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Land Discussion Blog

Cheap Land For Sale!

Cheap Land For Sale!

Many land shoppers would like to find some cheap land to buy. At least, they think they would like to buy some cheap land. But exactly what is “cheap land” anyway? How do you identify it? What are it’s problems? And, do you really want cheap land? In this post, we look at the idea of “buying cheap land” and what it means for you.



cheap land graphic

Let’s Start with a call from Dave….

I get calls like it very often. Let’s call this guy “Dave”.

I’m looking for 80 acres, or so, of really good hunting land,” says Dave soundly when I pick up the phone and before I can finish saying my name.

I need land that holds lots of deer and turkey. I like to hunt deer mostly. I’m looking to finally get my own property where I can go and have a really good chance to harvest a big buck.”

Plus, my kids and I love to hunt pheasants and ducks, so that’s important too.” he continues. “And, I’ve dreamed of having my own farm pond since I was a kid too. My whole family loves to eat crappies and to catch big bass, so having a pond on the property with these fish is important too.”

I definitely want to build on the property at some point too,” Dave continues. “So having easy access with available power and water are key as well. And, we like our privacy so we want lots of elbow room from our neighbors.”

Is there anything else you’d like this property to have?” I ask, when I finally get a chance to cut in. “Well, the whole family loves to ride dirt bikes and atv’s so we don’t want topography that is too steep and/or dangerous for that.”

What about price”? I quiz. “Well that’s just the thing – I see land advertised all over for close to $4,000 per acre – that’s pure craziness!” “I want cheap land!” “I certainly don’t want to spend more than $1800 per acre for this. In fact, that’s my absolute top end.”



Does reality meet expectations?

The above conversation is fictitious but is very representative of many calls that I have on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. And I’m sure I’m not the only land selling real estate broker around that can say that!

There is nothing wrong with these questions! I love talking with people about land features in general and going over their “wish lists” with them. The problem lies in the expectations. In my region, land with most or all of the described features would be considered very premium and would command a premium price – $3500 per acre on up. Asking for all of these features on a land parcel for such a low price, while not absolutely impossible to find, might be akin to winning the state lottery!

Most folks realize at some point what they can actually get for their money.

It might take some time but after plying around the market they realize that there is often a very big difference between what they really want and what it is they think they want. That is, there is a difference between cheap land and the property that they may be dreaming of!


What is cheap land like?

First, let’s describe what cheap land isn’t like.

Cheap land isn’t “bargain” land. That is, the way we are discussing it here anyway, cheap land is not land that would normally be considered quality land that is found to be, or is later negotiated to be, land that is being sold at a bargain price.

A quality parcel that one may dredge up after lots of scrounging around the market and perhaps negotiation is usually not cheap land but rather is bargain-priced land. Bargain deals on quality parcels exist but are normally hard to come by and are not what we are calling cheap land for this post.

Cheap land – for purposes of this post – is something else.

Cheap land is land that starts off at a cheap price or lower than normal price for similar-sized parcels in the same area.

Simple enough, right?

Cheap land, thus, isn’t normally quality land that has a low price for some odd reason.  

I say isn’t “normally” because sometimes the path of cheap land and bargain land intersect and they become one! Sometimes they are the same thing….but not usually.

Cheap land is normally “cheap” for a reason!

As I recall my finance professor years ago figuratively beating us over the heads with the repeated phrase, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”.

I’ve since learned that he is right!

Very right!

Are you sure you want cheap land? Maybe you do. You definitely might!

Just be sure you know what it usually is.


Is there a reason the land is cheap?  (Maybe it’s because the land is on another planet:)



There probably is a reason the land is cheap.

Perhaps it is location – does a train track or noisy highway run next to any possible building site that might erase any idea of a quiet night’s sleep that you’ve ever had!

Maybe the land has a bunch of old trash and garbage on it. Don’t laugh. I still have vivid images of a rather feeble looking lady backing up to a piece of ground I was soon to list and dumping an old couch and several chairs right into a little plum thicket. Hard to believe. No…not for me anymore!

Or, maybe the land is so far off the beaten trail that there is no fiscally responsible way for the average human being to get a power or water line in.

Maybe it’s a stigmatized property, a place where someone committed suicide or was perhaps murdered? Terrible, to say the least, but possible. Do you want to save some dollars to have this type of property?

There are lots and lots of other reasons why any given parcel may be cheap land for sale. Perhaps a neighbor has easement rights across it. Perhaps the neighborhood is bad and full of crime.

Maybe your intentions are to start farming the land. What is the soil quality like? What about drainage and potential flooding? Is there good access in and out of fields under various types of weather conditions?

Maybe the land has a poor chain-of-title (clouded title) and the seller can’t give you a general warranty deed to guarantee you full ownership rights. Could be.

Be sure to avoid quit claim deeds where the seller is only granting you any interest that he/she has in the property – even if they don’t have any – and not guaranteeing you full ownership rights to the legally described parcel.

So now you know a little about what cheap land tends to be like – land that is cheap for a reason!


What determines if the price of land is cheap or not?

How does one even know what cheap land is in the first place, in terms of price?

I mean, before we can decide if land really is cheap in price compared to others we first need to know what “normal” prices are for similar types/sizes of land tracts in the same region – right?

For sure.

I checked out the assessment and found a parcel for $300”, a friend told me a while back. Three hundred bucks? I said. “Yep, $300 and it’s for a full 10 acres too – the perfect size parcel for that cabin I wanted to build. I’m going to give the guy a call”.

“Sure, but don’t bet too much on that valuation, I told him.  I can run a comparative market analysis for you and give you a good feel for what it is worth – and it’s going to be a lot more than that assessment of value, I can assure you”.

I told my friend this not to scare him away from a potential property but to spill him the facts as quickly as possible: don’t put much weight on a land’s assessed value.

An assessed value is used for taxation reasons and managed by the county assessor’s office. It is done every so often on all real property in a given county to establish a tax rate for the real estate they assess.

Often, land values are assessed at a much lower rate than real market value.

A much better indicator of any given land’s real market value can be accomplished by an experienced land broker with access to local mls or company sales data on file. Or, by hiring the services of an experienced rural real estate land appraiser.

Another approach is to scour past sales data yourself, by combing through county assessor sales cards which are often available online.


So – I ask you this question now – Do you want cheap land?

You might!

If so, it’s time to get busy looking and scouring the market. I just wanted to ensure that you are aware, first, of what to expect. Maybe you will run across that cheap parcel that is also a bargain parcel (remember, we talked about the difference between the two and that they can be one and the same). I hope you do!

That’s just the reason I started this site — to make it easy for people just like you to find and to list the exact land parcel(s) they are looking for and/or have for sale, whether it’s cheap land, bargain land, or an upscale premium parcel!

I want to help buyers and sellers unite with the exact land parcel they are looking for. Remember, you can always browse our listings and list properties yourself right here for FREE! Our site reaches millions of potential buyers across dozens of difference platforms.

Good Luck!