Owner Financed Land-Everything You Should Know Before You Do A Deal

Owner financed land is a smart thing to look out for when buying land. It is beneficial for both the buyer and the seller and has so many advantages. Read on and get the low-down on owner financed land- when to use it, what to beware of and how it can work for you….

Why Do People Look For Owner Financed Land?

For most typical land purchases, it is difficult to get a mortgage or bank lending.

In some cases, banks might lend if the parcel in question is an established multi million dollar business like a successful ranching operation plus a large chunk of land like 1000 acres or more. It becomes worth the banks time to do thorough due diligence if the deal if valued at $500K or more.

However for many vacant land deals for individuals starting out or couples wanting some land to diversify their assets or for a family to live off the grid, banks are typically not interested.

There are some construction loans around (eg VA loans) that sometimes will lend on a package of land and home. There is strict criteria on what you can and can’t build. But we have had clients who have worked with them and secured lending for a home/land package. 

However if you are looking at alternative off grid living like an earthship home, or passive zero energy home, these may be more tricky to swing by some lenders.

The amounts involved are generally too small.

A bank will not even want to talk to you for any amount less than $50K and many banks require much higher amounts wanting parcels of $100K minimums. A loan of $5K or $10K is not worth the paperwork to them.

Many land deals that we come across at Vacant Land USA range from $5K-$25K and almost certainly will not be financed by a bank.

owner financed land

So what are you to do if you want the land, but you have only managed to save up $4K?

Do you wait another 3-5 years scrimping and saving trying to save up another $10K?

Some people choose to do this.

But for others the wait is too long, the dream becomes out of reach and simply gets shelved. It will become one of those sad items on the list of regrets… “if only I bought land in 2018”.

“I knew that land was the thing to buy in 2018”

Did you buy some then?

“no”… sigh..

So is owner financed land the alternative?

Check out our land for sale in Oregon

Buying Owner Financed Land

Owner financed land (also called seller financed land) is a genius solution to the problem of lack of finance for land deals.

Basically the owner/the seller of the land becomes the bank and will “loan” you the money. The owner will accept a down payment for the land and allow you to make payments over time to own the land instead of insisting that you pay the full amount upfront.

Effectively you are gaining a loan from the seller instead of the bank.

Here are the nuts and bolts of using seller finance to buy land:

  1. Contract for land sale is signed
  2. Deposit is paid to the owner
  3. Buyer signs promissory note to the seller (The promissory note lists the interest rate, the repayment schedule, and default consequences.)

In most cases the buyer deals directly with the seller and most sellers are open to being flexible on the owner financed land deal.

Let’s consider an example of an owner financed land deal:

Let’s say property “x” is on the market for $15,500.

You might be interested in it as land for you and your buddies to go hunting on weekends and to keep as a smart investment over time. But you do not have a spare $15K lying around.

So you tell the seller “I can give you $5K now and pay you $500 a month for the next 21 months”.

The seller might say yes.

Or they might come back with a counter offer like: “I will accept $7K down and $1000 a month for the next 9 months”… or some other variation.

Basically it is a negotiation. You work it out between you to try to strike a fair deal.

Owner Financed Land Deals Allow You To Buy Multiple Properties At Once

Imagine the above scenario where you have saved $5K but the purchase price is $15,500.

What if you come across 3 properties you are interested in buying? So now you need to find $40K-$50K.

It is still unlikely you can borrow this from a bank. However you may be able to strike an owner financed land deal to purchase all three at once.

You might be able to get a few thousand from friends or family but what about the rest?

You could forego your expensive lattes each morning but even then, by the time you have saved up, prices will have risen anyway and that deal will be gone.

It is better to ask if the owners will consider an owner financed land deal.

For example perhaps you offer each owner $1K down on each property with $750 a month for x months.

Some sellers will accept this, others will not.

Some may want a bigger down payment or higher monthly payments or impose a higher interest rate.

But if you can work out an owner financed land deal with each of them, (and provided you can afford the repayments) this gives you ownership over 3 parcels rather than just one. You can see how owner financed land deals are very attractive. In some cases you may want the land for your own recreation. In some cases you may want to land to do a project. For example maybe you wish to by 40 acres, and subdivide it into 4 x 10 acre parcels, then sell 3 parcels for a profit and keep one for yourself.

Some owners may allow you use the land while you are paying off the owner finance land deal, others will insists 50%-75% is paid off before construction. Most land owners will allow you to make plans, get approvals, perhaps install septic and water while you are paying off the land.

Check out our land for sale in Nevada

More Advantages Of Using Owner Financed Land Deals

Owner financed land deals have many more advantages. Here are some of them:

  • Flexibility to work out the deal between buyer and seller
  • Cheaper than paying high bank fees, loan arrangement fees, closing fees, broker fees, high interest rates (fees and hidden costs can be thousands of dollars when gaining lending through an institution)
  • Quicker, simpler and easier transaction
  • Most do not require credit checks (though some sellers do- make sure you check before hand)
  • Early access to the property. Most owner financed land deals allow you to use the land right away even though you have not paid for it in full. This means as soon as you sign the contract and paid your deposit, you are allowed to go and camp on it, ride your ATVs on it, bring your mountain bikes and fly your drones.

Where To Find Owner Financed Deals?

Generally, properties on the MLS and through realtors will be cash deals( though there are some exceptions). Generally you have a better chance of finding owner financed deals when you are looking at land for sale by owner. You might find these through searching places like Craigslist,  you come across home made signs on the property itself or you might find them on buy vacant land specialist sites like ours. 

Things To Beware Of With Owner Financed Land Deals

Check when you are allowed to build

Even though you may be able to use the land right away,it is likely that you will not be able to build on it immediately. Many sellers insist that you have paid 75%-100% of the property before you build. If you build a partial structure, then walk away, the seller does not want to have to pay to have your debris removed. Wait until you own it in full before erecting structures and make sure you have all the correct county permissions.

Many counties (who issue the building permits) will want to see the land in your name before building permits are granted. If you are seeking funding from a bank for your building project, the bank will require that the land is in your name also. For your own protection as well, it is best to own the land outright and ensure the deed is in your name before investing hard earned cash in the building project.

Check the interest rate on owner financed land

The interest rate will be clearly documented on the promissory note. Make sure it is one you can live with and make sure you aim to pay it off as soon as you can

Check for any early repayment penalties with owner financed land

Some loans will make you pay a penalty for paying off the loan early. Check this status so you know in advance. Many owner financed land deals will not have a penalty for early repayment.

Check whether a credit check or referencing is required

For some people this is no problem. But for many people, the last thing they need is more credit checks. Some people have poor credit for a variety of reasons which can stop them getting access to lending of any kind, getting a house, land or a vehicle. Many of these people have money, cash, jobs but they have just poor credit rating for many reasons.

Make sure you can afford any land purchase

Like any loan, make sure you can afford it before you go ahead with an owner financed land deal.  If you run into difficulty later on and default, you will lose the land and all the monies you have paid towards it. You will be signing a legally, enforceable contract. Make sure you do your research and always budget for contingencies.

Check for any balloon payments

Some seller financed deals offer low monthly payments but then a ballon payment to pay the final amount in one go. These are more common in property real estate deals where the idea is to seller finance and keep costs low until you can refinance to a different lender. With low value property deals or owner financed land deals that are purely between 2 individuals, there is rarely a balloon payment involved- though it is possible. So always check.

Check out our land for sale in Missouri

Private Lending

Check if there are any avenues to get private lending. Perhaps you have some family or friends who are happy to loan you $5,000? Perhaps you can get a 0% interest on a credit card for 12 months ( Make sure you pay this off super quick before the 0% term is up). Perhaps you can check out companies like Prosper that crowd source loans. If you are looking for recreational land, perhaps you and your buddies want to buy it together and split the cost.

Why Would A Seller Offer Owner Financed Land?

Don’t they want all the money now?

Yes, all sellers want the full amount now. If a seller has a choice between someone offering the full amount in cash or seller finance drip feeding it a bit at a time, they will accept the full cash payment every time.

So if you know you are in a bidding war on a popular piece of land and there is a lot of interest in it and you really want it, make sure you offer as close to the full amount as you can and you will be more likely to secure it.

In the example above where the land was on offer for $15,500. If one buyer could offer $10K deposit and pay the rest off slowly versus another buyer who could only put $5K down, the owner financed land deal will go to the person who could offer $10K.

Sometimes if you have a lot of cash, you can get better deals or even discounts for paying upfront and moving quickly.

In the example above where the land is on offer for $15,500 on seller finance, you may offer the seller $13K cash as the full amount and get an immediate $2,500K discount on the land. Some sellers will take this, others will hold out for the full amount.

It is all about negotiation.

Asking questions, giving a little bit here and there and trying to get to a place that both parties are happy with. There are many ways to be creative and offer solutions that result in the seller being happy to sell and work with you, and the buyer being happy that they can secure the land they want on the terms they can afford.

Summary

In general, owner financed land is a very efficient, very fair way to transact land deals. It allows land deals to be done quickly, fairly and in the interests of both parties.

Remember you can always make an offer and the seller can accept, reject or come back with a counter offer.

Owners do want their money and will typically not agree to a loan for more then 5 years. So it will give you more flexibility than having to fund the deal upfront, but you wont be able to string out the loan over 30 years.

To be fair, many buyers do not want the loan hanging over their head either and are looking to pay it off as soon as possible, get their land in their name and full control of the property.

At Vacant Land USA, most of our land is available owner financed land deals. Check out our current listings here.

We charge zero interest, zero early re-payment penalties and are happy to negotiate with you to find a repayment solution that will work for you. If you find a land parcel you like, please feel free to get in touch or make an offer.

Any questions, please ask: Email Us

Do You Need To Fence Your Rural Property?

To fence your rural property or not to fence it? This is the question

I know that many first time land owners panic when they first buy a rural property about putting a fence on it straight away. This is a huge job and a huge expense if you have just bought 80 acre parcel. 

Do You Need To Fence Your Rural Property?

Many people coming from the city are used to everything being fenced, locked, gated and secure. But different rules apply in rural areas. It may be that you have a parcel in the middle of nowhere, with no property or animals on it- what are you trying to keep in or out? There would be no reason at all to erect a fence. 

Why not keep the scenery pristine and natural? If there are any wild animals, allow them the free flow of movement and food sources as nature intended. As you gaze out at your property, you will not be encumbered by the sight of manmade structures.

If you are close to a neighbour or wish to fence your rural property close to a boundary, always, always, always get a professional surveyor to accurately define the boundary line.

You know approximately where your boundary is from the GPS coordinates you got from the county or from the previous property owner you bought the land from. Check it out on your smart phone or use a handheld GPS.

Maybe you plan you take your RV or a tent one weekend a month and camp overnight. Or maybe you come to fly your drones here, or ride your dirt bikes. Fencing your rural property here just does not make sense.

Most scenarios where you are not erecting a permanent structure, or dealing with livestock will not require you to fence your rural property.

When Should I Fence My Rural Property?

Scenarios where you may should fence your rural property include:

•          Livestock that you need to keep in a certain area

•          Problems with trespassers

•          Building your rural retreat (you may not require a fence but you should definitely know where the official boundary is)

Fencing your rural property is no small task. There are many options available of course, and the costs vary wildly. See below for more information on costs.

Before going ahead with any fencing work, check the rules and regulations in your county or any property associations you are part of.

It would be heart breaking to finish two months work erecting your fence all around your 40 acre parcel (not to mention the cost) only to find out that you did not meet some requirement and have to take the whole thing down!

There may be rules over what it looks like, what material can be used, the height of the fence or other factors.

If I Decide To Fence My Rural Property, What Options Are Available?

With all of the above in mind, let’s review some of the most common fencing strategies.

Types of Fencing To Consider:

Corral Panels: Quick and efficient to erect. There is no wire to stretch and you may not even require postholes. It gets expensive though. It is easily $100 or more for a 12 foot panel. Not useful for a wide perimeter border. This is more for a small riding area or a smaller area for livestock

fence your rural property

Rail Fencing: Better for fencing larger areas like pastures or boundaries. There are many types of railing available.

Steel rails: strong, but can get expensive.

Wooden rails: aesthetically pleasing and traditional for sure but most people who put this up end up regretting it due to continuous upkeep. Painting and treating the wood on a regular basis quickly becomes a bore. It is also pricy and takes a lot of work to erect.

fence your rural property

Vinyl/PVC rails: a cheaper option for smaller animals or boundaries. Not much use for horses as their strength can destroy them easily. They often just rest in place rather than be secured on. There is still a bit of maintenance but much less than wooden rails.

Wiring

All wiring is a labor intensive option, as each strand of wire needs to be unrolled and stretched individually. Heavy brace posts are critical at each corner and intermittently along longer fence lines. Expect strands to loosen and require re-tightening from time to time.

Cable: offers strength and flexibility. Livestock making contact with a cable fence won’t encounter solid rails; instead, cable will offer some give. Cable can be paired with steel posts to create a high-end version of a wire fence, but with greater durability and better eye appeal than ordinary wire options.

Coated Wire: a good alternative to cable fencing, coated wire is constructed from electric fence wire that’s been wrapped in a polymer coating.

Smooth Wire: a budget-conscious choice which is more common for large acreages. Smooth wire is, essentially, barbed wire without the barbs. 

Barbed Wire: a low-cost, labor-intensive option is best suited for cattle. You’ll often see horses pastured inside a barbed-wire fence, but that combination, sooner or later, will lead to serious injuries.  If you do this yourself, wear durable gloves or you will get plenty of cuts

Woven Wire: is designed with a tight mesh so that a horse’s hooves are less likely to get caught in the fence. It is used for horse fencing and game fencing and is a relatively affordable option. This woven wire unrolls so it can then be attached to fence posts.

Stretching woven wire evenly is an art form, as it’s easy to pull the wire out of shape. It can make an attractive fence, with security on par with that of higher-cost strategies. 

Electric fence: often used as a temporary measure to keep livestock in the right area. It is not a strong fence solution. But it is cheap, easy to erect. As it is not strong, it is easily falls down in high winds.

Gates and signage: If it is a property boundary, you may need to announce to any passers by that this is private property and do not enter. It is irritating to arrive at your property to find campers have spent a couple of nights on your land and left their rubbish behind.

If you have animals you may need to provide clear instructions to keep the gates closed at all times so they do not escape. Or provide a warning to passers by that you have potentially dangerous animals on site- like a bull, dogs, crocodiles?

What Will It Cost To Fence Your Rural Property?

There are many factors that go into estimating costs to fence your rural property:

  • The materials you choose to use for your fence
  • How robust and strong you need it to be
  • How many fence posts and railings you require
  • How large an area you wish to fence
  • Whether you can do some or all of it yourself or need to hire professionals

As we have seen above fencing can be wood, steel PVC, vinyl, wire, coated wire. Fencing can range from $7 per linear foot to $16/lf. On average fencing professionals will charge anywhere from $350 to $750 for the labor required for each 100 linear feet of fencing.

You can also find many videos on how to do it yourself. Here is a good one on how to erect a barbed wire fence:

Fence Your Rural Property With Stakes

As mentioned before, you may not even require a fence. Maybe you are simply curious on exactly where your property limits are. Marking out the property lines is commonly referred to as “staking property lines.”

You can do an approximate job by yourself with GPS. Or hire a  professional land surveyor who will place survey markers at property corners with additional markers along the property lines (set at predefined intervals). This process creates a visible line that defines the limits of your property. Typically, a surveyor will use concrete monuments or iron pins/rebar to mark the property lines.

When Do I Need To Stake My Property Lines

In most cases you will not need to do this at all.

But it is useful and necessary if:

  • you are settling disputes with neighbouring lot owners
  •  planning to install fences and other structures
  •  preventing any unwanted intrusions or encroachments from neighbouring lots
  •  seeking to comply with building permit requirements and easements
  • placing a well or septic system close to a property border
  • measuring the exact total land area of the property. Sometimes a 40 acres parcel is actually 39.55 or 40.78. For most people it does not matter too much one way of the other. However there may be instances where you need to know the square footage exactly. For example a lender may require it.

Getting a survey can be expensive. If you need it, it is always worth it. Check out the National Society of Professional Surveyors as a good start for recommendations. Depending on what is required and how large your land is. As always, get a few quotes. As a ball park it may be approximately $2K-$6K depending on size of the land..

Most people with large rural parcels will not need this level of accuracy.

Summary

Who knew that there was so much involved and so many decisions to be made when you first had the idea to fence your rural property.

Hopefully this has given you a few insights and a few ideas to chew on before you begin. Get it right first, and your project will run smoothly. If it is a small project, check out the options on doing it yourself. If it is a big project, seek professional advice.

The Top 6 States To Buy Land In The USA

The top 6 states to buy land in the USA no doubt changes a bit from year to year. But not by very much. In general, these trends last decades due to factors such as demographics, work opportunities, climate and state taxes. These things take time to change, if ever. So a good bet this year is likely to be a good bet for decades to come.

The most important factor when thinking about where to buy land of course is what suits you and why.

You will have personal reasons on where to buy such as proximity to family and friends, work and leisure.

Examine your own reasons for buying land.  There may be personal reasons for choosing somewhere that does not make this list. This does not matter at all.

And who is to say you will limit yourself to buying just one parcel?

Perhaps you will buy land in your home state because that is where you grew up, you know the soil there is good for growing, you know the area well so you know the potential areas for future development.

Perhaps later on you decide that buying land was such a painless procedure, relatively affordable and now you wish to diversify and expand your holdings into different states.

For your additional parcels, perhaps you wish to buy more in an up and coming area, or perhaps you wish to seek out some hunting grounds, or some land for your family to camp on at vacation time or maybe you have decided to be self sufficient and live off the grid.

Depending on whether you are an investor choosing to buy land to make a profit in a few years or whether you are buying for personal reasons will very much influence your choice of destination.

If you are lucky a few reasons may coincide.

It may be your family had to move to Reno for job opportunities and you had happened to be looking to move from cold New York winters to live in Nevada for half the year.

It just so happens that Nevada is one of the top 6 states to buy land in the USA in right now.

It could be a happy coincidence.

Check out the state and the area before you go

If you are buying for investment, it is less important to check out the land and the exact location (unless you are looking for something specific). For example, if you think Reno is about to boom, you may want to buy land within 30 minutes of Reno. If you are keen on Nevada as a whole, perhaps you just want to buy as much land as you can anywhere in Nevada while it is cheap and hold it for the long term.

Check out our current listings in Nevada here

If you are buying to live there yourself, it is a great idea to spend some time in the area. Get to know the towns nearby, what facilities are available? Gym? Supermarkets? Doctors? Hospitals? Recreation facilities? Social clubs?  

Top 6 States To Buy Land In The USA

Here we go…here are the top 6 states to buy land in the USA this year. These factors are largely based on demographics, movement of people, things to do and affordability.

6. Oregon

Oregon has been moving up the list for a good few years now and has made it to number 6. 

It has a population growth of 1.39%, with total population 4.1 million.

Great cities like Portland, Bend and Eugene and thriving with plenty of community and plenty of work opportunities.

Similar to Silicon Valley, Oregon has its Silicon Forest as there are so many high-tech companies located in the Portland metropolitan area. The high technology industries in the state have been a major employer ever since the 1970s, led by tech giants such as Intel, Tektronix, IBM, and more than 25 other tech firms. In 2012, Intel, with its Ronler Acres campus, employed around 17,000 people in Oregon – more than anywhere else in the country.

Check out our current listings in Oregon now

The city of Beaverton, OR is also home to the world headquarters of Nike, Inc. – the multibillion dollar company that was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports.

the top 6 states to buy land in the USA

Also in its favour its excellent food, great variety of beer, lots of hippies, progressive attitudes and four climatic seasons.

The state of Oregon is also home to world-class vineyards scattered among picturesque wine towns.

There are over 500 wineries in the Willamette Valley – the state’s leading wine region that is recognized as one of the best Pinot noir producing regions in the entire world.

As added bonuses, Oregon has no sales tax and an abundance of breathtaking natural beauty. Definitely a place to consider living and investing in land.

5. Texas

Texas has been a firm favorite for a while now. It has a population growth rate of 1.43% and a total population 28.3 million.

Great towns and cities on the rise in Texas include:

Austin, Houston, Frisco and Conroe which have all seen rises in population and business development.

Five of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the country were in Texas, according to new figures from the US Census Bureau. New York is way out in front in terms of added population, but Houston is second with San Antonio and Austin fourth and fifth. Not far behind are Dallas and Fort Worth.

the top 6 states to buy land in the USA

Having no state income tax is a fabulous benefit and also helps ease the stress at tax time.

Not only are new people flocking to Texas. Native Texans aren’t leaving the state either. It is the “stickiest” state in the country, according to the latest figures from the Pew Research Center, which suggest that more than three-quarters of adults born in Texas still live there

Texas is a great place to consider to buy land

4. Florida

Florida has been popular for a long time with vacationers from the north looking for warmer climates. It is also popular with retirees for a no personal income tax state with warm weather year round, great health care and awesome golf courses.

The population growth rate is 1.82% with a total population of 20.98 million

In 2014, Florida overtook New York as the most populous state. 

Interesting cities with a lot going on include Marianna, Doral and Sweetwater

There are lots of beautiful beaches packed with marine life under the water and an abundance of sports on top of the water.

best states to buy land in usa

Entertainment is never ending in Florida with Disneyland, Busch Gardens, Legoland, Kennedy Space Center and plenty of museums, culture and food.

The economy in Florida is healthy. The boom of healthcare research, biomedical sciences, recreational industries has caused rapid economic growth in Florida and turned it into one of the “best states for business” in USA.

Nowadays, the GDP in Florida is the fourth largest in the U.S., the unemployment rate is very low, and the highly developed service sector offers plenty of jobs and opportunities

The reasons so many people choose to move to Florida continue to grow and grow.

3. Utah 

Utah was in the top 11 safest states in USA plus with great weather, incredible outdoors and a strong economy, what’s not to like?

Its population growth rate is 1.89% with total population is 3.102 million. Utah also has the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in the nation according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics.. Cities like Provo/Orem Salt Lake City , Ogden/Clearfield and St George are amongst the top 10% employment rate across the nation. Livability ranked Provo the 4th best town in the US.

Utah boasts 5 National Parks- due to its abundance of beauty and breathtaking views. It also is home to the only warm water scuba spot in the continental Unites States. Homestead Crater is 90-96 degrees and is crystal clear and super deep.

the top 6 states to buy land in the USA

Utah has an epic music scene, awesome film scene- hosting Sundance film festival each year.

It has the best mountain biking on the planet and insane skiing.

Provo has strong tech companies. It is also a great place to live. In fact, the Provo-Orem area has topped the Gallup-Healthways well being list for the second time in six years.

When you arrive, you will notice the sense of community is unrivalled. It is not unusual to have a neighbour arrive with a home cooked casserole.

And where else can you live a decent driving (and possibly walking) distance from some of the best hiking, climbing, boating, skiing, boarding, riding, rafting, camping, biking, and running available in world-renowned national parks?

2. Nevada 

Nevada ranks number 2 on the top 6 states to buy land in USA list for very good reasons. It has an excellent culture scene with concerts, symphonies, art galleries, museums, national cowboy poetry festivals and massive performing arts centers.

It has fantastic skiing and great weather year round.

There are striking desert landscapes but also a lot of lakes and rivers. Nevada is home to the largest alpine lake in USA and the second deepest lake in the US.  Also – have you ever seen Hoover dam?

top states to buy land

Nearly three quarters of the people living in Nevada live in the Las Vegas area, but the Silver State offers many other great places to live. If you are looking for some highly rated towns consider Elko, Reno, Mesquite, Henderson and Paradise.

Beyond the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas that Nevada is known for, the state offers beautiful natural areas such as Lake Mead, Cathedral Gorge State Park and Lake Tahoe.

Obviously tourism and gaming are a big deal in Nevada, but there are many successful industries here. Manufacturing, logistics, and aerospace are also big fields in Nevada, and mining, contrary to some’s beliefs, is still a very active and vital part of Nevada’s economy. Nevada is one of the largest producers of gold in the world. Construction and tech are other industries also on the rise.

Reno and Las Vegas are two of Nevada’s largest cities but there are many other large cities, such as Henderson, Sparks, and Carson City. And if you love medium to small town living, Nevada is rich with places like Elko, Mesquite, Fernley, Fallon, Winnemucca, Ely, Caliente and Lovelock.

Tourism, mining and cattle ranching anchor the economy in Nevada. There is no personal income tax or corporate income tax in Nevada. And this has helped many larger companies consider Nevada for their headquarters or part of their operations bring considerable job opportunities and expansion to the state.

Perfect opportunity for the astute land investor. Check out more about buying land in Eureka county, Nevada here.

So where is the number 1 state to buy land in USA in 2018?

1. Idaho

Idaho makes it to the esteemed position of top state to buy land right now in USA. It is a leading agricultural export in USA. Nestled against the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon, Idaho offers a scenic mix of rivers, jagged peaks and farmland with the lowest cost of living of the 11 western states.

Although the 11th-largest state in terms of size, Idaho ranks 39th in population. Its population growth rate is huge at 2.2% with a total population of 1.71million

Places like Boise have a reputation for good schools and a fair cost of living.  Towns like Meridian and Eagle are favorites of the locals in the know. They are close to wilderness but also great job opportunities. 

Idaho has one of the highest percentages of residents participating in outdoor recreation each year. It is a favorite of whitewater rafters and kayakers, with the middle fork of the Salmon River regarded as one of the nation’s premier wilderness rivers.

In the winter, skiers and snow boarders flock to Idaho’s well-known resorts. World-renowned Sun Valley is home to many Olympic skiers and snowboarders, and also is an official training site for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Nordic ski teams. The Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center has more 25 miles of groomed trails that also are open to the public.

Sandpoint, about 80 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington, has been called one of the best “under the radar” ski towns in the west, thanks to nearby Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

In warm weather months, many ski trails provide scenic challenges for mountain bikers of all skill levels. The annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival is held in mid-summer. The rugged Sawtooth Wilderness offers 217,000 acres of jagged peaks, alpine lakes and dense forests with numerous camping areas.

Idaho also boasts a cutting edge music scene with famous festivals held with top artists throughout the year. 

Idaho is well known for its trout fishing. Among the better-known trout streams are the South Fork of the Snake River and Henrys Fork of the Snake River. Fly fishing is also a firm favorite pastime.

If you have not been there yet, why not plan a trip to see why its become one of the top 6 states to buy land in the USA?

Top 6 States To Buy Land In USA

In summary, there are so many awesome places in USA to buy land. We never have to limit ourselves to just one state either.

If you cannot decide which is best, and you have a little disposable capital, why not consider gradually buying something in each state, spreading your risk and your opportunity.

It may be cheaper than you think.

For example in some places in Nevada or Utah you may be able to pick up a small acreage for a few thousand dollars or less.

Florida and Texas may cost you a little more. But all of it is far less than saving your whole life for a house in the city thinking “one day I’ll move out, get some land and create a homestead” 

You can keep the land for investment, or visit it a couple of times a year in your RV or a tent. Or gradually build your log cabin and weekend retreat off the grid. Become self sufficient, create your own energy sources, grow your own vegetables and learn to hunt and fish. Such a rewarding project. Wherever you decide to buy, owning land is a great asset to have as part of your portfolio.

Check out our current listings here. When you check out this page, there may or may not be land available in the state you desire. We focus on buying land in the top 6 states to buy land in the USA for many of the reasons mentioned above and because of this, land often sells through fast.

Get in touch if you have any questions or if you are looking for land in a state and cannot find any. It helps us locate want you want if we have several requests for a similar type of land or location

Don’t Drill A Well Until You Read This

The need to drill a well is one of the most common issues we get asked about when buying and selling vacant land. Most of our land is remote and not connected to municipal services. This, of course, appeals to our wide audience who are desperate to get away from high costs of energy and water companies or get away from traffic, pollution and noise.

However that does come with a price- you need to sort out your own water and energy supplies. Especially if you are looking to embrace a “live off the grid” lifestyle. Read about how to create an off-grid lifestyle HERE.

Luckily this is a challenge that is not difficult to overcome. There are 2 choices: pay a company to drill a well for you, Or take the time to learn how to do it yourself. And it is prudent to remember that even though there is a cost to drilling a well, you are buying the land far cheaper than buying in or near a city and will still be way ahead financially on your quest to get your dream home or peaceful retreat.

If you just plan to camp for a weekend here or there, there is no need to do this. You will bring in your own water enough to last you 2-3 nights.

Here is a great video from howtodrillawell.com showing you how it is possible to drill your own well. They have a ton of instructional videos and how-to information available.

What Is The Average Cost To Drill A Well?

To have a professional company do it for you will generally cost in the  range of $15/ft- $30/ft. 

Note that the cost can vary widely depending on where you live, the soil composition and the depth of available water.

Seek out the opinion of a local water expert who can give you an estimate of the depth of the water table. 

If you have neighbours with existing wells, they will be able to tell you the depth where they struck water. This does not mean this will be the same for you, but in most cases, it will be a good estimate. You can also request well logs from your local water authority.

Depending on your county laws, you may need a professional and a well permit to drill a well because of the specialized equipment needed. The actual cost to drill the well includes drilling the hole and adding 4- to 6-inch casing. If the driller does not find water, you will still be required to pay for the hole in the ground.

drill a well

To drill a 100-foot well for example, the cost to drill a well and add casing averages around $1,500 to $3,000 — not including permit fees. To drill a well 400 feet deep, the cost may run $6,000 to $12,000.

These figures don’t include the well pump, the piping for water delivery, pressure switch, the storage tank or any plumbing from the well to the house site. It also doesn’t include any water conditioning equipment for water that requires treatment. Water conditioning can add from $1,500 to $3,000 or more to the well’s cost.

Can I Drill A Well Myself?

Yes drilling a well yourself it certainly possible. There will be some learning and it will take time. But it will be a lot cheaper. In some states you will not require a permit if you do the work yourself. In other states a permit is still required. Make sure you check this out first.

Drilling your own 100 foot well will cost you around $1200, not including the cost of the well pump. You can check out this site if you are keen to understand all the steps in drilling your own well. 

Another helpful resource when you want to drill your own well is this one. 

We suggest that if you want a domestic well for your own drinking water, that you do hire a professional, licensed contractor. There are a lot of health risks if you get it wrong. Here is some valuable information on the different types of water wells you can consider.

Though if you know you will strike water at 30-40 feet and want some water for the gardens, you should be able to do this yourself. 

A great way to supplement your well water is to harvest or collect rain water. Again this can be a fantastic way to save water. Many use this water for the gardens, toilets and showers.

Some people treat it carefully and are able to use it for drinking and cooking water. But do your research, as always, check out all the health implications and check with local experts in your area. Also check the local rules with your county. Some counties permit rain water collection and some do not.

drill a well

www.howtodrillawell.com

This site explains how to drill a well, the equipment needed and provides instructional videos to do it yourself. A great resource to start with. It is good to understand the process yourself, even if you do end up outsourcing it to an external company.

You can locate the well anywhere on your land. A local expert may be able to guide you as to the best location the strike water quickly. You also need to stay at least 50 feet away from septic systems or field lines. You can contaminate ground water with a poorly located well. This means you can contaminate your neighbors well if they are tapped into the same water source. Not advised!

Shallow wells are less than 30 feet, deep wells are over 70 feet deep. Deeper wells provide better quality water. At first your well water will be muddy, but it should not take long to get clear, clean water. Have your water tested before using.

So Shall I Pay A Company To Drill A Well Or DIY-it?

Well, you know the answer will be “it depends”. It is always a good idea to understand the basics of a project even if you outsource it to a company so you understand the basic language and terms they use, so you can compare quotes accurately and make sure they know what they are talking about. 

It is certainly possible to drill a well yourself, so it really depends on whether you are quite handy, whether you enjoy some research & learning. If you have more money than time and just want it done quickly and efficiently get a well drilled professionally.

Hopefully this article gave you the basics to get started on your journey. Do not let not having to drill a well stop you buying vacant land.

You can improve the value of your land significantly if you buy vacant land and do the research and work required to install a septic system and a well. Many people do not wish to bother and prefer to pay more to have it all done for them.

Do your research, seek out some local experts, check your county rules and regulations, get a few quotes and get it done. For drinking water, we do recommend professionals.

If you are looking for vacant land, check out our current listings HERE

Tiny Houses For Sale-Are These The Answers For Your Land

Tiny houses for sale are growing in popularity as financial and environmental issues become more intense. So much so, that tiny houses have now become a “movement”. Tiny houses are generally defined as small structures, which are built efficiently but comfortably to live in measuring less than 600 square feet.

What Is The Tiny House Movement?

The tiny house is the popular movement that advocates living simply in small homes. The advantages are:

•          Saves energy

•          Helps the environment

•          Simplifies life

Tiny houses are cheaper to build and cheaper to run. Most people do not even require a mortgage to get going. Also if you have much less room to store stuff, you tend to buy much less.

Ever notice that the clutter tends to build up no matter how big your house is?

Using less energy, means leaving less carbon footprint. Many people who live in tiny homes choose to live completely off the grid as well to make less impact on the land.

Disadvantages Of A Tiny Home

The biggest problem that people face is finding a legal place to put their tiny house.

County regulations vary across the country but you cannot just place your tiny home anywhere.

Many counties consider a tiny home to be an RV. 

They may tell you that you cannot live in a vehicle on the property for more than 30 consecutive days (because they consider the tiny house an RV). If it is considered a permanent residence, it will fall below minimum square footage

Check with your particular county as this tiny home movement is gaining popularity and square footage requirements are changing in many states. When you buy land in Eureka county Nevada for example, there are no zoning requirements,. You can build your tiny home here with no problem. ( or RV or camp with no time limits).

Or make it your mission to find a place where RVs are allowed to be inhabited for an unrestricted time

tiny houses for sale

Any Issues With Finance Or Insurance For Tiny Homes?

Financing and insurance can be a challenge for tiny homes for sale or tiny homes you build yourself. Financing and insurance companies rely on having accurate values for the items they finance and insure, and with tiny houses they do not know how to value them, so they simply do not insure them.

As mentioned above, you may not need financing anyway as building or buying a tiny home is so much cheaper than building or buying a conventional home. Most people can save up over a few years and buy one outright. Although if you are going upmarket with your tiny home, you may need a little buffer from a loan company. Some loans do exist for RV’s which you may be able to get. But keep in mind to read the fine print. Many of these loans will not allow you to permanently live in the tiny house while you are paying off the loan.

And what about insurance?

Insurance is typically difficult to get right now for tiny home. However it might not be the end of the world if you cant get insured right away. If you do have valuables to protect, consider keeping a safety deposit box at a bank.

Shop around however, as more and more tiny homes come on the market, there will be insurers developing a model to support this.

Tiny Houses For Sale Creates Incredible Innovation

Tiny houses can have everything you need. And can be quite glamorous if that is what you desire.

Some people assume they would be like a basic log cabin, or a cheap caravan. But nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously you can go as expensive or cheap as your budget allows but the trend is towards well fitted out homes with state of the art architecturally designed space saving features and clever high tech energy systems

Check out this one here:

Very appealing, right?

How Much Are Tiny Houses For Sale?

Obviously, a tiny house will set you back a substantial amount less than a standard home. In fact, if you are willing to build it yourself, you can build a tiny home for less than $10,000. However you can also spend upwards of $80,000

tiny houses for sale

This project only cost $4,000 and took six short weeks to construct, though this was possible only because the builder was a skilled craftsman.

Here are some rough estimates of costs you may not have thought of:

  • Doors and tempered glass windows rated for four season weather: $1,000 to $3,000
  • Metal roofing: $500 to $1,000
  • Insulation: $500 to $2000
  • Exterior siding: $1,500 to $3,000
  • Electrical wiring performed by a licensed electrician: $1,500 to $3,000
  • Water heater: $500 to $1000
  • Propane or electric heater: $200 to $800
  • Tile shower: $300 to $1,000
  • Composting toilet: $800 to $1500
  • Additional bathroom fixtures and plumbing: $600 to $2,000
  • Kitchen: $8K-$10K
  • Flooring: $300 to $2000
  • Furniture: $500 to $2000

Securing Your Tiny House

Could someone simply drive off with your home?

Well sure. Its possible. You need to protect your property from thieves and vandals like any car, RV or your house.

Make sure you have removed your tires from the tiny house when it is in place. Hide them and lock them up somewhere off site.

You can buy wheel locks that stop someone towing it away.

Obviously get good window and door locks.

Be sensible and don’t flash any expensive gadgets around that might tempt onlookers.

Tiny Houses For Sale Summary

Tiny houses for sale are worth checking out as an alternative to building a home from scratch. Especially if you are downsizing, you are concerned for the environment, you don’t need much space, or it is a holiday or weekend space, that you only use sporadically. 

Depending on your skills, money or time available, it may be a project you wish to undertake yourself, or if you wish to buy a tiny house for sale, they really are super affordable.

If you need some land for your tiny house, check out our current listings here. Seller financing available in most cases so you can make your money stretch for longer. Win-win!

Ever Thought About Creating Your Own Off Grid Cabin and Lifestyle?

Having your own off grid cabin is something many people fantasize about from time to time.

I suspect we all do every time we go to pay another water or electric bill. Here’s the steps you need to think about before you dive in and bite off more than you can chew…

Why Create An Off Grid Cabin?

Some people create their own off grid cabin as:

•          a good financial decision. Save a ton on utility companies whose prices only seem to go one way

•          a step towards self –reliance and independence

•          preparation for a global calamity – Create your own underground shelter– just in case

•          environmental and “save the fossil fuels” reasons

Whatever your reason, it is certainly a growing trend and while it is not for everyone, it may be worth some consideration.

“Off-Grid” One Step At A Time

In fact this is recommended. There is a lot to learn and manage at first. In cases cases set up costs can be significant and it may take a few years to see pay back.

Firstly just focus on supplementing your energy requirements one at a time. Implement one source of power, learn it, make sure you understand what can go wrong and how to trouble shoot.

Or try renting an “off the grid cabin” for a week and see how you feel. Start learning the questions you did not even know you should be asking. Learn about all the systems and how it all works.

A typical house is connected to power, natural gas, water and telephone lines. It is hard to imagine life without all these services that we take for granted.

Check out these 10 Off Grid Cabins that might give you inspiration on the possibilities available.

It’s is difficult to estimate how many people in the US live off-grid, but in 2006, Home Power magazine estimated that at least 180,000 homes were supplying their own power. No doubt that is a lot more now.

Another 27,000 homes use solar and wind energy to offset their grid-connected life [source: USA Today]. Some do this to move away completely from dependence on government utilities. Others are just looking to reduce their bills.

What Is The First Thing To Sort Out In My Off Grid Cabin?

Power is the best one to focus on first.

Many people choose solar.

If you live somewhere with a lot of sun year round or are thinking of buying land in a sunny place like Nevada or Arizona, this makes sense.

If you live somewhere windy, then be sure to harness this natural energy around you. A turbine sits atop a 50-120 foot tower. When the blades move, wind energy is converted to usable energy.

off grid cabin

Some people in developed areas, use solar or wind energy and if they have excess supply, can sell their energy back to the grid.

However if you go off the grid completely, you will cut all ties with energy companies and store your own excess energy in a system of batteries in a nearby shed.

Wind power is the cleanest and cheapest energy technology in the world. The average cost per kilowatt hour for coal-burning electricity was 10.4 cents in 2006 [source: Energy Information Administration].

Wind energy can be generated for a scant three cents per hour in optimum conditions [source: Earth Policy Institute]. Add to this that there are no greenhouse emissions produced, and it’s no wonder that wind power is growing so fast.

What About Water In My Off Grid Cabin?

There is usually plenty of water underneath us as groundwater.

There are more than 17 million homes in the United States that get their water from private wells [source: The Groundwater Foundation]. The principle is simple — a hole is dug or drilled deep into the ground and a pump draws out the water.

There are many regulations that apply to private wells, so you should only use a licensed well driller. It’s easy for harmful contaminants to leak into your well if it’s not installed properly. The cost of a private well ranges from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on how deep you need to go.

If you are looking to buy rural land in places like Nevada, you will need to dig a well for water. Here is what to think about when you consider whether to drill a well

The deeper the well, the more likely you’ll find clean water. Install a filter for better-tasting water.

Another way you can provide your own water is by harvesting the rain with a cistern. A cistern is basically a tank that holds water. Home cistern systems have large aboveground or underground tanks made from concrete, steel or fiberglass. The water from your rain gutters is channeled into the cistern and then pumped back into your home as you need it.

If your cistern is above ground and higher than your faucets, you can use the weight of the water as pressure to get it into your home. Below ground cisterns require a pump to get the water to you, much like a well.

If you want a cistern, you need to live in an area that gets enough rain. If you live near a major source of pollution, like a major expressway or factory, then you should avoid going with a cistern.

If you want drinkable water, it’s best to have a metal or clay roof because it’s cleaner than a shingled one. Shingled roofs can be used, but they require a pre-filtering system before the water is deposited into the tank. If you’re interested in harvesting rainwater, consult your local green building professional.

What To Do About Sewerage At My Off Grid Cabin?

The best way to get off the grid’s sewer line is to install a septic system. A septic system is basically a large metal tank that collects and releases your wastewater. Bacteria in the tank break everything down causing it to separate naturally into a top scum layer, bottom sludge layer and middle liquid layer.

As new wastewater flows in, the liquid in the tank flows out into a series of buried perforated pipes that release the water over distance into a drain field.

Soil acts as a biological filter, keeping the harmful bacteria buried beneath the ground until it’s eventually absorbed as nutrients. The tank should be emptied and serviced by a professional once a year.

Will My Off Grid Cabin Have Enough Energy? 

It is always important to be prepared and have back up energy sources in your off grid cabin. What if it is not windy or sunny for 3 weeks?

You’ll most likely need a few other things in place as well to ensure that you stay warm, cool and have enough energy and water supply. Many people use propane as their source of gas. You can go all electric with your water heater and range, but that will use a great deal of your manufactured energy.

Whole-house propane tanks are basically large versions of the ones that you use for your gas grill. The propane is fed into your house by pipes, just like your natural gas line, and the tank is refilled as you need it by a propane service.

Another option for heating your water is to go with a tankless water heater. For your off-grid cabin, you’ll need to buy a propane or electric tankless unit. They make natural gas versions as well, but you’ll be on the grid. Tankless heaters don’t store and heat water, they heat it on demand as you need it.

If you really want to go green, then you should look into a solar water heater. In this system, the sun’s heat is harnessed and used to warm your water.

Most people that choose to go off the grid also have a backup generator, just in case the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine for long stretches. These generators run on propane, natural gas, gasoline or biodiesel fuel and are only used if absolutely necessary. They can be rigged to kick in automatically if the battery power supply drops to a certain level.

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves can help offset the energy it takes to heat your home. In fact, most off grid cabins depend on burning wood as their primary heat source.

Electric and gas furnaces simply require too much fuel to keep a house warm on their own. You can even cook on top of wood-burning stoves.

If you build or design your off grid cabin from scratch make sure to design it with energy efficiency in mind. Use super-insulation, airtight construction techniques so you are not wasting energy and can efficiently maintain your home’s temperature.

Another building technique that many people off the grid use is passive solar construction. Passive solar building is a design technique that uses the wind, sun and natural surroundings to heat and cool the home.

 There are several ways to block and remove heat, including shading through landscaping, using a dark exterior paint, installing a radiant barrier in the roof rafters and good old-fashioned insulation.

Another way is through thermal siphoning, the process of removing heat through controlled airflow. Opening the lower windows on the breezy side of your house and the upper windows on the opposite side creates a vacuum that draws out the hot air.

Lifestyle Changes With Your Off Grid Cabin

Its funny how when you are responsible for generating and collecting all the energy ad water you need every day, how much more conscious you become about not wasting it!

Even with solar and wind power, you’ll still need to limit your use of electricity. Most people interested in living off the grid do so at least in part to live a greener life, so conserving power goes hand-in-hand with this decision.

With adequate solar and wind systems, you should be able to operate most of your electric appliances and gadgets, but not necessarily at the same time.

If you’re using a hair dryer, avoid using the microwave. If you fire up the blender, unplug your space heater. Major electricity users like washing machines should be operated at night, when your other power needs are minimal. True disciples of the back-to-land movement wouldn’t use a washer and dryer anyway. Washing clothes by hand and using a clothesline is a rustic alternative.

The same goes for your water use. With a cistern system, in periods of little rain you might need to let the dishes pile up for a couple of days or limit your toilet flushes.

Some people go so far as to turn off the shower water while they lather or wash their hair. Collecting additional non-potable water in rain barrels is a great way to water plants, wash dishes and keep your pets hydrated without dipping into your well or cistern.

Energy Star appliances are the most efficient on the market and a good way to save money on your bills. Look for the yellow stickers on the appliances when you buy them and compare the ratings. In addition to saving energy, the government offers rebates on Energy Star appliances, so you’ll be saving money as well. You should¬ also switch your light bulbs to the energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.

If you truly “drop out” and live in an off grid cabin in a rural area, you’ll likely have no mail or garbage service available. Most people will welcome the lack of junk mail, and no utility bills!  You can maintain a P.O. Box if you want to receive mail and get them to scan anything to you, or go check it once a month.

Not having garbage pickup is another consideration. This can be readily solved by recycling and composting. If you’re smart in what kinds of products you purchase, you can eliminate a great deal of potential garbage as well. Grow your own vegetables or raise some chickens and goats for milk and eggs.

Avoiding packaged foods will greatly reduce the amount of paper and plastic waste you need to get rid of. All your organic food waste and even some paper products can be composted and fed back into your soil. Most recycling centers also have Dumpsters for your non-recyclables.

So Are You Ready To Start Your Off Grid Cabin?

If you need some rural land, check out our current listings…

If you would like to be on our VIP list to hear about our new parcels of land first, let us know here.

Get in touch if you have specific requirements. Some land sells so fast, it is sold straight to our VIP’s before it even has a chance to go on the website

Handheld GPS- Do I Need One To Find My Property?

A handheld GPS is an extremely useful tool to have on board when you buy land.

In many cases rural land, does not have a street address.

You will be given GPS coordinates and the legal description will consist of Section, Township and Range identifiers.

For example: Section 15, T34N, R37E

These section, township, range identifiers come from historical Public Land Survey System developed in 1785 and are still very important when transferring title across when you buy and sell a property.

handheld GPS

Make sure when you buy land that the same section, township, range identifiers you think you are buying are the same that are written on the deed.

It is the legal description that transfers on a sale not the APN.

Is A Smart Phone Good Enough To Accurately Locate My Land?

Do I really need a handheld GPS or can I just use the maps on my smart phone and the GPS coordinates?

You will be given the GPS coordinates of each corner of the parcel. It might look like this:

GPS: Coordinates: 41.087423, -118.145371 NW41.087416, -118.140569 NE41.083718, -118.145317 SW41.083729, -118.140515 SE

The seller might also give you a link to center of the property. That would look something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/on6d77wkb2L5nim87

As long as you have reception in that area, your smart phone should be fine most of the time.

However you do not want to be stuck if you lose reception. For example when you have a mountain blocking your signal!

A handheld GPS will be far more accurate

If you are just going to view a property to check out what it is like, you do not need to be 100% accurate with whether the boundary lies a yard to the left or right.

You just need to know within reason where the land is.

However if you are considering  building work, or fencing off the property, it is more important to be very accurate. You may even decide to invest in a land survey if knowig the exact boundaries is very important for your project.

It is wise to have a professional surveyor to stake out your land to ensure you are actually building on your property and not encroaching on someone else’s land if you are building in a suburban area or if there are any boundary disputes.

But for most rural land buyers a  handheld GPS will be accurate enough and is far more accurate than a smart phone map.

If you have a large property, hundreds or thousands of acres, a GPS can be a useful tool to check out all the aspects of your property and make sure you get back safe and sound.

If you have not used GPS before, this video will give you the basics.

A handheld GPS is also useful if you are a hunter. When night closes in and you have been tracking game, it is easy to be so focused on your target, that you forgot which route you took.  Hunters also use it for scouting and getting their bearings in unfamiliar territories.

Good handheld GPS models come in between $300-600, typically. You will find models cheaper than this and far more expensive. Just assess your needs, how often you will use it and your budget.

How To Locate Your Land Using Google Maps Without A Handheld GPS

If you are unsure about how to use coordinates to find your land this should help. First bring up your maps, then enter the coordinates in the search bar. This will bring up the location of the property.

See first arrow.

From there you can get the maps to tell you how far it is from your current location, or from the nearest big city.

Hit the “Directions” button- see 2nd arrow.

In this example, we will type in Lovelock.

You can now see a couple of suggested routes to get there and how long it will take to drive.

handheld GPS

As you get closer to your destination, you can zoom in and see the details of the property location. As you can see for this example, the property is not on a street address. You will be relying on google maps for accuracy which may be accurate or not so much.

It looks like the property is on an unnamed road. In this case, it might be useful to have a handheld GPS to ensure you are looking at the right property.

Here are the best GPS apps for your phone

There are a number of apps you can download as GPS apps which may be more accurate than google maps. These include Waze, Here, MapQuest, ScoutGPS. You can read more about them and check out the reviews here.

If you spend a lot of time in rural areas or buy a lot of rural land, a handheld GPS is a very worthwhile tool.

Mineral Rights When Buying Land: What You Need To Know

Mineral rights when buying land is a subject that concerns a lot of people. Whilst it is good to be aware of what rights you do and don’t have, in most cases it is unfounded and there is nothing to worry about. 

Most people want to buy land to go hunting, camping, walk their dogs, ride their horses, build a small homestead or chill out and relax. Most people are not thinking of starting a mining operation any time soon.

Are There Any Risks To Me If I Do Not Get The Mineral Rights When Buying Land?

The worry for most people is, if someone else owns the mineral rights to my property, am I at risk of being dug on?

Whilst this is technically true, in reality, this possibility is almost non-existent. Many of these mining rights are historical. If mining companies thought there was a chance of striking anything of value, it would have been mined by now.

Equally, a mining operation costs many millions of dollars in set up and ongoing costs to start. They would never start on one or two 10-40 acre parcels of land. They would need to take control of thousands of acres which then requires committees, consultations, permits and a lot of red tape. They would more likely make you a generous offer for your land, where you make a steep profit and can move on with a lot of cash in your pocket. 

However do not buy land thinking one day you will be able to sell to a mining company. The likelihood is any potential of these historical rights have already been exploited or discounted.

What Is The Difference Between Mineral Rights Ownership Versus Surface Mineral Rights ?

Mineral rights when buying land can be described as the unseen value associated with a tract of land. Historically, land was transferred among owners with the royalty rights co-mingled with the surface rights. As oil and gas production began in the U.S., these rights started to be viewed independently.

If mineral rights are severed, i.e. the process of separating mineral rights from the surface rights, a new and separate chain of title for the minerals begins.

Separate ownership of mineral rights and surface rights can sometimes cause confusion. With respect to oil and gas production, the owner of the surface rights has limited input as to whether oil or gas is produced from underneath his property. If production is established, a portion of the value is paid via a royalty fraction (i.e. percentage) to the mineral rights owner.

Most land purchases give you the surface mineral rights to the property. This means you can dig a well, you can dig foundations for your house, you can till your land for agriculture. This is extremely common to just be buying the surface rights in large parts of Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma

If you do not own the mineral rights when buying land, it means you cannot start a mining operation! You cannot lease or sell your land to an oil or gas company for exploration and extraction purposes. 

How Do I Know If I Own the Mineral Rights When Buying Land?

The local county office should have all the records. Examine them carefully and look for language anywhere in surface deeds that state the seller is reserving all or part of the mineral rights under the land being sold. The mineral estate and the surface estate can actually be split off from one another, and commonly are.

So while it’s likely that the first owner was granted both the surface and mineral rights when buying land by the government or claimed both when claiming the land, it’s probable the estate has been “split” over the years, especially in areas where there has been lots of oil and gas production.

Royalty deeds may also be found, which are not the same as mineral deeds as they do not actually transfer the mineral rights, but only a right to receive royalty from the minerals if and when they are actually produced. The grantor of the royalty deed would still retain actual ownership of the minerals, so the title to the minerals would not transfer to the grantee on the royalty deed.

It is unlikely that all the minerals under your land have always been owned by the same party, or that one party owns all of them now, so you will need to find ALL of the instances where the minerals have changed hands over the years and keep track of the divisions from the beginning in order to determine who owns what currently.

This isn’t always a simple task, which is why landmen, attorneys, and other professionals get paid so much to research mineral ownership and prepare title opinions. An experienced landman often charges between $250 and $500 per day to “run title” for clients, plus expenses.

Should I Only Look For Land For Sale With Mineral Rights?

Be careful what you wish for.

As with other assets, royalty rights come with a tax liability. These tax burdens vary depending on whether the minerals are being produced or not. Minerals can be taxed both at the state and county level, in addition to your federal taxes.

Remember obtaining mineral rights when buying land will make the land considerably more expensive. If you are not interested in mining your land (99% of people are not), keep it simple and stick to the criteria you actually want.

Maybe you want flat land dry land to go camping.

Maybe you want rolling hilly land with dirt tracks to ride ATVs.

Keep it simple and do not get distracted by shiny objects that will send you down a rabbit hole and delay you getting your dreams. You might be able to buy your dream property for $3K-$10K. You will not be able to buy mineral rights for this amount. The price would sky rocket.

Can I Sell Mineral Rights?

In order to sell mineral rights, you must first own them. In most cases, this may cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is just not worth it.

If you are not a miner, or into mining, simply do a basic check that there are no imminent plans to mine in your area, then move on with your plans and spend your days happily living off the grid, or hiking in the woods or watching beautiful sunsets. 

If you do want to start a mining operation or you think there is an imminent risk of mining activity gearing up in your area, make a few calls to the county or hire a professional to do the work for you, or you could pay the local abstract company to prepare a “take-off” for you. A take-off is simply a listing of the books and pages where the actual deeds and other conveyances pertaining to your specific property can be found in the courthouse records.

You can tell them you want a list of only the documents that actually convey mineral rights title, rather than a “complete” list that would include land, oil and gas leases, paid mortgages etc. A “take off” is cheaper than a full abstract of title (which would include copies of the conveyances) and would save you the time and effort of searching through the index books yourself and deciding which documents actually affected the title.

You could bring the take-off list with you to the courthouse and go directly to the books that way, thus allowing you to more quickly put together your chain of title.

Some counties do not have a quality abstract office and in such cases it would be far better to look through the index books at the courthouse yourself. Usually the court clerk’s office will be familiar enough with the local abstract office to tell you if they’re any good or not.

Summary

Yes it is important to understand mineral rights when buying land, what you are buying and all the risks involved. However, sometimes the mineral rights issue costs people months and months of time as they toss and turn at night wondering if a big multi national will come knocking on their tent one day in an attempt to dig up their 20 acre parcel.

This does not happen! Do not obsess about things that do not happen.

Write a list of your criteria and what you are looking for, then take action.

Cheap Land For Sale

Cheap land for sale : Is there still any out there?

What does cheap land actually mean? 

You know in your heart of hearts there is no simple definition.

Cheap is a relative term. A New York City loft might easily go for $2 million.

If tomorrow the price drops to $1 million, this would be considered cheap…

However if I only earn $80K a year, this is still darn expensive.

Likewise if a Snickers bar is normally $1…. Then a store charges me $5.. then $5 in this scenario is expensive..

Expensive or cheap are relative terms.

What states have cheap land for sale?

So.. in absolute terms, sure there are cheaper counties.

For example in Nevada you can pick up cheap land for $300-$500 per acre. Check out our thoughts on buying land in Eureka county Nevada

In Arizona, you can get cheap land for $600-$800 per acre

In Colorado, you can get cheap land for sale at $800-$1000 per acre

It all fluctuates within that depending on access to facilities, roads, power, towns, water and so on.

But this is also where bargains can appear for the canny investor

For example there may be a ton of people looking for cheap land for sale in a certain county.

Perhaps it is far way from everything with no power, no water, no sewerage.

Most people look it over, groan, say “too difficult” and move on.

These people are prepared to pay top dollar for a site that has already been developed.

This provides opportunities for entrepreneurs. If you can see things that other people miss, you can make a killing.

You can always buy cheap land for sale that others do not seem to want. Maybe you can negotiate a little more off the price with the vendor if you apply some charm and humor. What if you handled people’s objections and installed a well and septic. (Straight forward). You could install some solar panels.

You could now put it back on the market and make a quick profit. You have provided what most people want. It is now more valuable.

Or lets keep going with this example  What if you check with the county that you can start a business on the land. So you set up a few cabins.

You then market a “digital detox” meditation/detox retreats for top stressed executives. You run adventure team building weekends, you run meditation classes, communication workshops, yoga classes, make green smoothies etc etc ( I don’t want to give you ALL my ideas ) 🙂

Later you sell the land and the business for millions.

OK, ok I got carried away… though this is possible and many people have done it successfully.

Or just do the simple things to make it live-able- install the water, septic and power. Build a liveable home/small cabin and sell the “country dream” to a lovely family.

You would 5-10x your money.

The concept of “cheap” changes over time

If I considered Bitcoin in 2013 when it was $1000..( and I did!) it was considered expensive, speculative and foolish. Just a few years later, people drool at the concept of Bitcoin being just $1000… as it now hovers around $9k-10K- and got as high as $20K in Dec 2017.

cheap land for sale

So $500 an acre for any piece of land in USA in 10 years time simply will not exist. Your kids will be asking you why you did not buy hundreds of acres while it was “so cheap”

Have you ever looked at past property prices in San Francisco or New York and asked your parents why did you not buy 10 houses instead of one? It was so cheap back then!

Cheap land for sale is a smart hedge against inflation

If you can afford land, (and you can!) it is a great idea to get some. Some people treat it like a store of wealth and a hedge against inflation. They dedicate 5-10% of their net worth to accumulating more land over time.

When I say “you can”, it is true that maybe you cannot afford your dream 10,000 acre fully- staffed ranch tomorrow but you can start small. You can buy 0.5 acre or 1 acre for under $1000 in many states. Sometimes you can get it for less than $500!

Or you can buy a 5-10 acre parcel on owner finance terms and only pay $99/month or $199/month! (see below for more on this)

It is a safe bet.

The price does not fluctuate wildly.

In 10 or 20 years you could safely assume, the price will have risen with inflation at least.

In some cases it will have risen significantly with new developments and activities in the area.

For example in Nevada, Tesla, Panasonic and Giga city is moving in BIG time.. Although this is public knowledge , the prices have not moved wildly yet.

cheap land for sale

Prices move big time once mainstream starts taking action. Once people see new hospitals, new shopping centres, new roads, new schools and cafes (though by then it is often too late- they missed it when it  was cheap!)

I am personally using this as an opportunity to buy big in Nevada. Check out more about Nevada land for sale here

I do not want to be one of those people who can see what is happening now but sit back and watch prices sky rocket and do nothing.

Then spend the next 10 years saying “shoulda, coulda, woulda” , telling everyone I meet that I was there and I saw it coming!

BUY Nevada property HERE

Land values will continue to rise over time

First, simple economic inflation causes everything to increase in price, including land.

Second, an expanding population creates an increasing demand for land. They cant make any more land. It is a scare resource.

An investment in cheap land for sale can offer security, future financial rewards, and a hedge against economic inflation.

Many people treat buying land like a stock, in that you do not have to live there to benefit.

I have many people who buy land through me without even going to see it. They check it out on google earth, do some basic research and buy.

They do not intend to live there.

They do not intend to do anything with it. They just buy and hold it and will check back on it every few years.

Meanwhile they do not need to be chasing tenants, they do not need to be mowing lawns, they do not need to fix leaky leaky roofs.

There is a significant difference between stocks and land. The stock market moves up and down based on rumour and results.

No one knows which companies will survive and prosper in the years ahead. The companies in the S & P 500 are not the same as they were 20 years ago. Many of those companies no longer exist!

How would you like your wealth based on something that might not exist in 20 years?

But your land will still be there AND be worth more in 25 years.

Many companies are mismanaged by greedy CEO’s, outdated by new technology, or otherwise fail to perform. Many large and profitable companies of 25 years ago are gone and worth nothing today, but every single acre of land is still here and worth far more today than 25 years ago.

You might be aware of some plans in your area, that will benefit you. If you do, it might be a good idea to buy land in that area or adjacent areas and watch what happens.

Cheap land for sale: Clever options on the way you purchase

You can also change the way you pay for your land to make it more affordable and ultimately more profitable.

If you can afford to pay cash, you often get a significant discount on your land.

The seller will appreciate getting paid straight away and may be prepared to lower the price for you.

Buying cheap land on terms

However if you see a great opportunity, you can elect to make terms payments on owner financed land and get the land at $99/month or $199/month. This means your outgoings are significantly lower. You are also locking in the price for the next few years and gaining the benefit of rising prices.

For example if a parcel of land is available for $15K, you might be able to get it for $300/month over 4 years.

This mean you can use it the land straight away, it is “yours” .

Fair warning, while you may be able to “use” the land, ie go camping, hiking, ride horses etc, it is unlikely the owner will let you build structures on it as you do not officially “own” it until you have made your final payment.

This is because at any time if you stop making your payments the owner can take the property back. They do not want to be responsible for any sloppy or dangerous structures you may have put up.

Once you make your final payment, the deed is transferred to you and you can build away to your hearts content.

If in 4 years time, the land is worth $25K, you can sell it straight away and pocket the difference. You locked in that price at $15K at the time. You now make $10K on sale.

Buying cheap land with cash

Always ask the seller if they will consider doing a discount for cash.

So lets say for this example of the $15K parcel of land, the seller will give you 20% off for cash.

That means you save $3K straight away.

You give them $12k. You control the property. It goes into your name straight away. You can build, install facilities, work with zoning to change permissions, whatever you want to do

If you do nothing and the price rises anyway to $25K like the last example, you will  make $13K doing nothing in 4 years time.

What if you decided to open a self storage unit on site? This means you will have installed power, services facilities, buildings, websites, advertising and so on.

Obviously you will have put up a lot of extra money to fund start up capital, but the land and the whole operation together become so much more valuable…

The value obviously depends heavily on what the value of the business is.

But just the land by itself would be far more valuable as you have put in basic services.

Summary

There is plenty of cheap land for sale around. Keep looking, keep being aware of the news. And remember to look outside your home area. Unless you wish to live there or work on the land, you do not need to be there. It is easy to spot opportunities further afield as there is nothing to maintain.

You can make buying land even cheaper buy getting discounts for cash upfront.

Or make it cheaper on a monthly basis by spreading it out into affordable monthly payment.

Both strategies work. 

Click here to check out our listings for cheap land for sale.

Remember all our properties come with 100% 90-day satisfaction guarantee…

cheap land for sale

Nevada Land For Sale

Nevada land for sale is one of the coolest topics to discuss amongst millennials, retirees, hunters, farmers and preppers. It is a stunning place to live with outstanding natural beauty, you can truly get away from the traffic, pollution and chaos.

The people are super friendly.

Super trendy high tech companies are also seeing the immense opportunity and moving in BIG time like Tesla, Zappos, Panasonic and more. Bloomberg asked the question last year if Reno was the new Silicon Valley. With this comes work opportunities for millions, but also improved infrastructure, roads, hospitals, services of all kinds-and rising land prices!

If you are buying land for investment, Nevada land is a pretty smart bet due to the millions (if not billions!) pouring into the state right now.

nevada land for sale

Equally if you actually want to get away from it all, and live off the grid and be self sufficient, there are a ton of places you can do just this.

It really does have it all and another bonus, currently Nevada land for sale is some of the cheapest out there.

Why Are You Looking At Nevada Land For Sale?

With all these awesome reason to invest in Nevada land for sale, the question you need to answer is why do YOU want land in Nevada?

Whenever you are bitten by the investing bug, it is wise to pause for 48 hours and check if you still feel the same in a couple of days time.

If you do, then move forward with confidence and do not give up until you get land in your name.

With any goal, as soon as you set it, obstacles may pop up. Get the answers you need and move forward and be an action taker.

Do not quiver and second guess yourself or let your dreams be stolen by indecision.

Here are the top 5 reasons people seek to buy Nevada land for sale. You may fit one of these, a couple of these or have different reasons completely.

It does not matter as long as you know what you are hoping to achieve.

1. Buy Nevada land as investment

Just like the stock market, there are two investment strategies that appeal to savvy investors. One is buy and hold. Land is Nevada is cheap right now.

Period.

It is a very low risk strategy. At Vacant Land USA, we have investors working with us each month looking to buy ANY Nevada land we get, as they have researched the state, they know there is a lot of activity and they foresee significant appreciation.

buy land in Nevada

These people know nothing about land.

They don’t need to.

They are not going to do anything with it.

They do not care about soil quality, water, road or nearby towns.

All they know is Nevada is growing and is at the start of a mega upward trend and in 10-20 years time, the land will be worth a lot more.

Holding costs and property taxes in Nevada are very low. For example, I have 40 acres in Nevada which I pay just $35 a year to hold.

Perfect!

I can hold that for years, do nothing with it and watch what happens. There is nothing to maintain, no roofs to fix, no tenants to chase. I can sleep well at night.

Buying land in Nevada is an awesome diversification play. A lot of people are up to the eyeballs in stocks, bonds and Bitcoin. These may go up, they may crash, they may go to zero overnight.

It is smart to spread your risk across different asset classes. Land has been there for millennia. It will be there for the rest of your lifetime, your children’s lifetime and your grandchildren’s lifetime.

Prices are stable. It is possible they stay the same over time, it is more likely they will go up over time (especially in Nevada as discussed) but is it almost impossible that they go to zero.

Stability is good. It helps good sleep!

2. Buy Nevada land to start a business

Many of our clients buy cheap land in Nevada to start a business. Some start outdoor adventure companies, some start campgrounds, some start caravan parks, mobile home parks, others start paintball /airsoft experiences, others start ranch with animals and crops.

buy land in nevada

All good options

Nevada is very pro business and the state wants business people so it is fairly straight forward to get things set up.

Another bonus for small business: Nevada has no state income tax

Before you plunge ahead, make sure you check the land usage of the parcel you are going to buy. See my free guide on the 3 essential questions to ask BEFORE buying land.

Check with the planning and zoning department in your county that your specific plans will be approved on that site.

3. Buy Nevada land to live off the grid

There is a huge trend right now to live off the grid.

To be self sufficient.

To live sustainably.

This is such a great thing to do.

However it does require skills.

A lot of them.

What will you do for shelter, food, water, power etc etc?

All very cool challenges to overcome.

If you already have skills, go for it.

If not I suggest start slowly.

Go for a weekend away, see if you like it.

The try a week, then a month.

There is a ton of info around on how to set up life off the grid- things like solar panels, water filtration, cooking on open fires and so much more. It is huge! And great fun.

Buying Nevada land for sale does not have to mean selling up your LA penthouse and go full time on the land. A lot of people choose to do half and half.

Work hard, live the city life, then spend the summer in their tent, RV, or cabin, living “off the grid” and getting back to nature, learning some skills and detoxing from the hustle and bustle.

4. Buy Nevada land as a retirement play

Many of our clients buy Nevada land now while it is cheap with a view to having it later on for when they retire.

They create options for themselves.

Then can decide to build later.

Or bring an RV to park on site.

This allows them to downsize and release equity in their home to live off.

5. Buy Nevada land as a chill-out, family holiday spot

Many of our best memories come from family holidays or college trips away camping. Toasting marshmallows under the stars, singing songs, having great discussions.

Buying Nevada land for sale allows you to have that whenever you want.

Go every weekend with the kids or with your friends. Go dirt biking, camping, hiking, ride ATVs or just chill out and listen to that rare sound… silence…

To Buy Nevada Land For Sale By Owner Or Go With A Broker?

There are a lot of opportunities in Nevada to buy land direct from the owner.

This is a great way to go.

The owner can generally tell you a lot about the area and the property. They are not a high pressure salesman. They are generally honest, down to earth and want their land to go to a good home.

The price is often much better as they do not charge commissions.

The sale is often easy and straight forward.

Land in Nevada is cheap and to be honest the brokers are nowhere to be found as they would not work for such low commissions.

A broker can make sense in a bigger deals where you need some expertise. For example if you are looking to buy a thriving farm or agricultural business worth millions of dollars.

A broker might have a list of 3-5 such business they can show you to cut down your search time and advise you on the pros and cons of each transaction.

Top 3 Reasons To Buy Land in Nevada

We think buying land in Nevada is a smart move right now.

Here are our top 3 reasons to check out Nevada

Land in Nevada is Cheap

Nevada land for sale is typically priced around $350-$600 an acre

The cost of land per acre in neighboring states is significantly higher

Arizona is typically $700-1200 per acre

Colorado is $1000-$5000 per acre

California is $5000 and upwards per acre

As discussed above, Nevada is cheap but there is so much business activity happening, investment dollars pouring in, that it is on the cusp of a long and steady move upwards

Low Cost Of Living In Nevada 

Nevada has no state income tax. Add on top of that, general living costs are low. Nevada has one of the lowest costs in the country for housing, food, entertainment and transport.

There are a ton of “must- see destinations in Nevada, It is not all about Las Vegas.

Check out Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon and Lake Tahoe and lots of national parks 

The Silver State is also home to cool communities packed with restaurants, shops and entertainment venues, and no matter the season, outdoor adventurers can enjoy mountain biking, fishing, hunting, hiking and skiing and more

Land Investment Is Cool

Diversification of assets is always cool.

Land investing is cool with smart investors

Land investing is cool with off gridders and preppers who are getting ready and preparing for the “just in case: scenario

Land investing is cool with small business looking to grow

Land investing is cool with big companies looking to bring their executives for team building experiences in the great outdoors.

Land investing is cool with downsizers looking to live more cheaply and not work so hard

Do yourself a favor and check out our current land for sale in Nevada.

If you are looking for something not on our site, email us and let us know. We continue to acquire land all the time.