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Home Lot Avocado Groves Cost More

March 05, 1992

Fallbrook is a lovely part of North County and many of us do farm avocados on small parcels.

Your recent North County Focus feature article about avocado growing was interesting and informative, but I found it misleading about land prices. Your article described land prices (with mature trees) as being $15,000 to $20,000 per acre, and also says "small" parcels of 1 to 3 acres can be farmed. The obvious inference is that someone with $50,000 can buy a small grove.

Unfortunately for many would-be farmers, most of the available small-acreage parcels are in residential-estate areas, where land prices are primarily determined by the property's intrinsic value as a custom home site, and individual "lot" prices can easily be $150,000 or more.

Larger parcels (up to 10 acres or more) are normally priced as potentially divisible for home sites. Your cost-per-acre valuation approach is typically valid only if 1) the property is at least 20 acres, and 2) it is not suitable for subdivision.

BETTY WILLIS

President

Fallbrook Assn. of Realtors

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