10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Alabama

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10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Alabama

Bart Waldon

From its verdant rolling hills to its spectacular Gulf Coast beaches, Alabama offers diverse landscapes that continue to attract land buyers from across the country. In fact, Alabama saw over $2 billion worth of land sales in 2020 alone, according to data from the Alabama Association of Realtors®. With access to abundant natural resources, a low cost of living, and welcoming communities statewide, it's no wonder Alabama ranks as one of the top states for recreational and rural land purchases. 

On average, vacant rural land in Alabama sells for around $3,303 per acre, according to the most recent Alabama land market report. That's far more affordable than land prices in neighboring states like Florida or Georgia. Whether you're looking for timberland to harvest, farmland to cultivate crops, hunting acreage, or a scenic spot to build your dream home, buying land in Alabama offers fantastic ROI potential and enjoyment for years to come. Here are 10 reasons we are seeing more people turn to Alabama as an ideal place to invest in recreational, agricultural, or development land.

Reasons to Buy Alabama Land

Affordable Pricing

Compared to much of the country, land prices in Alabama are very reasonable. In the northern half of the state, you can find acreage starting around $2,500 per acre. In central regions prices range from $3,000-7,000 per acre depending on exact location and property features. Coastal areas and major southern cities see higher per-acre costs but remain affordable compared to other states - expect to pay $10,000-15,000 per acre. For recreational properties with timber, hunting opportunities or water access, this pricing is hard to beat. Even land suitable for residential or commercial development tends to cost a fraction of what it would in other states.

Business-Friendly Environment

Alabama works hard to attract new businesses by maintaining a company-friendly legal environment and tax structure. Corporate income tax rates max out at 6.5%, making them among the lowest in the South. Local and state governments offer attractive incentives like tax credits/exemptions, workforce training programs, and cash grants for relocation/expansion projects.

Specific incentive programs provide resources for job training, R&D, infrastructure development and more. Additionally, Alabama has right-to-work legislation in place ensuring no mandatory union membership requirements. The overall business climate makes Alabama an appealing location for companies looking to buy land for headquarters, factories, warehouses and other facilities.

Growing Population Centers

Several major Alabama cities, like Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham, have seen steady population growth over the past decade. Huntsville, in particular, has experienced rapid expansion thanks to tech sector job growth. An influx of new residents and businesses brings rising property values over time. Purchasing land near developing residential or commercial areas can pay off over the long run. Focusing on suburbs also provides lower buy-in costs than city centers.

Tourism Appeal

Thanks to mountains, beaches, lakes, forests and more, Alabama brings in over $14 billion per year from tourism. Popular destinations like Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Lake Guntersville, Smith Lake and the Talladega Superspeedway continue to expand. Buying land in high-traffic tourist regions creates options like building rentals for seasonal visitors or recreation-based businesses like marinas and outfitters. Statewide programs market effectively to visitors leading to rising numbers year after year.

Agricultural Opportunities

While known for production of cotton, peanuts, broilers and other commodities, Alabama still has abundant suitable acreage for those looking to get into crops or raising livestock. High quality land runs $4,000-$6,000 per acre but even smaller plots can successfully grow high value orchards and produce. Beef cattle, poultry, catfish and soybeans offer potential crops as well. Getting in now with agricultural land starts around $2,500/acre, before prices rise further, creates future revenue potential.

Natural Resources

Alabama's rich oil reserves and mineral deposits make it a prime location for energy and materials production. Active drilling, mining and timber harvesting operations provide jobs and economic resources. Rich deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone, forest products and natural gas are spread throughout the state. Major resource companies continue exploration here keeping values high. Purchasing land rich in deposits or timber stands offers current lumber sale or lease opportunities and future asset value as scarcity increases over time.

Mild Climate

The state enjoys warm weather most of the year, with brief mild winters. Average summer high temperatures range 85-90 F while winter lows rarely drop below freezing even in the northern parts of the state. This allows near year-round enjoyment of outdoor recreational properties. For agricultural uses it enables longer growing seasons. With average summer highs in the 80s or 90s and winter lows in the 40s, the climate is comfortable overall supporting an outdoor lifestyle.

Outstanding Universities and Colleges

Respected institutions like Auburn University, University of Alabama, University of South Alabama, Alabama A&M, Troy State and others attract students from across the country. Major college towns offer vibrant economies and rising property valuations so purchasing land near campuses can pay off through demand for student housing, retail, dining and services. Both wet and dry counties cater to university populations in different ways. Opportunites abound to supply permanent resident needs as well as Parent's Weekend, Graduation and SEC football visitors.

Logistics Hubs

Major interstates like I-65, I-20/59 and I-85 combined with inland ports have helped establish Alabama as a logistics center. Metropolitan areas like Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery serve distribution needs for agriculture, manufacturing, energy and other industries. Warehouses, cross-docks and intermodal rail facilities continue rapid development to support ecommerce, transloading/forwarding and JIT inventory systems. Land along these corridors and near multimodal transit centers caters to this booming freight economy.

Quality of Life

While business factors make a strong case for buying land in Alabama, outstanding quality of life considerations like warm weather, southern hospitality, family-friendly communities and abundant outdoor paradises seal the deal. Quiet small towns, bustling urban centers, Gulf coast beaches, Tennessee Valley recreation and everywhere in between, the state offers an unbeatable lifestyle alongside smart real estate investments.

Should You Invest in Alabama Land?

Alabama Offers Affordable Prices

Compared to much of the country, land in Alabama comes at very reasonable costs. In many areas, an acre can be purchased for under $10,000. Even properties suitable for development or recreation often have lower buy-in pricing than other states. This affordability makes Alabama land attractive as an investment.

Strong Economics Support Values

Major population centers across Alabama are experiencing growth in both residents and businesses. This leads to rising property valuations over time. A low corporate tax rate, right-to-work legislation, and incentive programs also continue attracting companies. Robust tourism and agriculture industries help local economies statewide. These factors suggest land investments will see good returns.

Ideal Conditions for Appreciation

In addition to economics, Alabama offers inherent advantages that raise demand for properties, such as mild weather, natural resources including timber and oil, and an outdoor lifestyle. The state's central location also supports logistics with highways, railways and ports. As infrastructure expands so does the potential value of well-located parcels.

Risks Involved

While Alabama land presents many promising aspects, all investments do come with risks. Conduct thorough due diligence around zoning, mineral rights, easements, flood zones and more to make informed buying decisions. Not all regions will necessarily see even growth so target higher potential areas. Work with a knowledgeable local real estate professional from initial search through closing.

The bottom line is Alabama provides affordable, promising land investment opportunities but do exercise caution by researching thoroughly and understanding the market.

Final Thoughts

With advantages spanning strong economy and job growth to affordability and great weather, Alabama checks many boxes as a prime state to purchase land. Whether seeking acreage for recreation, development, agriculture or other uses, opportunities abound to secure properties with long-lasting asset value and income potential. Acting now, while the market remains balanced for buyers and prices are still reasonable compared to future valuations, lets you take full advantage of all the reasons to buy land here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land are available for purchase in Alabama?

There are recreational properties, farmland and crop acreage, timberland, hunting land, land for residential or commercial development, and more available across Alabama. Coastal regions also offer parcels near beaches and waterways. There are abundant options no matter what the intended use.

What does pricing look like for vacant land?

That varies significantly by exact location and land features, but Alabama tends to be very affordable. In rural inland areas, acreage can start around $2,000. Near cities or sites suitable for building, expect prices from $5,000-15,000 per acre. Highly desirable recreational properties can reach up to $30,000 an acre.

Are incentives available for buying agricultural land?

Yes, Alabama offers tax breaks for timberland and agricultural usage. Some counties also provide tax incentives when land is used for poultry or livestock production. And there are farm loan programs through the FSA and other institutions. Be sure to research what’s available.

Does Alabama experience extreme weather from storms or other events?

While tornadoes do rarely occur and hurricanes sometimes impact southern coastal cities, Alabama actually sees lower risk than many states. Snow is generally light, while summers are hot but no hotter than neighboring regions. Overall the weather is relatively mild year-round.

What steps should I take when preparing to buy?

Research zoning regulations, easements, mineral rights and other legal conditions on prospective parcels. Get inspections for rural land or surveys for development sites. Find a great local real estate agent to guide you. And work with a lender experienced in land loans to arrange financing suited to raw acreage.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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