states in the west, has had a recent surge of investor interest in the late fall of 2009. Wyoming has always been one of the best places to live in this country. According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, Wyoming is the third best state to live in preceded only by Utah and Hawaii. The state has a surplus of cash due to its coal, oil and gas reserves. We have solid infrastructure and new schools in our smallest ranching communities. Wyoming does not tax personal income so if you have a profit center in a company with high income tax, this is the state to take residency. There is no state corporate income tax. Retirement is not taxed. Wyoming is a fractional assessment state which means property tax applies to only a fraction of the full market value of the property. The average property tax on three large ranches we have listed in Wyoming is approximately 32 cents per acre. There also are several property tax relief programs available in Wyoming. The average price per deeded acre in Wyoming is still dramatically lower than in our neighboring states. Wyoming has a lower sales tax than Colorado. Wyoming also has lower property tax than Montana, and while Montana does not have a sales tax, it taxes income.

The western real estate markets are always the last to feel the effects of an economic recession, but they are also some of the first to come out of the recession. Why? As soon as buyers recover and regain confidence, they buy out west for long term investment and lifestyle. People steadily show interest in living and retiring in Wyoming. We're solid out here folks. Most of us would do anything to be able to live and raise our families here and we've been here six generations. What does that tell you? Take control of your investment, before it's too late. The time is now!

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