It may seem like property prices are out of reach for many people, but there are ways to find cheap land if you really want it and are willing to look a bit and to go where the land is. While it’s true that you are not going to find cheap land in the middle of Manhattan or Los Angeles, there are many other places in the United States where cheap land is plentiful.
First, identify areas that routinely have cheap land. You are most likely to find good deals in rural communities and isolated areas without services. You can get a good idea of average prices by watching property prices in a local newspaper over a period of several months. Choose a few areas that interest you the most.
Search property listings in those areas. Get an idea of what the normal prices are. Narrow your search to areas that have cheap land listed on a regular basis. You can find listings online and in area newspapers and real estate listing booklets. Be sure to look at the type of salaries that people in the area get. Most places with cheap land also have low salaries, and this should be taken into account when you are looking.
If you find cheap land in an otherwise expensive area, ask yourself why. In most cases there is a reason the land is being offered for a low price, and you should approach such deals with extreme caution. Never buy a property sight unseen, as ads can be misleading. Verify with an independent source that the property you are considering has good, legal access in the form of a road or an easement. Consider the cost of bringing power and other utilities to the site when you are deciding the worth of the property to you.
Check to see if you qualify for a free property program in any state. The federal Homestead Act was repealed in 1976, but there are still ways to get free property. Kansas, for example, has a number of communities that offer free land to people who meet certain qualifications. Also watch for government land sales, especially through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These properties are almost always undeveloped and are offered at a fair market value, but in many locations that still equates to cheap land.
Make an offer on any property you find that you feel is suitable. Be sure to include any conditions that must be met in the offer, such as good access or an adequate well. This can save you many headaches later. You can offer less than the asking price, but if you go too low your offer may very well be rejected. If your offer is accepted, you only have to pay the agreed-upon price in order to complete your acquisition of some cheap land.
Your best deals are likely to be in rural or unpopulated areas. In some cases you will need to put in your own road and bring in utilities, but in many of these areas you can do the work without having to hire a contractor, saving you a great deal of money on the development of your property. Cheap land is out there; you just have to find it.