5 Things to Do Before Selling Your Farmland
Steps to Take Before Selling Farmland
Your farm might be a legacy property – a way of life that has been passed down from one generation to the next for centuries. It might be something you ventured into more recently. Either way, if it’s come time to sell your vast expanse of workable land, there are some key things you should consider before you do. Hayden Outdoors Director of Sales John Herrity has some tips on the important steps to take before selling your farmland.
As a farm boy himself – John was raised on his family’s homesteaded farm in Elk Point, South Dakota before pursuing a career as a row crop farm appraiser, construction manager, fishing boat captain and real estate professional – his insight is particularly valuable.
“Farmland sales can be complex. There are so many considerations that go into properly valuing farmland, including soil type and rating, percent tillable, the current ownership model and accurately mapping the property. It’s important that sellers and their real estate team be very diligent in doing the work up front before listing the land.”
1. Determine the Ownership Model
Establishing how many people or entities currently own the land is a great place to start when it comes time to sell. Is this a family farm property with one name on the title, or do multiple people have a stake in the land? If there are multiple owners, is everyone on the same page in wanting to sell? Is there a power of attorney for the owner or ownership group? The ownership model will determine how easy or more complicated the sale will be, including how sale profits will be divided.
2. List all Debt, Liens, Easements & Encroachments
Owning the land free and clear is obviously the most straightforward way to sell it, however, farms are large, working entities that often require equipment loans and easements to keep them running. Talk with your real estate professional about any debt currently associated with the property, including liens on outbuildings or farm equipment. Easements are another important thing to consider. Because farms tend to be multiple acres in size, they often come with one or more easements to adjacent land that permit access for one property owner or another. Buyers will want a complete understanding of these easements before purchasing. Encroachments (features that wrongly extend onto your farm from a neighboring property, e.g. an old fence) can be another obstacle to selling farmland and, ideally, should be rectified before listing your property.
3. Map It Out
Let the Hayden Outdoors team create a land map that accurately shows every aspect of your property. Our agents and brokers are experts at MapRight, a dynamic land mapping software. These maps show property boundaries and easements, soil surveys, parcel data, GIS layers, buildings, fence lines, and more. A proper map is elemental for prospective buyers, and can also tell a farm’s history and story in a very visual way.
4. Establish the Soil Type Classification & Land Survey Comparables
While soil type and productivity is a pretty big and important piece of the farmland sale puzzle, it’s one that can also change from one producer to the next. This is the palette with which any future buyer will work to produce their own yield and establish their own style of farmland management. That’s why it’s important for your real estate professional to carefully consider your soil type. There are a variety of agencies, agriculture-based Universities, and websites that can help determine the value of your soil type by region. Once you and your real estate agent have established the value of your soil, they will help research comparables to give you a look at similar sales in the area. Pricing the property based on price per soils ratings relative to nearby farms is a good starting point to valuation. If you have recent appraisals that were done by a certified appraisal, these also can help determine a listing price and marketable value for your farm.
5. Understand the Tax Implications or Penalties of Selling Your Farmland
When it comes time to sell your farmland, John suggests talking with a CPA to discuss options with 1031 exchanges to see if this is a possibility for their sale.
“I coach clients to get good advice from their accountant. Establish what the basis of the land is. If you inherited the farm and it’s been in the family forever, it will have a much different basis and tax implications than a farm that was bought in the last ten or twenty years.”
Selling your farmland might seem like a daunting task, logistically, legally and emotionally. But with the right guidance and proper resources, it can be a very freeing and lucrative endeavor. The real estate professionals at Hayden Outdoors know the ins and outs of selling farmland in a way that benefits the seller, the buyer and the land itself. The team has been doing it for 45 years, and like John, many of Hayden Outdoors’ team members are also farmers and ranchers themselves. They’re happy to help you navigate the complexities of selling your farm. Give them a call today to learn more.
Planning on Buying Undeveloped Land? Here’s the Pros and Cons
Wide-open spaces might be the hottest commodity out there in today’s market. And it’s easy to see why. Standing on an untouched building site on acres of your own vacant land, with surrounding sunsets or forests or starry night skies, it’s easy to envision exactly what your dream home could be. Of course, there is plenty to consider before you make the big commitment to buy vacant land, and then potentially build on or otherwise develop that land. Let’s explore a few of the pros and cons of investing in undeveloped land.
Undeveloped Land Explained
Think of vacant land or undeveloped land as a completely blank palette – it’s simply the land in its most untouched or natural state with no existing infrastructure. It’s never been used for farming or ranching. There are no roads leading in or out. Just the land. For years, many buyers disregarded raw land for investment purposes considering it too daunting a task. However, that mentality has shifted as real estate investing has become increasingly popular and many are leaving urban centers for more peaceful existences in rural areas.
What are the Pros and Cons of Buying Vacant Land?
While the beauty and freedom of buying undeveloped land can be strong attractants, there are a variety of factors to consider to avoid unintended challenges and heartache if things don’t play out as planned. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
The Pros of Buying Undeveloped Land
- Quite often, vacant land is more affordable than developed properties.
- Unlike the hottest properties in your favorite resort town, you typically won’t get into a bidding war with other buyers over undeveloped land; there’s simply less competition.
- The return on investment (ROI) can be substantial with the right vision and tools to develop the land properly and profitably.
- Because it lacks infrastructure and utilities, property taxes on vacant land tend to be lower than developed parcels.
- Undeveloped land offers dreamers plenty of flexibility in what and how they want to build.
The Cons of Buying Undeveloped Land
Like any major real estate transaction or investment, it’s important to weigh both sides of the coin. Here are some very important considerations that can complicate a undeveloped land purchase:
- Assuming you’re not paying cash for the entirety of the property, and need to finance a portion of the purchase, vacant land loans can require a higher down payment and a detailed plan of how you intend to develop it.
- Zoning restrictions can create roadblocks for those looking to buy undeveloped land. Some land is zoned so that nothing can be built on it, while other parcels are zoned commercial or mixed-use, both of which will affect a large raw land purchase.
- Along these lines, conservation easements are another consideration. Often, these provide important protections for the land you’re looking to buy. However, they can also be incredibly restrictive if you plan to build, hunt on the land, or otherwise develop it.
Financing Vacant Land
As mentioned above, financing undeveloped land can be a little more complicated than a simple home loan. That said, there are some powerful and comprehensive resources available for those interested in purchasing vacant land. If you’re considering buying undeveloped land for a specific purpose, make sure to explore these organizations:
- Conterra – Conterra Ag Capital provides farm and ranch real estate secured loans to agricultural producers across the United States. For those looking for financial support to set up farming operations, extend current farming practices, or whether a particularly difficult agricultural cycle, Conterra offers managers throughout the country who can work directly with buyers.
- Outdoor Lending – In addition to agricultural land purchases, Outdoor Lending assists agents handling premier real estate deals obtain the best financing options for their clients. These purchases can include farm, ranch, hunting, resort, and recreational properties across the United States.
- Farm Credit – Farm Credit’s mission is to support rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. The organization is committed to the viability and vibrancy of the country’s rural communities through a steady flow of capital.
Scouting the Land
Perhaps the most important thing to do before you buy undeveloped land is to give your dream property a good, hard look. Work with your real estate professional to better understand the pros and cons, opportunities, and obstacles that undeveloped land might present. Doing so will help you understand what might be involved in making the investment viable, including:
- Putting in roads
- Establishing utilities such as propane or natural gas and electricity
- Water availability, e.g. a well on-site or the need to tap into city or county water sources
- How your future neighbors might feel about your development plans
- Geological features to consider
- How buildable the land is, including whether or not your actual building site presents any steep land surfaces, rock formations that might require augmentation or removal, wetlands, or other wild land conservation considerations
Vacant or undeveloped land really is one of the last great possibilities of our time, offering potential buyers everything from an investment opportunity to the perfect place for your dream home. Talk with your land real estate professional today to learn more about vacant land available near you, and what it might take to buy and then build.
Important Financial Resources for First-time Farm Buyers
First-time Farmland Buyer Resources
There are plenty of things to consider when buying a farm for the first time. There’s the equipment, the livestock, the maintenance, but before you begin thinking about any of that, the first step is figuring out how to finance a farm. It can be a daunting task to take in all at once, but these financial resources can help you turn your dream of owning farmland into a reality.
Getting qualified for a farm loan takes proper planning. Conterra Ag, or other agricultural specialty lenders, offer products that are tailored for the industry. They have the knowledge and background in the rural property sector. Another common resource for rural landowners and future farm buyers is the Farm Credit system. This network of financial farm resources focuses on rural communities, offering financial assistance and tools for buyers under the age of 35 who have 10 or fewer years of experience. Most Ag loans can be used to buy land, livestock, equipment and contribute to general farm improvements.
Grant Opportunities for Farmland
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports sustainable agriculture research and education. To help enrich these initiatives, the USDA offers grants for farmland that focus on new farmers buying new farming equipment. As a first-time farm buyer, these grants can offer a big boost. Look to see if your farm qualifies for this type of financial assistance.
Tax Benefits for Farming
The U.S. government offers tax benefits for people going into the farming business. The U.S. tax codes defines a farm as land that includes “stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, fur-bearing animal, truck farms, plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities, and orchards and woodlands.”
It’s important to understand if your property qualifies for farm tax benefits. If it does, you will need to provide proof of your farm business plan to demonstrate that it is a profitable enterprise. This includes a comprehensive profit and loss statement. Other things to consider and discuss with your CPA and real estate professional regarding your farmland purchase are: depreciation, deductible expenses, fuel tax credits, renewable energy tax credit, and agricultural research and development tax credit.
Getting a Farm Started
Buying a farm for the first time is an exciting prospect, and one that comes with a variety of ways to make it a more affordable one. From first-time farm loans to farmland grants and farm tax benefits, the resources are vast and aimed at helping buyers make their farm profitable. To learn more about buying a farm or locating farmland for sale near you, contact the real estate experts at Hayden Outdoors. Our highly experienced team can help you navigate the ins and outs of securing your dream farm property.
Still not sure where to start? Reaching out to a real estate professional who specializes in farmland transactions is a great first step!
Bobby Norris Team Joins Hayden Outdoors in Fort Worth
Rancher, horseman and real estate broker Bobby Norris recently made a move in the real estate industry, and the deal should send a ripple through the Texas ranch broker industry.
Bobby Norris and his team of agents in Fort Worth, Texas have partnered with the Hayden Outdoors Real Estate brokerage to help serve Texas and bring land, game ranches, livestock and working horse knowledge to accompany the firm’s already growing Lone Star team.
The move involves all of Norris’ team to switch brands to Hayden Outdoors, but the land specialists won’t miss a beat with real estate service and will increase exposure in Fort Worth, Dallas and Texas as a whole. Norris was most impressed with the marketing and advertising plan of the Colorado-based firm.
“The Hayden Outdoors marketing plan is second to none and recognizing this in past transactions made this move eminent. Their level of cutting-edge marketing is not done in Texas, and we are thrilled to join their team and serve our landowners with an incredible amount of real estate exposure. It’s light years ahead of the Texas land market.”
Dax Hayden, Managing Partner at Hayden Outdoors, knew this would supplement their footprint in Texas, the largest ranch market in the US. “Bobby and I see eye to eye on branding, knowledge and delivering landowners REAL marketing. After we agreed that this was a mutually beneficial, we were “all-in” on bringing their firm into our family. We’re just really excited to have their team join ours!”
Hayden Outdoors jumped into the niche marketing that Bobby Norris had experience with, and in a couple weeks they’ve launched multiple partnerships in the Cutting and Reining Horse industry. “The NCHA Futurity and World Finals Sponsorship made complete sense to me and with their promotion on the hit series Yellowstone, all parties are sure to benefit from the timing of this launch. Other Texas working horse and livestock events will surely fall in our marketing and event calendar. Having an experienced team of land brokers in this industry is key to serving landowners selling specialty properties,” said Dan Brunk, Director of Marketing for Hayden Outdoors.
Bobby Norris bring over a dozen qualified agents and brokers to the Hayden Outdoors team, specializing in equestrian facilities, game ranches, cattle ranches, luxury estates, rural ranchettes, and recreational properties in Texas. Ricky Gohmert will continue to hold the Managing Broker status in the State of Texas for Hayden Outdoors.
Bobby Norris Team Joining Hayden Outdoors:
Bobby and JJ Norris with sons Rhett (14) and Gates (17)
How Winchester Firearms Continues to Build the Ultimate “Rifleman’s Rifle”
With rifle season officially upon us, it’s time to consider adding the ultimate rifleman’s rifle to this year’s hunting kit. When it comes to the best firearms out there, one name comes to mind: Winchester. The new Model 70 and XPR bolt action rifles are the benchmark against which every other bolt-action rifle is measured.
The Model 70
Never your ordinary bolt action, the new Model 70 continues to elevate the excellence that has defined this firearm since it was created in 1936. Key features include:
- M.O.A.™ Trigger System
- Improved fit and finish
- Enhanced accuracy
- Classic Pre-’64 controlled round feeding
The new M.O.A. Trigger System takes accuracy to an entirely new level, providing the most precise three-lever trigger system in the world. The Pre-’64 controlled round feed fully controls the cartridge from magazine to chamber to ejection. Trip Zero Advantage means there is zero take up (the distance the trigger piece travels prior to the shooter feeling resistance), zero creep (perceived movement of the trigger just before the release of the firing pin or striker), and zero overtravel (rearward movement of the trigger once the firing pin or striker has been released). In short, this is as smooth a shot as it gets. The new Model 70 also has a three-position safety, which is easy and convenient to operate with the thumb of your firing hand.
The Winchester XPR Rifle
Like the Model 70, the Winchester XPR was designed with hunters’ needs in mind. Leading in both performance and precision, the XPR’s innovation caters to the following key issues:
- Overall accuracy
- Quality of the trigger system
- Advanced features
- Lasting value
The M.O.A. Trigger is also at the heart of the XPR, complemented with the highest quality barrel and action, including its rifling, crown, action interface, and headspace. The result is a comprehensive, expertly crafted, advanced firearm that promises remarkable accuracy. It’s the details that set this rifleman’s rifle apart. Additional features include:
- Bolt release button for opening the bolt with the safety on
- Fast 60-degree bolt lift that leaves ample clearance for your scope
- Superior Inflex Technology recoil pad system
Winchester has been creating world-class weaponry since 1866, from rifles to shotguns and accessories. Make this hunting season your best yet with the superior firearm you deserve – a new Model 70 or XPR bolt action rifle.
Your Guide to 1031 Exchanges: Upgrade to a Tax-Deferred “Replacement Property”
First American Exchange Company
As a large property owner or real estate investor, you might be familiar with 1031 exchanges. As a newcomer to investing, or as someone who is preparing to sell a long-held piece of real estate, you might not be. Either way, it’s important to understand the opportunities a 1031 exchange can offer you during your next real estate transaction, and you should consider taking action quickly. President Biden’s new tax proposal dissolves the possibility of deferring taxes on property gains over $500,000.
First, what exactly is a 1031 exchange?
Simply, it’s a process that allows you to sell an investment property (the key word here being investment) and then roll the proceeds into the purchase of a new investment property, preferably of equal or greater value, to defer all capital gains taxes.
Am I eligible for a 1031 exchange?
If you plan to take advantage of a 1031 exchange, it’s important to understand which types of properties and transactions are eligible. Your property must be an investment property; 1031 exchanges do not apply to primary personal residences. Investment properties are real estate purchases used to generate profit, such as office buildings, ranches, farms or rentals. If you’re looking to fully defer the tax ramifications of the sale, you’ll need to roll the money into the sale of a property that is of equal or greater value than the one you’re selling. This isn’t a requirement, but using the money to purchase property that costs less than the original will leave some tax exposure.
How do I accomplish a 1031 exchange?
There are specific steps you must take in order to take full advantage of the 1031 exchange tax deferment and it’s important to note that timing is paramount.
- Sell your property. This obvious first step starts the snowball process of rolling the money into a new investment property.
- Identify a qualified intermediary (QI), or middleman. While you don’t have to use a QI for the sale, the IRS does require some sort of exchange facilitator. A QI will have experience in this type of transaction, and will help ensure it is done properly. QIs typically charge between $800 – $1500 for this service.
- Find up to three new properties. Again, timing is key here. Upon the sale of your property, you’ll have a 45-day window to identify up to three “like-kind” new properties.
- Close on a new property. You will have 180 calendar days from the sale of the original property until you close on the purchase of the new or replacement property. Look to your QI to help manage this timeline.
Most importantly, don’t wait! Contact your real estate professional today to learn more about possible 1031 exchange opportunities. It might be the perfect time to invest in the ranch, farm or hunting property of your dreams.
How 4 Rivers Equipment Simplifies Building a Tractor Package for Your Farm
Whether it’s harvest season, snow plowing, grating your driveway, or simply moving dirt – or you’re in the market for a new ranch, farm or off-grid property and the equipment that comes with it – now is an excellent time to consider buying a new tractor.
Even better news: 4 Rivers Equipment just made it much easier. No need to go into the store (although that’s fun, too); 4 Rivers Equipment now offers buy online options. Customize a John Deere tractor package that’s unique to you, including adding attachments such as rear blades, rotary mowers, pallet forks and box scrapers.
Take advantage of the simple, affordable Colorado Package. Customize the best fit for you, then enjoy fall pricing and winter delivery. A variety of payment options are available.
30 Days Worry-free
If you’re on the fence, so to speak, about buying a new tractor, not to worry. 4 Rivers Equipment offers a 30-day worry-free policy to ensure peace of mind. Spend that time testing, gardening and landscaping to make sure the tractor you purchased feels right for your land.
10 Year Warranty
John Deere stands by its products. New tractors come with a FREE 10 year warranty or 1,000-hour engine and powertrain warranty.
Front Range Ready
Once customized, you can come in and pick up your new tractor, or 4 Rivers Equipment can deliver it; they offer delivery from select locations and pick-up throughout the Front Range of Colorado and Wyoming. See the 4 Rivers Equipment locations below.
Tempted to buy that new tractor?
We don’t blame you. Spend some time window shopping online at 4 Rivers Equipment, or contact their sales team today to learn more about the customized package that’s right for you.
Ranch Squared? Your Guide to Buying Land in a Community Ranch
Ranch living offers a lifestyle that more and more people crave in a world that is otherwise in constant motion – wide open land, winding creeks and rivers teeming with trout, panoramic vistas, lingering days and plenty of room to roam. While owning and managing a ranch by yourself might be more than you’re willing to take on, the idea of living in a ranch community is well worth considering.
Ranch communities are gaining popularity, offering land owners the best of ranching life without the pressures of managing the entire property alone. Common types of ranch communities include sporting clubs, communities of smaller ranches within a larger ranch, shared private access to resources and shared agriculture opportunities.
What are the benefits of a community ranch?
The pros column is full of reasons to consider buying community ranchland, including:
- Shared ranch responsibilities such as land maintenance, cultivation and improvements
- Shared costs among ranch community owners
- Convenience with less isolation due to connectivity to others in your direct ranch community
- Access to shared natural resources associated with the community ranch, such as rivers, streams, lakes, trails, mountains and more
- Many ranch communities also offer world-class amenities like lodges, dining, guest cabins, and recreation opportunities
What should I consider when looking for the right community ranch?
There are many things to take into consideration when looking for community ranch real estate that fits your needs and expectations. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- How you want to use the property – many ranch communities offer a variety of land and recreational use amenities including guided fishing and big game hunting, skiing, livestock and equine opportunities.
- How much land you want – Communities of ranches offer lots that can range in size from small acreage (two to three acres) to expansive ranch land (300+ acres). It’s important to assess how much land you feel is enough or too much.
- Existing infrastructure – If you find a ranch community that interests you, work with your ranch real estate specialist to inquire about existing utilities, common areas and homeowners’ association fees and services.
Ranch communities are an excellent way to enjoy the extraordinary benefits of ranch living without the isolation or demands of day-to-day upkeep. The real estate professionals at Hayden Outdoors understand the unique aspects of community ranch ownership and are happy to guide you through the process of purchasing your dream ranch land.
Pictured Below: Colton Brown, Hayden Outdoors agent, at the shared ammenity Elk Creek Ranch.
Colorado’s Historic Year of Forest Fires
2020 was a historic year of wildland fires in our state. According to an article in 5280 Magazine, over 625,000 acres burned and three of the largest fires ever occurred last year (Carodine 2020). Total firefighting costs exceeded $266 million (gacc.nifc.gov). One of the blazes, the East Troublesome Creek (ETC) fire, scorched over 150,000 acres in only 1 day. That fire started and spread through forests comprised mostly of standing dead lodgepole pine trees from the bark beetle epidemic from earlier this century.
From a real estate perspective, 366 homes and 214 additional structures were damaged or a total loss in the ETC fire (cpr.org). According to a Larimer County Assessors Report, 243 buildings (of which 184 were homes) were damaged or lost in the Cameron Peak fire, affecting 469 privately owned properties (larimer.org). Total market value losses are approximately $6.4 million. The combined homeowner and auto insurance claims filed for both fires exceed $614 million, making 2020 the most expensive wildfire year ever recorded (rmiia.org).
Mountain and Rural Property Owner Resources
Wildfires across the western United States are becoming larger and more destructive and unfortunately, it may be the norm moving into the future (denverpost.com). Given the destructive nature of these large fires, it may seem that mountain and rural landowners cannot do anything to protect their investments. However, there are many steps that can be taken to improve safety while maintaining property values. These include doing mitigation work around homes and outbuildings to enrolling in a federal or state program that can help offset the cost of bringing in a contractor to do work on a property. There are a myriad of websites and articles on the internet available to landowners to help guide the decision-making process. Included here are a curated selection that may be valuable to readers of this article (Hayden Outdoors Real Estate does not endorse any specific organization or program, these are for information purposes only)
Forest Fire Preparedness Resources
East Troublesome Creek and Cameron Peak Fires: A Photo Tour
In March 2021, Dr. Christopher Licata, a Forest Ecologist who recently joined the Hayden Outdoors team, did a driving tour of the area impacted by these two wildfires. His wife, Segrid, documented the damage to the forest and several of her photos are included here. Visit Dr. Licata’s Profile page to contact him for more info on this topic.
Greg Norman Seven Lakes Ranch Sells – Hayden Outdoors Brings Buyer
June 2, 2021 – Meeker, CO: In an onslaught of major recent land deals for Hayden Outdoors Real Estate, one is getting lots of press. The sale of Greg Norman’s Seven Lakes Ranch near Meeker, Colorado. In addition to the recent sale of the Kucera Ashcraft Ranch, Twin Pine Ranch and others that Hayden Outdoors have represented, totaling over 50,000 acres this year, the purchase of Norman’s ranch is significant for more than the popularity of its owner.
Hayden Outdoors agent and Elk Creek guide Colton Brown represented Chuck Kuhn, the buyer, in the transaction, which in total transferred roughly 11,600 acres of land ownership. Multiple parties were involved with the deal, one being JK Land Holdings, owned by Kuhn, which seeks to conserve nearly 11,000 acres.
The Kuhn family will retain the Seven Lakes lodge and surrounding land, and a majority of the remaining acreage will be acquired by neighboring Elk Creek Ranch, a one-of-a-kind private sporting community dedicated to conscientious stewardship of the land that it owns and manages. Brown is a guide at Elk Creek Ranch, and knows the ins and outs of the property, the river and Seven Lakes Ranch.
“This transaction spanned over 9 months when we started early dealings. It was an important goal for Chuck and I to give Elk Creek Ranch an opportunity to add an additional 11,000 acres of prime Elk hunting and a couple miles of very important water. In my mind, this addition completely transforms Elk Creek into one of the most pristine in the country for fishing and hunting. We now have an accumulated 25,000 acres of hunting accompanied by over 30 miles of fishing. As a resident and native to this valley the conservation easement is important to all parties, assuring this country will never be developed.”
The buyer is a land enthusiast as well. “Greg’s legacy extends well beyond golf. He is an outdoorsman and conservationist, and we share his vision of preserving this amazing swath of Colorado from future development,” said Mr. Kuhn, CEO, JKLH, and Founder and CEO, JK Moving Services, the nation’s largest independently owned and operated moving company.
With this acquisition, the Elk Creek Ranch development will double its grounds to over 25,000 acres, expanding what is already well known in the recreational and sporting industry as a top “shared-amenity” ranch in North America. From fishing to hunting, private restaurant and bar, on-site fly shop and clubhouse, Elk Creek Ranch offers homeowners luxury amenities and world class recreation in the quiet White River Valley, just east of Meeker, Colorado.
Hall and Hall represented the sellers in the transaction.
Contact Colton Brown for information on Elk Creek Ranch real estate opportunities.