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Thread: Best place for good affordable land?

  1. #1
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    Best place for good affordable land?

    Hello Everyone! I am looking at taking the class sooner than later, although I have been lurking for a while but haven't managed to get funds together to make the jump. Anyways, as I am looking to live a more debt free lifestyle I am drawn to building my own home, and owning my land. Where are some of the more affordable states/areas to buy land in our current market? I would ideally like to be able to start out small and buy more as I get the funds, with the idea of eventually owning some livestock etc.

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    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    It is not in sunny southern Oregon or anywhere within reach of retirees from California and all that California money.

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    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

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    LHBA Member rckclmbr428's Avatar
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    Anywhere the economy is terrible
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  4. #4
    LHBA Member Mountain Lion's Avatar
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    Best place for good affordable land?

    Where there are no jobs within an hours commute. And Detroit.


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  5. #5
    Land can be pretty cheap between Buffalo NY and Albany NY depending on the area, but I would suggest staying away from New York State on the whole, many places get taxed to death to pay for New York City's programs. In fact a large portion of New Yorkers' property taxes go towards paying state run Medicaid for the poor in NYC. Also, the majority of property taxes goes towards teachers unions and their BS tenure system and premium retirement packages. It's not uncommon for a New Yorker to build a 2000-2200 sq-ft house and to pay $10,000 or more per year in property/school taxes. You'd pay about 1/3 of that in SoCal on the same size house. Liberalville USA...

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    I've lived in Arkansas and loved it. It's got a lot of beautiful land. I prefer the more hilly/mountainous western half of the state, but the eastern half (bordering the Mississippi) would have plenty of space for livestock.

    In any case, I'd scour the entire state. I used LandWatch.com and saved a search. That's great for getting a very good feel for market values ($/acre is what I followed). Drive everywhere and walk a lot of land. A lot!


    Peter

  7. #7
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    I agree Arkansas is beautiful and I have lived here my entire life, just in my area 20 acres of land is going for 500k + just because of all the growth in my city. Finding affordable land within commuting distance of my current job is almost impossible unless I want to live in some seedy type environments which of course with a family I do not. I will agree with you Donjuedo I am definitely looking at the western half in the Ozarks but its harder to find farmable land for a good price in that area. I have seen a lot of NY land for sale at great prices but seems that the property taxes would kill me once I built an actual house. I plan on getting out when its cooler and walking some land and talking to some owners, maybe finding a farm owner willing to let me throw up a small place to live in while buying the land from them. Not sure how that will go but there are plenty of aging farmers and no one to take over so maybe we can make some type of agreement.

  8. #8
    LHBA Member Mountain Lion's Avatar
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    If you were considering the West, I would look strongly at ID to get really nice land at a relatively reasonable price and still be within commute distance to a reasonably paying job. Do a landwatch search on over 20 acres and under $100k to see if you like anything. Also, consider that land is likely more negotiable than a house, so don't be afraid to go a little above your budget on asking price.

    In the East, I have heard that KY, TN, WV, W. VA and W. NC have cheap land from members on this forum. That might be old information.

    I should also add, that once I took the class, my thoughts on where I wanted to buy land changed radically. Take the class first. Buy land after.

    Get this book: "Finding & Buying Your Place in the Country (Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country)" by Les & Carol Scher and Carol Scher

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    Last edited by Mountain Lion; 07-12-2017 at 08:12 AM.

  9. #9
    I would look for land with all the services already in place, like an old mobile home. Driveway/Elec/septic problems are destroying my budget.

    And obviously stay out of NY!!!!

  10. #10
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    Depending on what you do for work and your definition of affordable, you may be chasing a unicorn. I bought 10 acres within an hour's commute from two decently sized metro areas (Charlotte and W.S./Greensboro) for $65k. Land was good, taxes aren't bad, job prospects will be decent. That price was affordable for us, but you go 10 minutes closer to Charlotte and the land was 9k an acre. Another 10 minutes closer and it was 20k an acre.

    Things that generally depress property values are poor job prospects, high unemployment, bad school districts, poor land usability, low median incomes, and an high acreage to population ratio. Things that generally increase land values are good economic/job development, high property taxes, good school districts, high median incomes, low acreage to population ratio, proximity to good urban areas, and demographics.

    All land isn't created equal. Go cheap, and you may find yourself with land you can't use and can't sell, or as Thoner mentioned, paying a small or large fortune to make it buildable. If you are really looking for rock bottom land prices, google the poorest counties in the country and start looking for land there. But depending on your job, you may need to resign yourself to going much smaller than you want or driving an hour to work every day.

    But ultimately it is a trade-off. If you are willing to live off grid and off the land, with no cares of civilization and modern convenience, you could probably own 50k acres in Alaska for what I pay for a decent meal out with the wife. But if you have to stay reasonably close to an urban area and want some of life's conveniences, then you will probably be in the 5k-6k an acre range, and that is with a 45+ min commute.
    Last edited by Arrowman; 07-12-2017 at 08:34 AM.

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