How can I make this a good long term investment?

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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 10-23-2017 10:13 PM 1603 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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798 posts in 3460 days

10-23-2017 10:13 PM

Sorry for posting this twice, I screwed up the first time and posted the wrong Craigslist ad and I really want the LJ members input on this. Here’s the ad. It’s for a remarkable 11000 bf of Black Walnut.I contacted the seller and he wants $15.00 a bf and wants to sell it all in one deal. . If thats his best and final I’m out of here. But if I can get this for a good price, I have a partner who has the means to pay cash. I’m thinking long term investment here 4-8 years. So my question (again) is What is a good/fair price for this material. I also have a pdf flyer where he goes into more detail but I haven’t figured out how to include it in this posting. Your thoughts???

-- Ken

18 replies so far

View JCamp's profile


1040 posts in 1160 days

#1 posted 10-23-2017 10:23 PM

Boy that such beautiful wood but the $15 a BF is $165k if I done my math right. I don’t know what it’s worth but I’d love to have a piece or two to try and build a mandolin or guitar but it ain’t worth it to me or most “normal” ppl to pawn the house and all the vehicles to buy No hobbest is gonna b able to buy the lot Some company might jump on it but only if they are interested in unique stuff. Only ones I’m thinking of are instrument builders and some very high quality furniture places I wouldn’t think flooring places and general stuff wouldn’t care to much for anything “special” like that
If u just want a few boards u might offer him $20 a BF If u didn’t take to much he’d still advertise it as 11,000bf

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4258 days

#2 posted 10-23-2017 10:27 PM

Call Bohnhoff lumber in Los Angeles and get
the price on walnut. I haven’t bought any in
awhile but last time I did it was less than half
what this guy is asking. Costs to bring walnut
out to California are considerable, but Bohnhoff
sells it in the rough and as cheap as I have
found it locally.

That sounds like a wholesale lot at a boutique
hardwood dealer’s retail price… but who knows,
the wood may be really exceptional.

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4187 days

#3 posted 10-23-2017 10:36 PM

Besides thinking about the correct price think about where you can store it and not have it go south on you.


View Ripper70's profile


1371 posts in 1518 days

#4 posted 10-23-2017 11:06 PM

I’m no expert by any measure, but to make this lot of wood a “long term investment” won’t be easy. After holding this wood for 30 years, I think it’s the seller who’s trying to recoup his long term investment. At that price, if he gets it, it’ll have paid off well enough.

You’ve got some very nice projects in your portfolio but can you realistically utilize 11,000 b.f. of any kind of wood? That’s allot of picture frames and cutting boards. If you contract projects like your table for 12 or the fireplace mantle, then yes, you could be the “Black Walnut Custom Furniture Guy” for years to come and would be able to make some stunningly beautiful pieces with that wood and likely recoup your “investment” in spades.

You live in a town with high end homes and could probably build a clientele in your local area. It’d be quite a challenge but, if you’re ready to commit to such an endeavor, get yourself a big o’l rental truck and grab a few buddies for a road trip.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View newwoodbutcher's profile


798 posts in 3460 days

#5 posted 10-23-2017 11:12 PM

Yes, $15.00 is way out of line. I can’t afford to buy this myself but my shop buddy could, if it looked like a good investment and a good supply of great material for personal use. And selling it would for sure be a challenge, however if it could be had for $7.00 or $7.50 a bf, it might be worth $15 or $20 a bf in 5 years or more. I’m thinking it could be a retirement income selling small batches to lumber yards and builders for many years. Keeping it won’t be much of a problem, probably a container or two with ventilation on the back lot of my shop buddy’s property, would keep fine with our San Diego weather.

-- Ken

View JCamp's profile


1040 posts in 1160 days

#6 posted 10-23-2017 11:34 PM

At $7.50 that’s still $82,500. I’m not saying it ain’t worth it but to me (probably most folks) that’s a large chunk of change. Also it’s kind of like a car. U still have expenses after it’s bought. Keeping it dry and bug free. Paying taxes on the buildings it’s in. Possibly paying taxes on it since it’s likely and inventory item. Plus insurance on it. U wouldn’t want it to burn up An just loose the investment For me I have a hard time spending money but not everyone is like me. Just keep in mind there is other costs than just buying it. After u pay for it is when it gets real and could b a make or break moment Also keep in mind that generally money (expecially that large of an amount) can strain a friendship. I’ve seen it do damage to families and I’ve lost friends over crappy deals cause they thought a few bucks was more important.
And if none of that matters go look at it and offer him a lump sum offer. It would b better if he could transport it to you tho.

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View bigblockyeti's profile


6196 posts in 2330 days

#7 posted 10-23-2017 11:44 PM

I would be very suspect of the other 10,980 bdft. not shown in the pictures, it could be worth that price/bdft. if it’s all nearly perfect but absolutely not at that quantity. Buy a truck from Ford and pay $40K, buy 1,000 trucks and you can demand a far better price. I would also personally require a very close account of exact board footage given the money involved.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View tomd's profile


2216 posts in 4380 days

#8 posted 10-23-2017 11:48 PM

Buying that large amount should entitle you to a substantial discount. I buy 100 ft. at a time in my area for $5 a foot. I don’t know if old walnut looks any better the new walnut. I presently have some very old walnut and it’s not much different than the new walnut.

-- Tom D

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5523 posts in 2919 days

#9 posted 10-23-2017 11:57 PM

The fact that it’s air dried for 30 years means nothing. I don’t care how long it sits in that barn it will only reach a certain MC depending on the environment.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3908 days

#10 posted 10-23-2017 11:58 PM

Wood is not an appreciating investment. Unless you have a plan to use the lumber for some specific purpose that will recoup the initial cost, I’d pass.

Either way you slice it (no pun intended), the wood is not worth anywhere near $15 a board foot. Walnut goes for ~$7 a board foot retail here, even in 8/4 and thicker.

View waho6o9's profile


8812 posts in 3187 days

#11 posted 10-24-2017 02:20 AM

Save your money.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2096 days

#12 posted 10-24-2017 02:26 AM

I would strongly advise against buying it. That price is far beyond unrealistic. Let him sit on it. It won’t sell for that price.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 1834 days

#13 posted 10-24-2017 02:40 AM

If you’re really thinking of buying anything for an investment, not just this and you’re considering paying double retail, you need to step back and really think about your thought process. I’m really not trying to be mean but for something like this, I think blunt honesty is needed when talking about prices like these.

Anyone who asks a question if something is worth it as an investment has no business trying to invest in whatever it is. When I look at buying anything in an auction or for resale my first thing i check is what is the wholesale/distributor pricing? Then, I still won’t buy it unless I can come in well under that price.

Funny that this is in Colorado. I just bought about almost that same amount of lumber from an auction in CO of all kinds of hardwoods, half of which is rift white oak and plain sawn. Right now, after I figure the estimate to ship it here, I will be around $.75 a board foot.

Sorry if I come off as an ass but I see red lights all over this kind of “deal”.

View newwoodbutcher's profile


798 posts in 3460 days

#14 posted 10-24-2017 03:06 AM

Thank you all for the wake up feedback. Walnut is so rare and expensive here and I like it soooo much, I guess I just got carried away.

-- Ken

View newwoodbutcher's profile


798 posts in 3460 days

#15 posted 10-24-2017 03:07 AM

Thank you all for your reality check. When you say it like that it’s easy to see a bad idea.

-- Ken

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