10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Maryland

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10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Maryland
By

Bart Waldon

Maryland is a diverse and beautiful state, stretching from the sandy Atlantic beaches of the east to the Appalachian mountains in the west. Known as "America in Miniature" due to its range of landscapes packed into a relatively small space, it offers opportunities for all types of real estate investing- but its vacant land parcels hold a special appeal.

Overview of Land Investing in Maryland

The state of Maryland has rolling hills, sandy beaches, dense forestlands and major metropolitan areas that attract real estate investors. With a long growing season and access to the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, agriculture has long been an economic driver here. Other major industries include healthcare, biotechnology, finance, tourism and the government sector.

Maryland’s diverse landscape provides opportunities for land investors looking to purchase sites for recreation, agriculture, building residential subdivisions, commercial development or resource extraction purposes. The stability of industries in central Maryland also leads to steady demand for vacant parcels over time.

While the real estate market fluctuates, the geographic diversity of Maryland helps even out highs and lows- making land here less volatile than other areas of the country.

10 Great Reasons We Love Buying Maryland Land

1. Steady population growth

Maryland has a population just under 6.2 million residents. It has seen healthy growth year-over-year, with a 9% population uptick since 2010. This steady expansion ensures ongoing demand for developable land over time.

Major metropolitan areas, including the capital city of Annapolis and suburbs of Washington D.C. have seen the most rapid population surges recently. But even the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland regions have tracked average or above-average growth compared to other US states.

With sustained population increases expected over the next decade, Maryland real estate remains a fairly safe bet for investors.

2. Favorable property taxes

Maryland ranks below the national average for property tax rates, with an effective rate of just 0.86% on median home values statewide. Certain counties have even lower property tax burdens.

For land investors focused on development or long-term holds, modest taxation helps ensure positive returns over decades of ownership. Taxes pose less of an impact on annual expenses than in states with more burdensome rates.

3. Range of available land types

From the mountains to the ocean, Maryland’s diverse landscape supports many different land investment types:

  • Recreational rural land - Large acreages in Western Maryland provide private forested retreats with streams, ridges and panoramic views. More accessible small recreational parcels dot the entire state for weekend cabins or camping hideaways.
  • Residential development land - Bedroom communities surrounding Baltimore, Annapolis and the DC metro area offer flat or gently rolling lands ripe for neighborhoods, townhomes and single-family subdivisions.
  • Commercial land - Highly visible tracts along well-traveled routes hold value for retail, restaurants, warehouses and mixed commercial use.
  • Agricultural land - Prime crop and pasture lands across central and southern Maryland serve produce farms, livestock growers and even niche operations like wineries or tree farms.
  • Waterfront land - Parcels fronting the hundreds of miles of Chesapeake Bay coastline, Atlantic beaches and inland lakes suit vacation homes or boating/fishing oriented facilities.

With this range of geography and development options, investors can choose land opportunities matching their interests and expertise.

4. Business-friendly environment

Maryland ranks in the Top 10 states for business according to CNBC, thanks to business-friendly policies, innovation incentives and a skilled workforce.

Major corporations ranging from Lockheed Martin and Marriott International to McCormick spices and Under Armour all operate headquarters and major presences here. But small businesses and entrepreneurs also grow successfully with grants, tax breaks and a vibrant local investing community supporting startups.

For land investors, these positive business conditions increase the chances of finding strong buyers for commercial properties or tenant businesses that can lease retail, warehouse or office sites. Business activity flows down to impact residential demand too.

5. Wealth demographics in central Maryland

The core counties surrounding Baltimore and Washington D.C. enjoy exceptional wealth demographics:

  • Howard County has the highest median household income of any US county.
  • The Maryland suburbs of Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County also rank within the Top 100 wealthiest counties.
  • Recent growth has made Prince George’s County Maryland’s most affluent majority African American county.

Significant corporate presence and high-paying professional jobs contribute to the high average wages in this region. For land investors, these prosperous demographics signal opportunities to develop high-end residential communities or commercial sites catering to upper middle-class and wealthy populations.

6. Job stability

Maryland’s economy shows only minor fluctuations during cycles of national recession or recovery. Key sectors including government agencies, military contractors, healthcare networks and higher education providers- like the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University- impart stability not seen in Rust Belt states vulnerable to manufacturing declines. The state unemployment rate tracked just 1-2% above the national rate even during the 2008 and 2020 major recessions.

Land investors can feel increased confidence about long-term Maryland property performance and values, without weathering extreme job market shifts seen elsewhere. Steady employment leads to steady housing demand.

7. Tourism magnets

Iconic Chesapeake Bay getaways, the vibrant Inner Harbor area of Baltimore and proximity to the nation’s capital make Maryland a tourism powerhouse. Over 41 million visitors spent nearly $18 billion here in 2021. Ocean City alone sees over 8 million tourists annually.

For land investors, robust tourism provides ready markets to develop vacation rentals, recreational parks, hotels, restaurants, amusement attractions and retail aimed at visitors. Coastal and mountain regions are particular hotspots that support tourism-related land investments.

8. In-migration appeal

Maryland sees high rates of cross-border immigration from other states, notably California, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Net annual migration into the state between 6,000-13,000 new residents in recent years.

The strongest influx heads to suburban areas near Washington D.C. and Baltimore to take advantage of high incomes, economic opportunity and proximity to these job hubs. But the state’s high quality of living, excellent school systems and diversity also attract those seeking an East Coast lifestyle.

For land investors, steady interest from in-bound residents looking to put down new roots provides a pipeline of housing demand for developable properties. Custom builders and investors alike can cater to newcomers.

9. Value pricing

The Maryland land market sits at an attractive sweet spot of high demand without overheating home prices seen in some coastal states. The median home value as of 2022 reached $356,000 - above Midwest and Southern states but still 15% below the national median.

Land parcels follow similar value pricing - substantial enough to deliver profits for sellers but avoiding bubbled pricing prone to sudden devaluation. Investors enjoy room for nice returns without excessive risk.

10. Developer incentives

Many Maryland counties offer incentives, fee waivers, expedited permitting and infrastructure assistance to encourage residential or commercial real estate growth in targeted zones. These development boosters reduce costs and speed up construction timelines for approved projects, sweetening ROI potential.

For example, job creation initiatives provide property tax breaks, while brownfield programs offer grants to rehabilitate vacant industrial sites. Opportunistic investors willing to take on some cleanup efforts or red tape can capitalize on incentive programs when purchasing the right parcels.

Tap into Maryland’s Strong Land Investment Opportunities

As a stable East Coast state with diverse landscape and demographics powering real estate demand across markets, Maryland offers attractive vacant land investment potential. The reasons above help explain why our team loves seeking out discounted land opportunities here. Cash deals allow us to purchase sites below full market value from motivated sellers looking for a fast, straightforward transaction.

Of course, land valuations fluctuate given macroeconomic factors and local property trends. Sellers need persistence and patience to market parcels widely over months to attract best offers. But those leveraging experienced buyers like Land Boss bypass the complexities of traditional sales for fair cash offers and quick closings.

We look forward to helping more Marylanders liquidate their unwanted properties or non-productive lands at reasonable prices. Get in touch today for a zero-obligation property assessment and cash offer from our team of local market experts.

Final Thoughts

With attractive features ranging from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, buzzing metropolitan hubs, high wealth demographics and business-friendly incentives, Maryland offers vacant land investors the full package. Stable industries drive consistent demand for developable sites to support ongoing population growth across densely settled central counties as well as rural regions. Our team has financed over 100 profitable deals sourcing undervalued lands across Maryland for quick cash transactions. Diverse counties make the state less vulnerable to market swings seen elsewhere. We plan to continue uncovering discounted gems that allow a profitable flip to buyers wanting to build residential subdivisions, commercial buildings, tourism facilities or other property types suited for this unique “America in Miniature” location. For sellers, we provide simple, fair cash offers without the wait of traditional sales. Contact us today to learn more about maximizing returns for your Maryland land.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land parcels can I invest in within Maryland?

Maryland's diverse landscape provides options for all types of land investments. From the mountains to the beaches, you'll find recreational acreages, residential development sites ripe for housing, commercial/retail lands on busy roads, fertile agricultural properties, and scenic waterfront parcels along the coastline and lakes. The geography and thriving mix of urban and rural markets cater to many investor interests.

Does Maryland offer any incentives or tax breaks for land/property development?

Yes, many counties provide incentives like fee waivers, property tax reductions, expedited building permits and infrastructure assistance to encourage all types of real estate investment. These help sweeten ROI potential. For example, brownfield grants rehabilitate vacant industrial lands while job creation initiatives give tax breaks that reduce overhead for approved commercial projects during the early years.

What Maryland counties have seen the most growth recently?

Central counties near Baltimore and Washington D.C. have tracked rapid population and job gains this decade, driving housing demand. For example, over 9% population upticks in Anne Arundel, Howard and Montgomery counties. Once sleepy suburban areas have morphed into economic hubs, with ripple effects enhancing even far flung rural markets across Maryland over time.

Does seasonality impact land investments in Maryland?

Outside of vacation-oriented oceanfront or lakefront parcels tapping into summer tourist seasons, Maryland sees fairly consistent land/housing demand all year long thanks to major metro employment centers. While sales velocity may slow in winter, underlying market strength persists across the business calendar - especially with international migration and relocations balancing the cycles.

Will my land purchase face volatile pricing swings in Maryland?

Compared to other coastal states, Maryland land valuations have remained less prone to bubbling or sudden price corrections. Strong economic fundamentals prevent overheated pricing while still allowing for solid returns over decades of ownership. Investors can target nice profits without taking on excessive risk - an attractive sweet spot providing room to grow. Of course, always account for changing market conditions when evaluating a property.

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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