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BERKSHIRE REAL ESTATE - Underneath It All.......Is The Land.

Timeless words of course, and the essence of what real estate ownership truly is all about.  My name is Phil Coleman, I am a Realtor Sales Associate and Land Specialist with Harsch Associates here in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  I have been in the land business or affiliated forest related companies for over 30 years.  I am pleased to join our Harsch "Blog Team" and offer the first in what I hope will be a regular column about land.  I am very unusual in this regard throughout the Berkshires.  There are just a few of us here with this kind of specialty, but if you are a land nut like I am, come back to our website often to check this blog!  There is a lot to write about, and I promise you will enjoy it.

Our modern American legal codes regarding real estate ownership, and the English common laws that came before them, owe much of their existence to the original concepts of land ownership.  These were first adopted all the way back in the Middle Ages as the struggle between societal classes played out over land ownership and rights.  Before widespread use of printed or coined money, mutual funds, any kind of modern bank or savings accounts, ownership of shares, etc., wealth was primarily measured in terms of the land you owned.  In some societies even today that concept still is very valid and a part of 21st century thinking.  Here in the Berkshires land ownership is very much a part of how local wealth has been held over the centuries, and is a magnet indeed for thousands of out of town investors and second home owners as well.

In essence,  everything that happens in modern real estate conveyance has its roots in the land underneath, the land itself.  When you buy a home, you are buying the land and its improvements.  When you buy a condo or coop, you may be buying with a group of people, but at the bottom of the building is the parcel of land.  And buying land just for the sake of buying and owning land is a time tested and highly valid investment strategy, especially here in the Berkshires.  The volatility and uncertainty of the times we are living in now only enhance the attractiveness of land as an asset class that merits a portion of any astute investor's portfolio.  Putting all your resources into financial assets has been a slippery slope to say the least.  The land will always be there, underneath it all!

In the future, I hope to cover a wide variety of topics, anything from bank lending for land (there is plenty of money available for borrowers with good credit!);  understanding value;  site development and engineering;  surveying and mapping;  market trends and historical activity, and  Top Ten Tips for Land Buyers and Sellers.  I can think of dozens more, too.   You can have a look right now in the land section of our website--check it out, there is a lot of good stuff in there!  I am also open to writing about subjects that readers ask about, or to answer your questions.  I am available at  I look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a very Happy New Year! 

Posted by Phil Coleman, Realtor Sales Associate

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