People purchase land for many reasons. Land can be used for residential real estate, commercial real estate, farming, or left alone to appreciate and let nature roam. Some people purchase land to start a homestead, build a custom home, build apartment complexes, start farms, or to have their personal space.
Whatever your reason for purchasing land is, you’ll want to consider the following factors when making your purchase:
- Condition of the lots
- Zoning and utilities
- Possible environmental hazards
- Area population growth and development
Some do’s of buying land include:
- Do work with a real estate agent
- Do have your finances in order (land purchases are often done in cash)
- Do consider the value of homes in the neighborhood
- Do take utilities and road access into account
- Do consider incentives
Some don’ts of buying land include:
- Don’t expect to get a loan
- Don’t skip the environmental tests
- Don’t forget the survey
- Don’t talk to the neighbors
- Don’t assume you can have the property rezoned
There’s a lot to consider for buying land and some factors you need to weigh more depending on what you’re using the land for. If you’re looking to homestead or farm, you’ll want to make sure that your land is arable. If you’re looking to build a home to raise a family in, you will want to check out your local community and school district.
A word of advice is to not tell your future potential neighbors that you’re planning on building a home before you build it. This can cause some problems for people who don’t want new construction or the noise of it.
States with the Cheapest Land for Sale
Buying land is a good investment. Land prices in the U.S. vary greatly, with some states going as high as $200,000 per acre (New Jersey). If you’re not too picky about where you’re purchasing, you can find many cheaper options available. The least expensive states for land are going to be found in the western parts of the country.
In several states, local governments are actively giving away land to be used for homesteading or small farms. Their goal is to hopefully create an industry with farming, which will attract more people into small towns and expand jobs in the area. Some of these towns include Mankato, Kansas; Marquette, Kansas; Curtis, Nebraska; Claremont, Minnesota; Flagler, Colorado; and Marne, Iowa.
Land prices by state can be set in tiers. The states below have average land prices all under $10,000 an acre. While paying several thousand dollars an acre may still seem expensive, it’s important to keep in mind that over half of the states in the U.S. have land prices over $10,000. “Cheap land” is relative.
Overall, the states with the cheapest land have lower populations and low population densities, allowing a lot of wide-open space free to purchase.
At about $2,000 an acre, you can set your sights on Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada, and New Mexico. Prices vary within states, so you won’t get cheap land in or around Las Vegas. If your goal is to get any stretch of land, however, there’s plenty of affordable options in these states. With low populations, especially in a state like Wyoming, there’s plenty of untouched lands ready for you to purchase and make your own.
In North Dakota, Idaho, and Nebraska, you can acquire land for about $3,000 an acre. These three states have a ton of land available, great for ranching or farming. These states, unsurprisingly, have low populations as well.
Kansas and Arizona have land that averages around $4,000 an acre. Kansas is a great state for harvesting wind energy and for those looking to not have a lot of neighbors. It’s important to keep in mind that land prices increase in more popular areas, so if you’re looking to purchase around Wichita or Phoenix, expect to hand over more cash.
If you’re still looking to spend less than $10,000 an acre but willing to spend a little more to have more options, you can look at Utah, Iowa, Oregon, Colorado, Mississippi, Kentucky, Minnesota, Arkansas, Maine, and Vermont. Land in these states averages between $5,000 and $8,000 an acre. In this price range, you have more options for deciding what region of the U.S. you want to be in and what kind of climate as well.