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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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