10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Delaware

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10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Delaware

Bart Waldon

With its stunning beaches, open countryside and unique scenic landscapes, Delaware offers diverse natural attractions that appeal to many prospective land buyers across the country seeking space for recreation, agriculture, and development. In fact, according to recent U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, there are over 2,100 operating farms in Delaware spanning some 525,000 acres of rural land across the state. With Delaware land presenting unique opportunities at affordable prices for those looking to invest, build or develop, it is no wonder so many buyers flock to the First State when searching for their ideal plot.

In this article, we will explore 10 key reasons Delaware continues to top wish lists for land buyers nationwide. From idyllic rural and coastal settings to pro-business policies and favorable tax structures, let’s examine some of the primary factors driving demand for Delaware land.

Reasons to Buy Land in Delaware

1. Beautiful Coastline for Recreation and Living

With 28 miles of stunning Atlantic coastline featuring popular beaches like Rehoboth, Dewey, Bethany and Lewes, Delaware offers unmatched coastal access for relaxation, recreation and living the laidback beach lifestyle many desire. Vacant land for sale near Delaware’s picturesque coasts appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to build beach homes for year-round enjoyment. Waterfront views and ready beach access make coastal Delaware land a major attraction among buyers.

2. Low Property and Income Tax Rates

Delaware features some of the lowest property tax rates in the Mid-Atlantic region, with average effective property tax rates of 0.45% which compare very favorably to the 1%+ rates seen in surrounding states. Delaware also does not charge tax on retirement income or pensions. The state’s very reasonable real estate taxes and absence of income taxes charged after age 60 make buying land and constructing homes extremely affordable in the First State for retirees and prospected buyers focused on keeping costs down long-term.

3. Proximity to Major Metro Areas

Despite its quiet, rural vibe, Delaware actually offers convenient access to several major East Coast metropolitan and urban areas that are key lifestyle and economic draws. With Delaware situated just south of Philadelphia, west of the New Jersey shoreline and north of Baltimore-Washington D.C., land buyers can enjoy country living while staying within reach of coastline beach towns or big cities with major professional sports teams, international airports and an abundance of culture. The ideal location caters to many buyer preferences.

4. Business Friendly Environment

In addition to land catering to personal buyers seeking space for homes, farms, or recreation, Delaware has earned a reputation over the decades as a highly business friendly state with corporations large and small flocking to set up headquarters or additional locations to take advantage of favorable business regulations, licensing processes and tax environments that foster growth. Major national brands like Dupont, Sallie Mae and AstraZeneca call Delaware their official home. For entrepreneurs or companies considering headquarters or regional offices, commercial land parcels present attractive options.

5. Agricultural Staple in the Community

Despite being the country’s second smallest state by total land area, agriculture and related industries contribute over $8 billion to Delaware’s economy annually. From its famous chicken farms cranking out billions of eggs annually to bountiful produce harvests across well over 2,000 total farms statewide, agriculture and agribusiness represent thriving industries with robust community support. Buyers looking for fertile land to grow crops, raise livestock or even supply support services have found success for generations.

6. Woodlands and Open Space

In addition to farms, roughly 25% of Delaware’s total land area is forested, with another 5% considered wetlands. The open spaces contribute to clean air and water as well as opportunities for land buyers hoping to invest in hunting acreage or simply build deeper in secluded woods. Between state parks, wildlife areas, preserves and private rural land, Delaware offers over half a million acres of forests or preserved lands providing clean resources and easy connection to nature without sacrificing proximity to towns or beaches when needed.

7. Low Overall Cost of Living

Given Delaware's absence of sales taxes and generally affordable housing market except in elite beach communities, the state consistently ranks having one of the lower overall costs of living nationally. This allows land buyers moving to Delaware to potentially invest more in purchasing attractive parcels for optimal enjoyment and return on investment. Reasonable taxes and household costs coupled with easy access to amenities checks all the boxes.

8. Quaint, Historical Towns and Communities

From the cobblestone walkways of historic New Castle founded by Dutch settlers in 1651 to the small coastal artistic haven of Milton filled with 19th century architecture, Delaware's development traces back centuries leaving numerous quintessential small towns with distinct vibes scattered throughout the landscape to enjoy local culture. Places like Smyrna, Milford, Laurel and more allow residents to step back in time while still having modern essentials nearby. The charm attracts those looking for character over cookie-cutter developments.

9. Investor Friendly State Laws

Delaware features legal structures including easement rights and partition laws highly favorable to co-owners of rural land parcels. The state also offers easy, low cost incorporation for those building businesses centered around commercial land holdings. Investors can buy jointly with clearly defined future exits or start companies efficiently thanks to Delaware's longtime reputation as the most financially and legally welcoming state in the nation for anyone looking to buy and develop land without hassles.

10. Four Distinct Seasons to Enjoy the Land

While Northern states battle long, brutal winters, the Mid-Atlantic location allows Delaware residents to enjoy four true seasons from summer through fall allowing year-round enjoyment of land for recreation, relaxation or agriculture pursuits. Mild weather translates to more usable days to work the land or build on it with fewer weather delays. The consistent seasonal changes keep living and owning land dynamic too.

Final Thoughts

With incredible natural scenery, favorable taxes and regulations, historical rural towns, affordable open space and much more, Delaware rolls out the red carpet for land buyers seeking property for farming, residential living or commercial development. Just a short drive from major cities yet surrounded by small town Americana vibes and stunning nature from mountains to beaches, the First State caters to many preferences. Investing in land allows you to put down roots while enjoying privacy and room to grow amid welcoming communities. Whatever your land goals may be, the reasons to choose Delaware speak for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are property taxes like in Delaware?

Delaware features some of the lowest effective property tax rates in the region, averaging around 0.45% statewide. This compares very favorably to the 1%+ tax rates seen in nearby states. Delaware also does not tax retirement income, pensions, or Social Security benefits.

How expensive is land in Delaware?

Land prices can vary substantially based on location, acreage and amenities or developments. However, Delaware farmland averaged $8,900 per acre as of 2021 according to the USDA. This positions Delaware as more affordable than Northeast corridor states closer to major metro areas. Beaches can command premium pricing.

Does Delaware have a process for expedited land development approvals?

Yes. Delaware offers a Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) that provides unofficial feedback on development concepts before officially submitting permits and plans. This allows developers and investors to clarify expectations upfront, saving major time and expenses down the road once formally filing applications.

What natural land features does Delaware offer recreational land buyers?

From sandy Atlantic coast beaches, to cypress swamps and wildlife refuges along the state's inland bays, to rolling hills and lush open meadows inland, Delaware provides immense biodiversity. State and national parks also offer preserved forests, lakes and similar accessible natural recreation options on thousands of acres.

Does Delaware impose any special taxes on buying, selling or transferring land ownership?

Delaware levies no real estate transfer taxes on the purchase price of land or recording fees to formally convert property deed ownership. The state also does not assess any estate or inheritance taxes on land passed to one's legal heirs. This eases major ownership transition costs over time.

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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