How to Invest in North Carolina Land?

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How to Invest in North Carolina Land?

Bart Waldon

Boasting beautiful beaches, an array of lakes and woodlands alongside fertile farmland acreage, North Carolina offers seemingly endless land investment opportunities. As one of the fastest growing states by population and business formations over the past decade, North Carolina provides a robust real estate environment for owners seeking property aligned to financial or lifestyle interests. This overview examines prudent approaches targeting promising land deals across North Carolina’s diverse landscape.

According to the 2022 North Carolina Land Data Report, over 18 million total acres exists across the state with close to 60% currently utilized for forestry purposes while agriculture occupies another 15% as croplands or pasture/grazing uses. This commodity output from NC land creates inherent value for investors along with development demand for housing, retail and infrastructure projects statewide. Savvy buyers search for well-located parcels riding macro strength using time-tested tactics.

Methodical Approaches for North Carolina Land Buying

Conduct County Footprint Tours

Traverse target counties scouting growth patterns, land usage by region, zoning changes helping inventory desirable areas for acquisition aligned to investment plans.

Utilize Historical Plat Maps 

Overlay old cartography with new satellite imagery revealing infill opportunities on bypassed tracts from initial development waves now perfectly poised for projects as expansion continues.

Leverage Local Broker Expertise 

Cultivate relationships with specialized land brokers focused within niche geographies leveraging insider information around political tailwinds and planning initiatives influencing site selection.

Target High In-Migration Counties Early 

Analyze U.S. Census data uncovering counties with strongest inbound relocation gains that tighten housing inventory priming land deals to capitalize on bullish supply/demand dynamics in emerging zones.

Adhere to Enduring Land Site Must-Haves 

Regardless of locale, ideal investment grade land exhibits:

  • Roadway access
  • Utility proximity
  • Limited flood plain impact
  • No easement/right of way encumbrances
  • Nearby infrastructure in place
  • Surrounding usages aligned to land zoning potential

Vetting parcels against this established land site criteria shortlists suitable sites for deals.

Top Land Listing Resources in North Carolina

NC MLS Databases 

Consolidates all aggregated land/property listings from North Carolina brokers searchable by factors like county/acreage/price.

Lands of America 

Showcases 1,700+ North Carolina land parcels covering over 275,000 acres alongside premium mapping/filtering tools.


Beyond residential, over 500 land/lot listings helps gauge metro periphery opportunities.

These reputable databases present abundant deal flow sourcing to apply prudent site selection screens yielding options for secure land investing.

Favorable Investment Zones in North Carolina 

Ideal zones exhibiting sustained site demand drivers and upside runway still ahead to spur inflated land valuations exist in:

  • Asheville MSA
  • Charlotte Surrounding Region
  • Raleigh-Durham Contiguous Counties
  • Wilmington MSA Coastal Area

Additionally, Western NC rotational timberlands and Eastern NC lease croplands deliver cash flowing interim income producing means alongside inherent long-term price gains as population influx occupies the state's interior originating from continued exodus from Northern cities.

Benefits of Investing in North Carolina Land

Population and Job Growth Tailwinds 

North Carolina boasts top 10 fastest growing state status over the past decade with a 21% surge to over 10 million residents now, driving housing demand that lifts ancillary land values. Plus explosive job creation leads all Southeast states across technology, banking and manufacturing.

Abundant Natural Resources 

The state contains substantial timberlands, commodity croplands and coastal fisheries allowing associated land assets to generate lease revenues from harvesting pulpwood, food exports and catch limits boosting agribusiness state GDP rankings.

Dynamic Labor Supply

North Carolina furnishes top-tier university programs concentrating in business, tech and advanced manufacturing disciplines producing exceptional talent pools that attract employers spurring local expansions rippling land development opportunities outward.

Pro-Business State Tax Climate 

North Carolina sustains reputable stable corporate tax structure at under 3% flat rate assessed on income allowing firms better certainty projecting capital planning for facility growth that feeds commercial site demand.

Tourism Upside 

Coastal regions see swelling visitor numbers thanks emerging wine countries, golf meccas and accelerating outer banks vacation demand goosing development potential for hospitality linked land plays.

The state’s high quality of life, low cost of living and savvy economic development agencies attracting high wage companies indirectly creates real estate lift - evident in Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville leading national housing boom rankings. This underpins fertile conditions to capitalize on upside in strategically zoned North Carolina land holdings for years ahead.

Ideal Land Investment Zone Examples

Wake County 

Raleigh anchor county population exploded over 30% since 2010 with no slowdown imminent thanks to technology and life sciences sector job concentration.

Union County 

Bedroom exurb county feeding Charlotte growth seeing permitting surges for new single family subdivision absorbing 15-30 acre land plots.

Alamance County

Adjacent emerging edge county off Interstate 85 corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte poised for catalytic logistics hub tailwinds driving distribution center demand.

New Hanover County 

Wilmington MSA coastal metro maintains top 10 national in-migration destination status goosing retiree community expansion demands.

Targeting North Carolina land investments along the key metro periphery counties exhibits optimal risk-return balance thanks to embedded diversification options beyond relying solely on residential housing upside.

The overview shows North Carolina possessing authentic secular growth trends across population, innovation sectors and tourism catalyzing real estate development spanning multiple land usage categories - priming strategic sites for equity gains in the years ahead.

Final Thoughts

With population growth well ahead of national averages alongside steady advances continuing across technology, manufacturing and healthcare sectors, North Carolina provides a constructive backdrop to locate promising land deals holding future equity upside. Conducting methodical county analysis while adhering to enduring land site selection fundamentals allows securing holdings aligned to risk profiles and income requirements suited for sustainable land investing. Work with experienced agents knowledgeable around zoning codes and development initiatives when sourcing promising North Carolina land deals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most common land usage types spanning North Carolina geographies? 

The state contains abundant forests and timberlands harvesting pulpwood across Western counties. Central regions boast fertile croplands for tobacco, soybeans, greenhouse produce. Eastern coastline offers commercial/residential development potential. 

What property attributes should farmland investors examine before acquiring sites? 

Verified yield potentials via soil tests, any drainage tile/irrigation requirements, mapping of precise acreage, easements protections, access roads condition, crop type rotations suitable for the acreage. 

How can unfamiliar investors efficiently tour prospective counties? 

Leveraging specialized land brokers as guides when touring target counties aids quickly identifying zoning codes, market values influencing deals across different geographical pocket microclimates. 

What are examples of interim income generation from raw land holdings? 

Timber rich regions allow selective harvest/thinning, pipeline easements offer royalty payments. Fallow cropland presents options for hay cutting/livestock grazing leasing income while owned. 

What firms offer tailored lending for land purchases? 

Specialized lenders like FarmerMac, Midland State Bank, Colvin Financial offer loans for agriculture property secured by both acreage and commodities produced as collateral at preferable terms. 

Which government agencies provide land/infrastructure insight? 

USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers robust county profile data spanning crop mixes, ownership changes, infrastructure development while North Carolina Dept of Agriculture provides planning info.

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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