Buying land - is it worthwhile?

No raw land here. I’d say it’s a good bet if you’ll actually develop it or use personally, but otherwise it’s just an illiquid asset you’ll have to pay taxes on.

I’ve toyed with buying random New Orleans empty lots in my IRA and just sitting on them, but I’m a little too late now.


@imbatman i’m from N. Atlanta area (Alpharetta/Cumming area) too and am interested in buying land. can you send me a few links to those lots you mentioned? appreciate it. been a FWF member from 2002 :slight_smile:

it looks like I spoke too soon. The lots around our property appear to be sold (or at least pulled off the market). I should ask the neighbors what’s up.

Here’s 5 acre lots under $30k with road frontage in Gilmer/Ellijay

We’re on hwy 52 in NW Gilmer, almost in Murray County. It looks like highway frontage there is going for $12k/acre on smaller lots. goto zillow, search 30540 zip code, and follow hwy 52 until it ends to search what’s available up there on a map.
Makes me wish I’d bought it all up in 2008/2009 for under $1k/acre (lots of developers went under)

In my rather limited experience looking at land/lots for investments…I’ve noticed prices that vary wildly, for no good reason. It could be that you just have 2 sellers with much different motivation. Compared with homes in a populated area…rural land is a very illiquid asset…and can take months/years to sell. Creates a difficult thing to really “comp”

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I’ve had similar ideas. The only thing I’ve learned is that you are going to have a hard time getting a mortgage (might need 50% down and triple the interest rate of buying a house, 10% in today’s climate), and also you’ll be paying property taxes on it forever, even though you’ll get virtually no benefit of that taxation and the taxes might be $500 or $1k or more per year depending on the location.

Very interested to see what you come up with since it’s something I’d eventually like to do as well, later in life.

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Our plans may have changed in the blink of an eye…

Any deer on your property? A couple friends and I are always looking for a good hunting lease. It might pay your taxes. I live in Cumming, myself.

I completely understand the desire. I can’t really explain it, but I am also fascinated with the idea of owning 10 acres some place with some woods and water. I don’t know exactly why. Always grew up in suburban neighborhoods but loved hiking and camping with the Boy Scouts and love those N Ga mountains. :slight_smile:

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There is some value to raw land relatively unconstained by pesky neighbors and unimaginative city permitting and zoning officials.

It’s a primal instinct to want to own your own land. People have this unconscious fear of being converted into landless serfs again. But unless you have some specific use for the land, land ownership just means you’ve earned the right to pay property taxes like clockwork.

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Yea. We have some deer. But we let our neighbors hunt on it. In return they keep an eye on the place and cut trees across the road in if we let them know we are coming up. He got a 12 point buck on our property in recent history (last 10 years or so).

I have been interested in owning some land since my teenage days. That’s because I like doing stuff outside, such as camping, fishing, hiking, etc. Unfortunately, I haven’t really done a lot of that simply due to where we live and how busy our lives have become. No doubt, I’m sure I could make the time, and my laziness has gotten the best of me (as shown by my ever expanding waistline).

I have no fear of the apocalypse or whatever. I just want to not have to pay $40 a night to go setup my tent in a field, around a bunch of other people doing the same thing. I want to be able to go to my land, stay up and drink beers with friends and family as late as I want, for “free.”

Paying a couple grand in taxes per year for a plot of land within a couple hours from my home does not bother me. At that point, it’s up to me to get the value out of the taxes I pay.

You could pay anyone a whole lot less than $2k a year and go do this on their big piece of land whenever you want. And you won’t feel the need to do it every year.

What are the “headaches associated with vacationing?” you mention in the OP?


Airfare, hotel, rental car, “scheduling,” travel in general, etc. If we had a piece of land with at least a shed on it, we could lock up our tent and supplies in there and only have to bring a cooler with beer/water and a cooler with food. The rest of it could stay on the land. Makes it easy to stay for a few days and leave, or plan to stay a few days and then leave early if we wanted. Meaning, leaving home is a simple job and leaving the land is a simple job.

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It’s interesting how the grass is always greener. I’ve always lived in rural or suburban-ish areas. My idea vacation getaway is an apartment in NYC.


I’m going to be playing the disaster recovery game of relaxed permits and zoning due to CA wildfires , to stick some RVs on land that would never normally allow it

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I remember there being an old FW thread about buying state land in Alaska. You could even use a credit card to make the purchase. Not sure if the state is still doing it…The land was pretty much inaccessible

Yeah, there seem to be a TON of landlocked lots which are otherwise beautiful, but you can’t do anything without technically trespassing on a 20-foot section of land along the road that someone owns, to get to your 40 acre plot. These tend to go for less than 50% of similar plots in the area.

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. :slight_smile:

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.


They drill first where the views are magnificent?