where to buy cheap land

You can still buy an acre of land for $500 to $2,500 in parts of the United States. Just don’t expect a Starbucks down the street—or within a hundred miles.

The U.S. is a huge country, with plenty of wide open land. If you don’t care about nearby amenities, you can buy cheap land.

That said, the cheapest raw land tends to sit in a handful of states. Use this data to help kickstart your search for your own perfect plot of paradise. Or more accurately, the cheapest land available in the country.

Where to Buy Cheap Land: States and Counties

When you start digging into the cheapest counties in the U.S., start with the states where they cluster.

Focus on the following states and counties to find the right fit for your needs. I ranked them by the average cost per acre, as reported by LandSearch, although I also incorporated anecdotal data from other land investors to form this list. Listen to the episode below for more details on how to use LandSearch.

1. New Mexico

Average Price Per Acre: $3,337

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Luna County
  • Valencia County
  • Sandoval County
new mexico los lunas adobe church

An old adobe church in Los Lunas, Valencia County, NM

While there’s more to New Mexico than desert, the cheapest land in New Mexico does tend to be desert land far from the larger cities.

You can find particularly cheap land near the town of Deming in Luna County, and the towns of Bosque, Belen, and Rio Communities in Valencia County. You can also check out the cheap land northwest of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho in Sandoval County.

There’s beautiful hiking and camping in the Organ Mountains outside Las Cruces, and in White Sands National Monument. I lived there briefly and can attest to it. The nearby land isn’t as cheap as some parts of New Mexico, but in general, your money goes further buying land in the Land of Enchantment than it does in most of the U.S.

2. Wyoming

Average Price Per Acre: $3,852

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Albany County
  • Natrona County
albany county courthouse

Albany County Courthouse in Laramie, WY

It’s harder to find small, cheap lots of land in Wyoming than in New Mexico. Plots tend to sell in larger parcels, driving up the total purchase price. But on a per-acre basis, Wyoming offers the second cheapest land of any state.

And besides, larger parcels offer opportunities for subdividing lots for a profit.

Wyoming doesn’t boast a lot of booming metropolises. The rolling scrub-covered hills offer their own rugged beauty, however.

Check out the land near Casper in Natrona County as an easy starting point. If you want to go even more rugged and further from the beaten path, look north of Wilcox in Albany County.

3. Colorado

Average Price Per Acre: $6,464

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Pueblo County
  • Costilla County
  • Saguache County
  • Park County
road in costilla county

A road in Costilla County, CO

The Front Range of Colorado is notoriously expensive, as are the ski resort towns dotting the Rockies. But much of Colorado is either empty, desert, or both.

In your hunt for where to buy cheap land in Colorado, start in Pueblo County. The area surrounding Colorado City offers plenty of cheap lots.

Next, look south to Costilla County and the region to the west of San Luis. You can also find cheap land in Saguache County to the east of… well, Saguache.

Park County offers some larger lots that are cheap on a per-acre basis as well.

4. Oklahoma

Average Price Per Acre: $7,850

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Adair County
  • Cherokee County
  • Comanche County
  • Delaware County
  • Tillman County
  • Harmon County
road to Mt Scott

A road leading to Mt Scott, Comanche County, OK

While known for its valuable farmland, you can also buy cheap land in Oklahoma. It may or may not offer good farming, or be near any significant towns, however.

Check out the hills north of Chewey in Adair County for some low-cost options. Just north across the border in Delaware County, you can also find affordable plots.

Several of Oklahoma’s counties also rank among the cheapest home prices in the country. See the interactive map down below.

5. Mississippi

Average Price Per Acre: $8,951

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Walthall County
  • Marion County
  • Copiah County
  • Pike County
  • Coahoma County
  • Jasper County

welcome to mississippi

If you’re looking for forests, bayous, or open fields, you might find them at bargain prices in Mississippi.

Check around Dexter in Walthall County, or slightly to the east around Hurricane Creek in neighboring Marion County. To the west, look around Leggett and Dykes Crossing in Pike County.

For median home prices, Coahoma County ranks among the cheapest in the nation. More on that shortly.

Most of Mississippi remains affordable, however, so keep hunting until you find a quiet corner that you like.

6. Oregon

Average Price Per Acre: $9,221

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Lake County
  • Klamath County
crater lake national park

Crater Lake National Park, Klamath County, OR

Surprised to see a lower cost per acre in Oregon than West Virginia?

Most people assume Oregon is all expensive, given Portland’s outlandish property prices. But Oregon is a huge state, and some of it is downright cheap.

In particular, check out the area surrounding Christmas Valley in Lake County. You can also find cheap land lots near the Sprague River in Klamath County, surrounded by buttes.

7. West Virginia

Average Price Per Acre: $9,441

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Clay County
  • Wayne County
  • Monroe County
  • Wyoming County
interstate 79

Interstate 79 is a major highway that passes through Clay County, WV

West Virginia proudly lives up to its slogan of “Wild and wonderful.”

For forests, mountains, lakes, rivers, and other outdoor recreation, the entire state offers plenty of affordable land. Try the mountains near Pedro in Monroe County in southern West Virginia for cheap land. Or look along the Elk River in central Clay County.

In the west of the state, look around in the rugged hills surrounding Wayne. Median homes in Wyoming County rank among the cheapest properties in the U.S.

Regardless of where you look, the state remains an affordable place for outdoors enthusiasts.

8. Maine

Average Price Per Acre: $9,799

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Penobscot County
  • Aroostook County
bangor waterfront

Bangor, ME, county seat of Penobscot County

Another surprising entry for many, Maine offers some of the cheapest land in the Northeast.

Maine has relatively low population density, keeping it relatively affordable. Take Linneus or Amity in Aroostook County, for example—you can find excellent outdoor recreation here, at low land prices.

Or look around Hermon or Franklin in Penobscot County for similar secluded parcels. Just don’t expect any of these areas to be easy to access, or near major amenities.

Beware that you may have trouble finding small plots, like much of the cheapest land in the U.S. You can find low per-acre prices in parts of Maine, but they may come in large parcels with hefty total price tags.

9. Arkansas

Average Price Per Acre: $13,438

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Jefferson County
  • Miller County
  • Hot Spring County
  • Izard County
  • Chicot County
  • Baxter County
  • Fulton County
mirror lake arkansas

Mirror Lake, AR

Agriculture dominates the economy in much of Arkansas, including Jefferson, Miller, and Chicot Counties. But there’s more to Arkansas than just farmland.

Arkansas is rich in lakes, including 44 in Fulton County alone. Anglers will also appreciate the fishing in the Arkansas River, which runs through Jefferson County. Izard County offers great hiking at Mirror Lake Waterfall, Blanchard Springs Canyons, and Ozark Folk Center State Park.

For mountainous landscapes, try Baxter County. It too features plenty of lakes, and tourism dominates the local economy.

10. Texas

Average Price Per Acre: $14,566

Cheap Counties for Land:

  • Culberson County
  • Presidio County
  • Hudspeth County
  • El Paso County
  • Hamilton County
el capitan

“El Capitan,” Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX

You may not think of Texas when you think of cheap land, given its booming cities like Dallas, Houston, and Austin. But Texas is a huge state, with plenty of rural and largely empty land. The expensive land in urban areas and oil-rich tracts skew the average per-acre price higher, but you can score great deals if you know where to buy cheap land in Texas.

Start hunting around Fort Hancock in Hudspeth County for cheap land for sale. Or look around Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Culberson County, or the colorful McKittrick Canyon.

You can buy relatively cheap land not far from the sizable city of El Paso, with its population of around 677,000. Or you can look at land near the wineries in Hamilton County for a surprising change of pace.

Mapping the Cheapest Counties by Property Sales

Raw land sells on many different platforms, and there’s little comprehensive data to compare every single county in the U.S. But the same can’t be said for residential properties.

Using data from Zillow, we mapped (nearly) every county in the country by median home prices:

While home prices and land prices don’t correlate perfectly, they’re awfully close. By mapping residential real estate prices, you get a pretty clear picture of land prices across the country.

That said, bear in mind that large parcel sales skew the total prices higher, even when the price per acre remains low. And a county with a wealthy town in it might still contain cheap land elsewhere in the county.

Mapping the Cheapest Towns in the U.S.

Likewise, mapping the cheapest towns in the country can also help you find where to buy cheap land.

As you hunt for cheap land, try searching around the most affordable towns in the U.S.:

Again, median home prices don’t perfectly match the cheapest land prices, but they offer a strong indicator. Check the surrounding counties for cheap land and you’ll often find it.

Start with the ten cheapest towns in the country, along with their median home prices:

  1. Helena, AR $45,390
  2. Clarksdale, MS $49,995
  3. Selma, AL $70,158
  4. Greenville, MS $70,369
  5. Forrest City, AR $75,005
  6. Middlesborough, KY $75,663
  7. Kennett, MO $79,813
  8. Coffeyville, KS $79,922
  9. Parsons, KS $81,353
  10. Danville, IL $82,160

Realistic Expectations About Counties With Cheap Land

At the risk of stating the obvious, cheap land is cheap for a reason.

My grandfather used to say, “Yeah, and if you believe that, I’ve got some swampland in Florida to sell you.” Consider that expression before buying cheap land.

That said, there’s plenty of money to be made flipping land. Or buying and holding land, for that matter. And when you buy cheap land, you can often avoid land loans altogether.

Land investing offers a simple way to earn money from real estate without leaving home, but it’s not without its risks. Before buying land, make sure you understand the highest and best use for that land, and have a plan in place to capitalize on it. For example, that could include recreational use, such as camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing. Or it could include building a house or farming.

Regardless, you need to understand the ideal uses for any land before buying it—and then you need to know how to market that land accordingly.

There’s no one perfect county for land investing in the U.S. But the data above should give you some starting points in your search for where to buy cheap land.

About the author

Brian Davis is the co-founder of SparkRental.com, a service offering free online rent collection, a free rental property calculator, free video course on boosting rental returns, and a free rental application. Reach out at any time, Brian is extremely easy to reach and responsive!

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