How to Find Cheap Land in Delaware?

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How to Find Cheap Land in Delaware?

Bart Waldon

Finding affordable land for sale in Delaware can take effort and diligence, but numerous bargains still exist statewide. In fact, a recent University of Delaware study found the average price per acre for rural farmland or undeveloped lots sits around $4,500 in most Delaware counties – far more reasonable than other East Coast locales. With over 600,000 total acres of farms, forests and vacant land across the state according to the USDA Census of Agriculture, you have options. 

The key lies in networking with local real estate agents knowledgeable about Delaware land, scouring listings for lesser-known county locations, and being open to properties needing some work or buried infrastructure costs. Utilizing land financing options also makes cheaper Delaware lots more accessible. While coastal Sussex County holds the highest land prices due to tourism demand, Kent County and northern New Castle County boast the lowest average cost acreage – if you search diligently and act fast when deals arise. This guide shares insider tips to help you discover Delaware land bargains.

Getting to Know Delaware’s Real Estate Market 

As the second smallest state, Delaware is mostly made up of three counties – New Castle County in the north, Kent County in central Delaware, and Sussex County to the south. The real estate markets differ across these regions. In New Castle County, home to the state’s largest city Wilmington, land prices tend to be higher due to higher demand. Kent County has a mix of small towns, farms and beach communities, offering moderate land prices. Sussex County encompasses popular coastal beach towns and inland rural areas where it’s easier to find discounted land deals. No matter which county you focus your land search in, familiarizing yourself with the Delaware real estate market conditions will help you set realistic expectations on pricing and competition.

Top Locations to Find Cheap Land Parcels 

While cheap land can potentially be found anywhere in Delaware, some locations see higher turnover of vacant parcels or sales motivated by urgency rather than maximum profits. Distressed sales often translate to discounted pricing that savvy buyers can take advantage of. Here are some of the top areas to focus your search for affordable land deals:

Western Kent County 

As you head west from Dover into the heart of Kent County, family farms and agricultural spaces dominate the landscape. Owners may be motivated to sell off unused acreage around their main property at reasonable rates just to generate some extra income. There is less competition from developers out this way, so cheap land parcels tend to stay on the market longer.

Town edges and rural roads in Sussex County

On the outskirts of small towns like Seaford, Laurel and Delmar in Sussex County, you can find cheap vacant land for sale along rural roads among fields and forests. As infrastructure slowly expands, road frontage land has long-term development potential. But current lower property taxes and homeowner association fees keep carrying costs minimal for land buyers willing to wait for value to grow.

Former industrial zones 

As manufacturing and chemical plants have closed over the years in cities like Wilmington, they have left vacant lands behind, sometimes with environmental contamination concerns. Former industrial zones often sell for very cheap as they require cleanup efforts before being usable. Once remediated though, these city land parcels become golden opportunities for re-development.

Tips for Negotiating the Best Deal on Land

Finding cheap land listings for sale is just the first step. You’ll still need to carefully assess each property and negotiate the best possible price. Here are some tips to help maximize your savings:

  • Research recent land sales in the immediate area to establish fair market value pricing for comparison. Look at land size, road access and other features when comparing.
  • Act fast so you have more negotiation power as the first offerer, but don’t let urgency pressure you into overpaying.
  • Ask about any defects like contamination, easements, drainage issues to understand if a lower offer is justified.
  • Politely ask sellers to justify their listing price, especially if it seems above market norms. They may drop the price to stimulate bidding interest.
  • If financing the purchase, make sure to submit pre-approval letters with the offer to beat out cash buyers.
  • Aim low with your initial offer to leave room for upward movement during countering. But don’t “lowball” to the point of insulting the seller either.

With persistence and savvy negotiating tactics, you can land bargain deals on vacant land parcels or sites ideal for redevelopment in Delaware. The key is acting faster than competitors when discounted listings first appear on the market.

Examining Potential Usage for Cheap Land Purchases

Not all inexpensive land deals are worth pursuing however. Before committing to purchase a discounted land parcel in Delaware, carefully consider what possible uses the site supports. Assess attributes like:

  • Size – is there enough acreage to support your intended usage like residential spaces or farming?
  • Road access – does it front or back along a main roadway? How easily can it be entered and exited?
  • Zoning designations – is the land usage restricted by residential, commercial or industrial zoning overlays?
  • Utilities availability – are electric, water/sewer already on site or close by to connect into?
  • Drainage and terrain – do the topology pose any development challenges?
  • Easements and other restrictions – is the site subject to pipeline, power line or access easements?

Cheap land with development hurdles may not provide the best return on investment. Or it could present financial or legal headaches if projects stall due to unseen restrictions. Verify what the property can realistically support before purchasing any cut-rate land in Delaware.

Tapping into Government Land Auctions 

Federal, state and municipal governments occasionally auction off public land holdings that are no longer of use. These government land auctions move surplus or foreclosed properties back into private ownership. In Delaware, check these resources for auctions in your area:

  • – Various state agency land listings
  • – Delaware Department of Natural Resources site for surplus land
  • – County sheriff sales of foreclosed homes/land
  • – County/city auctioneers managing tax-delinquent sales

Signing up for email alerts from these auction houses will notify you as land parcels at bargain prices become available through public auctions across Delaware.

Partnering with Delaware Land Buyers 

Selling land you own at reasonable rates takes effort to market, show interested buyers around your property and negotiate offers. Companies like Land Boss specialize in buying and selling land in Delaware and look to purchase sites at discounted pricing for quick cash offers. Working with established Delaware land buyers makes more financial sense for many property owners rather than attempting private DIY sales. It certainly opens up better paths to cheap land for those buying as well.

The process of buying affordable land in Delaware does require some persistence and creative negotiating tactics. But rewarding land investment opportunities still exist across the state if you are diligent in your search. Knowing prime locations to target along with utilizing government auctions and land buying companies offer efficient means to locate discounted land deals. Do your homework and move quickly on the most promising listings to establish yourself as a savvy First State land buyer.

Final Thoughts

Finding cheap land in Delaware just takes some savvy searching and clever negotiating to uncover hidden gem deals before anyone else discovers them. Prioritize locations seeing growth and development but not enough yet to have prices inflate out of reach. Distressed sellers motivated by urgency over profit present affordable options worth pursuing as well. Do your homework to estimate fair value in advance so you can pounce on any listings priced enticingly below market rates. Partnering with specialized land buying companies also allows you to both sell your own excess properties for reasonable cash offers and tap into their inventories of discounted parcels. With the right mix of effort, persistence and creativity, unlocking cheap land deals in the First State is an achievable goal whether you are buying for personal uses or investing for the future. Use these approaches to stake your claim to Delaware’s abundance of still undiscovered bargain land holdings waiting for a new owner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where are the best locations to find discounted land in Delaware? 

Some of the top areas to target your land search include western Kent County for inexpensive farmland, rural roads and town edges in Sussex County, former industrial zones in cities like Wilmington, and government-owned properties auctioned off at bargain rates.

What should I look out for when evaluating cheap land parcels?

Carefully assess acreage size, road access, zoning restrictions, utility availability, drainage and terrain challenges, easements, and other hurdles to intended land usage before purchasing discounted land. Cheap deals with multiple development roadblocks may not provide good ROI.

How much below market value can I expect to pay for Delaware land? 

Aim to purchase property at least 10-20% under recent comparable sales in the immediate area. Be the first offerer on a new listing for greater leverage to negotiate a bigger discount off fair market pricing.

Should I make a cash offer or finance my land purchase?

Cash purchases certainly look more attractive to sellers. But with a pre-approval letter in hand verifying, you are qualified for financing; sellers may still accept your purchase offer knowing funds are secured.

Is selling land myself or going through a dealer better? 

Attempting a DIY for sale by owner (FSBO) process takes more effort and delays to personally market and show your land. Land buying companies like Land Boss efficiently handle all sale logistics for a reasonable brokerage fee, providing quicker cash offers and closings.

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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