10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Pennsylvania

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10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Pennsylvania

Bart Waldon

Pennsylvania is a state rich in history and natural beauty. From the Appalachian Mountains to the forests and farmlands, it's easy to see why so many love living in or visiting the Keystone State. Known as the Keystone State, Pennsylvania has a rich history as one of the original 13 colonies. Located in the northeastern United States, it borders six states including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio. Pennsylvania covers over 46,000 square miles, making it the 33rd largest state by area. It has diverse landscapes including forested mountains, rolling farmland, major rivers, and metropolitan cities. 

Though rural overall, Pennsylvania is home to some large cities including the state capital Harrisburg, as well as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie. The state's estimated population is just over 13 million residents. Pennsylvania played pivotal roles in the founding of America, from the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution. Today it continues to be an influential state economically and politically.

For those looking to buy vacant land in Pennsylvania, there are many great reasons to invest in this state. Here are 10 of the top reasons we love buying land in PA.

Reasons to Buy Land in Pennsylvania

1. Affordable Prices

Compared to other states in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, land prices in Pennsylvania are very reasonable. Based on average cost per acre, PA ranks 40th in the United States for land values according to the 2022 Land Report 100. This makes it possible to find great parcels of vacant land at prices working families can afford. Whether you want a few acres for a weekend getaway cabin or a larger parcel for farming, Pennsylvania offers relative affordability.

2. Proximity to Major Cities

Despite having large rural areas, Pennsylvania also has several major metropolitan cities. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are two of the largest cities in the northeast. Further, PA has smaller but fast-growing cities like Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton and State College. So even if you buy a rural property, you're never too far from urban amenities and conveniences.

3. Four Seasons

Pennsylvania sees four distinct seasons each year. Winters have snowfalls that are perfect for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Spring and fall have mild weather and amazing foliage. And summers are warm but not overly hot and humid like states further south. If you're looking for a true four season climate, PA fits the bill.

4. Natural Beauty

From the forested mountains of the central and northern regions to the rolling farmlands in the south, Pennsylvania has diverse natural landscapes. Outdoor enthusiasts will fall in love with the lush State Forests and Parks. And the three major rivers — the Delaware, Ohio and Susquehanna — offer watersports and riverfront scenery. Nature photography opportunities abound no matter where your Pennsylvania land is located.

5. Rich History

As one of the 13 original American colonies, Pennsylvania has a long and storied history. Philadelphia served as the meeting place for the First and Second Continental Congresses and the Constitutional Convention. Pittsburgh was the gateway to western expansion. Gettysburg was site of the pivotal Civil War battle. And of course, PA is the home of liberty's bell and Independence Hall. History buffs will appreciate owning a piece of this historic state.

6. Excellent Hunting & Fishing

For the outdoor sportsman, Pennsylvania is a top destination. The state has an estimated over 4,000 miles of trout fishing streams across 67 counties. Great whitetail deer and black bear hunting opportunities exist as well. Turkey, pheasant, squirrel and rabbits offer small game hunting too. If you want land for an outdoor retreat or hobby farm with hunting and fishing access, PA is tough to beat.

7. Farming Potential

Though not typically thought of as an agricultural powerhouse, Pennsylvania ranks 19th nationally in total agricultural production. Dairy, poultry, cattle, hogs, corn and soybeans are top products. The fertile soils and moderate climate allow farming across most of the state. So there's ample farmland available at good prices. A PA farm property can make an ideal vacation home, hobby farm or even full-time agricultural business venture.

8. Forestry Industry

With nearly 17 million acres of forestland, Pennsylvania ranks #1 in hardwood production in the U.S. Common tree species grown and harvested include oak, maple, cherry, ash, pine and more. For buyers interested in timber investment, wood lots or forested land, PA provides prime opportunities. Responsible forestry practices can even generate income from selective timber harvesting over time.

9. Tax Benefits

Pennsylvania offers some nice perks when it comes to taxes on land ownership. For one, the state has low property tax rates compared to nearby states. Qualifying agricultural land also gets preferential tax assessment at much lower effective rates. And PA has no tax on the sale of vacant land held for investment purposes. So owning land in Pennsylvania can provide nice tax savings.

10. Investment Potential

All of these reasons add up to make buying land in Pennsylvania a great investment opportunity. Well-selected parcels have strong potential for price appreciation over time. And there are many options to profit before selling, from mineral rights leasing to timber harvesting. With some savvy buying and a bit of vision, Pennsylvania land can deliver excellent returns on investment.

In summary, from natural beauty to affordability to opportunities for recreation and profit, Pennsylvania checks off all the boxes. We absolutely love buying vacant land in the Keystone State. There are so many great reasons it makes sense for investment, recreational use or even future retirement. Land Boss is proud to have purchased over 100 properties in Pennsylvania over the past 5 years. If you have land to sell in PA, contact us to get a cash offer today!

Best Practices for Buying Land in Pennsylvania

Research the Area Thoroughly

Before purchasing a property, research the area carefully to ensure it meets your needs. Drive around the neighborhood and surrounding locales. Check out area amenities like shops and restaurants. Make sure it provides the setting you want, whether rural seclusion or close proximity to a town.

Inspect the Property

Walk the property lines to check for encroachments or easements. Look for any potential issues like wetlands, streams, or drainage problems. Hunting for property markers and confirm the acreage. Inspect conditions of current structures if any exist.

Get Surveys and Titles

While not required in PA, consider getting a survey done to precisely define boundaries. Review property titles and deed history to spot any restrictions, liens or claims. Title insurance provides protection.

Know Local Zoning Rules

Check municipal zoning rules to ensure your intended use is allowed. Some rural towns prohibit camping on vacant land for example. Make sure to follow any regulations for sheds, RV use, livestock, etc.

Research Permitting Requirements

Depending on your plans for the property, research relevant permitting. For example, building a new home, adding onto a current structure, installing a septic system, or logging timber all require permits.

Consider Mineral Rights

Check on whether mineral rights are included in the sale. Oil, gas, coal and other underground resources can potentially be leased out. But if severed, the rights are retained by someone else.

Get Professional Support

Work with qualified real estate and legal professionals. A knowledgable agent can advise you and a real estate lawyer can review the purchase contract thoroughly. Their expertise helps avoid costly mistakes.

Final Words

Purchasing vacant land in Pennsylvania can be a great investment if done right. With proper research and preparation, buyers can find the perfect parcel that matches their goals and budget. Following best practices like thoroughly inspecting the property, researching zoning rules, and obtaining professional guidance helps ensure a smooth process. Pennsylvania's natural beauty, affordability, and abundance of rural land for sale make it an attractive state to buy acreage. By taking the time to find just the right property and location, land buyers can look forward to enjoying their very own piece of Pennsylvania for years to come. With a strategic approach, patience, and a bit of luck, the dream of land ownership in the Keystone State can become a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the main costs when buying land in PA?

The main expenses are the purchase price, closing costs (title fees, document filing, etc), and any surveying or legal fees. There is no transfer tax on vacant land in PA. Property taxes are relatively low.

What kind of land uses are allowed on rural PA properties?

It depends on local zoning laws, but common uses include building a home or cabin, RV camping, hunting, farming, livestock, timber harvesting, etc. Always check municipal rules before purchasing.

How easy is it to get financing to buy PA land?

Financing can be tricky as banks view vacant land as higher risk. Many buyers purchase with cash. Owner financing directly from the seller is possible too. Using land as collateral for a construction loan is also an option.

What natural resources might come with PA land rights?

Mineral rights like natural gas, oil, coal and timber are possible if not severed. Some properties have streams, ponds or springs. PA land may offer opportunities like farming, hunting or forestry.

How long does the process take to buy and close on PA land?

From offer acceptance to closing can range from 30-60 days typically. Timelines depend on factors like title work, surveys, financing, and seller readiness. An all-cash purchase often closes fastest.

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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