If you’re a downstate New Yorker looking to buy land, I have good news. Downstate NY elites have been incredibly successful in depressing land prices upstate, especially in the beautiful Southern Tier. Existing landowners upstate, of course, have been devastated. And I’m not without sympathy for their plight, especially the distress of older landowners who pretty much at this point are wiped out and have no hope. I’m writing this assuming you are a younger person because you said your child is very young. For younger people hope remains. Here is the detail.
Certain rural upstate NY lands, rich in Marcellus and Utica shale, are worth a fortune. But the drilling ban in NY has destroyed prospects for older current landowners, and frankly their lives as well. Their land, when offered for sale, is selling for prices FAR below inherent worth. Should the ban ever be lifted, prices on that land will skyrocket and landowners will be in the chips.
Writing from personal experience, I can also tell you modern drilling for natural gas is no worse than temporarily annoying. Advances in drilling science are astonishing, even just in these last ten years. All the real action is happening between one and two miles away, straight down! Once the wells are drilled you don’t even know they are there. Contrary to what city people believe, there is no pollution beyond annoying truck traffic and dust, and that is only during well construction. Afterward: nothing; except royalties, of course.
So if you want inexpensive NY land, buy now upstate “in the shale”. But do not think small. The land is cheap. Your absolute bottom should be 100 acres. Try to buy high land if you can find it. The views are magnificent, and that’s where they drill first.