How to Find Cheap Land in Louisiana?

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How to Find Cheap Land in Louisiana?

Bart Waldon

With over 29 million acres spanning sprawling farmlands, roaring rivers and vibrant metropolitan hubs, opportunities abound securing Louisiana land ownership stakes treating patient deal-seekers. Yet the quest buying discounted raw land matching specific investor budgets and intended usages requires savvy navigating a largely fragmented, opaque acquisition landscape. This guide taps input from Bayou State property developers, legal teams and resident land flippers familiar with pricing dynamics across parishes. Learn how conducting disciplined site analyses, deciphering property rights issues, speaking with locals plus monitoring online sale listings uncovers cheap land gems hidden below market averages.

Land by the Numbers in Louisiana

Before detailing land deal-hunting tactics, framing wider context on acreage availability helps set realistic expectations. As of 2022 from the latest USDA Census of Agriculture data, Louisiana maintains nearly 29 million acres spanning:

  • 7.8 million acres farms and ranches
  • 14 million acres forests (of which 2 million actively harvested)
  • 7.2 remaining acres constituting towns, roads, rivers, lakes and marshlands

With agriculture and timber historically integral to Louisiana’s economy, average farm real estate values a useful loose proxy gauging vacant/undeveloped land. Statewide benchmark pricing reached approximately $2,250 per acre as of 2020 before any value-added site enhancements made. Values rise closer to urbanized zones.

Evaluating Acquisition Opportunities

In searching cheap acreage across Louisiana at prices sliding under area prevailing rates, applying solid comparable land analysis remains vital avoiding overpaying despite perceived discount sticker tags. Key steps include:

Research Recent Local Sales

Comb parish assessor records for similar-sized plots bought/sold within the past 6-12 months to establish baseline square foot or per acre values based on final recorded deal terms.

Verify Infrastructure/Utilities Accessibility

Land adjoining electricity, natural gas, municipal water/sewer and broadband connectivity garners significant premiums versus sites needing such infrastructure built out requiring buyers to shoulder costs before utilization utility can commence.

Weigh Developmental Efforts Required

Similarly, raw land necessitating clearing, earthgrading, access road construction and erosion controls requires greater upfront improvements investments that directly factor when valuing discount pricing suitability especially for risk-averse buyers lacking site development experience.

Accounting for Discounts and MOTIVATED Sellers

In seeking cheaper land opportunities, buyers benefit understanding why properties trade below-market, namely through either:

  1. Distressed sales due to unpaid tax/creditor obligations or cash crunches forcing quick sales
  2. Inherited owners lacking specialized land expertise to develop/lease sites themselves
  3. Corporate divestitures or liquidations exiting non-core real estate assets

Such situations offer ripe buyer negotiating leverage. Yet verifying true seller motivations helps affirm genuine bargains present rather than “too good to be true” offerings masking bigger issues buyers shouldn’t absorb like boundary disputes or adverse possession claims clouding clean title transfers.

Additional Ways Finding Discounted Land Opportunities

Beyond undertaking meticulous property analysis and scrutinizing one-off listings for sale, several other proven tactics exist revealing cheap land gems including:

Network Locally and Talk with Neighbors 

Word of mouth referrals traveling fast in smaller towns when owners express interest divesting acreage struggling upkeeping remote plots. Brokers also gain early listing visibility ahead of mass advertising.

Monitor Public and Government Auctions 

Tax-delinquent land and surplus public entity real estate like vacant Department of Transportation sites typically garner public sale listing either online or via structured public outcry auction processes.

Seek Out Farmer and Timber Owner Lease Expirations 

Primary producers occasionally shed ancillary acreage leased to them historically by independent land owners where site development limitations or isolated locales prompt cleanup sales below area rates.

Signing Up for Land Listing Alerts 

Customized property radar search parameters across mass listing services like Lands of America filters ideal location, size and pricing buckets prompting email notifications when matches hit the market.

Mastering Integrated Approaches Finding Discounted Land

Ultimately utilizing stacked research tactics from verifying true seller motivations, speaking with well-connected community members and deploying saved listing alerts improves success rates securing cheap land especially across sprawling rural regions. Sentiment suggests roughly 20%+ below published going rates classifies as “below market.” Yet focusing efforts where other buyers rarely venture uncovers selective deals at the best terms fit for planned budgets and timelines.

Accessing attractively discounted Louisiana land buys below assessed valuations does requires dedication beyond simplistic online property searches. Blending comparable sales analysis, infrastructure evaluations and tapping localized intelligence networks surfaces opportunities left unseen by competing buyers seeking sites mirroring well-known existing inventory. Factoring in improvement costs and creative seller financing options further expands candidates matching needs. With the right vision, both large and small land investors find great deal still get done in Louisiana once educating oneself on nuanced area dynamics.

Final Thoughts

Finding attractive discounted land deals across Louisiana’s 29 million acres first requires grasping area pricing dynamics beyond statewide per acre benchmarks. Conducting due diligence around recent comparable sales, infrastructure statuses and seller motivations allows buyers uncovering true bargains priced 20% or more below prevailing rates in a given parish. Blending online alerts with local networking and auction participation stacks odds securing budget-aligned sites for projects ranging from country retreats to crop harvesting aligned with today's prevailing market conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Louisiana land types typically sell cheaper? 

More remote, wooded sites lacking utility infrastructure access along with smaller odd-shaped rural plots under 10 acres command the steepest discounts versus tracts closer to town centers with electricity, water and road frontage already established.

What are signs of shady land deals in Louisiana I should avoid?

Warning flags include unmappable boundaries, sellers lacking proper deed documentation or ongoing property tax delinquencies. Land flipping wholesalers re-selling at extreme markups should also prompt scrutiny along with deals seeming too good to be true.

What closing costs apply when buying Louisiana land? 

Typical closing fees span: title insurance (required), attorney charges, recording /deed preparation fees, property inspection costs, appraisal costs, loan origination points, land survey expense and state/local tax stamp obligations. Total closing costs range from 4-12% of purchase price.

Can private land owners sell directly to buyers in Louisiana? 

Absolutely. While hiring a knowledgeable real estate professionals efficiently maximizes sales outcomes, Louisiana law permits private property sales between capable, consenting entities if following proper deeds/title transfer protocols. Formal listings are optional.

What creative financing options exist for buyers lacking sufficient cash? 

Beyond mortgages, installment land contracts allow spread-out payments buying over fixed timeframes. Lease-to-purchase agreements let buyers occupy sites while rental payments apply to eventual ownership. Sellers may also subordinate collateral land allowing buyers borrowing funds for site development/operations.

What exemptions or tax incentives apply to Louisiana land buyers? 

Qualified agriculture and timber land holdings receive preferential reduced tax assessment treatment. State and local municipalities also designate priority economic development zones occasionally featuring land ownership perks attracting investments and high-quality jobs.

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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