Is Texas Land a Good Investment?

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Is Texas Land a Good Investment?

Bart Waldon

Texas is a massive, diverse state with a storied history and iconic cultural reputation. The second largest U.S. state by area and population, Texas was once an independent republic before joining the union in 1845. Much of the landscape is flat prairie and desert, yet hill country, piney woods and coastal plains offer variety. Major industries include energy, agriculture, aerospace, and technology. Cities like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin provide world-class culture and cuisine. From the Alamo and Fort Worth stockyards to NASA and Dell Technologies, Texas has many faces. The independent, boisterous Texas spirit attracts dreamers, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers who keep the Lone Star State dynamic and prosperous.

Texas is known for its wide open spaces, independent spirit, and opportunities for land ownership. With over 268,000 square miles of land, Texas has vast amounts of real estate for everything from ranches to residential developments. But is Texas land actually a good investment in today's market? There are many factors to consider.

The Draw of Texas Land

For many, the idea of owning a piece of the Lone Star State is a lifelong dream. The rugged beauty and history of Texas land holds great appeal. Some key aspects that draw investors to Texas land include:

Potential for Appreciation

In many parts of Texas, land values have steadily increased over the past decades. As the population continues to boom in major metro areas like Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, demand rises for development and housing. This drives up prices for raw, undeveloped land suitable for building. Savvy land investors buy plots years in advance before an area is developed.

Abundant Natural Resources

West Texas sits atop the oil-rich Permian Basin, with active drilling and extraction. The state also has rich farmland, timber forests, wind power, and other natural resources that make land valuable for production. Mineral rights leases can provide owners with passive income streams.

Low Taxes

Texas has no state income tax and property taxes are below the national average. This makes profit margins attractive for landowners and developers alike. Capital gains taxes are also lower when selling land at a profit.

Tourism Appeal

Landmarks like the Alamo and Texas Hill Country hold tourism value, especially for hotels, dude ranches, wineries, resorts. Land near top attractions can turn profitable for hospitality and recreation industries.

Challenges of Texas Land Investing

While the Lone Star State holds much potential, investing in Texas land has risks and challenges to consider:

High Upfront Costs

Raw land itself can sell from $500 an acre up to $10,000+ for parcels near cities. This requires big capital to buy land outright. Development costs like infrastructure, zoning processes, and construction add more onto the tab. Investors need ready cash to make a purchase viable.

Unknown Zoning Changes

Local zoning laws can change, impacting what you can build on a property and its market value. Nearby developments like roads, shopping malls or industrial buildings also affect desirability. It helps research the area but unknowns always exist.

Long Wait Times

Vacant land takes patience to sell at top dollar. While Texas real estate overall moves faster than many states, selling raw land still takes 1-3 years typically. Holding costs add up during this wait. Some parcels never sell due to changes lowering desirability.

Volatile Oil Prices

In oil centered regions like West Texas, crude oil pricing greatly impacts local economies. When oil prices dip, housing demand and land values follow. Wise investors account for these boom and bust cycles when buying extraction-rich lands.

Property Taxes

While Texas has lower property taxes than most states, the annual bill still takes a chunk of profits. Taxes range 1-3% of assessed value. As land value rises, so do the recurring taxes.

Unknown Natural Disasters

Wildfires, flooding, tornadoes and more can damage land. Climate change may increase extreme weather events too. Insurance helps hedge risks but does not cover 100% of potential natural disaster losses.

Benefits of Investing in Texas Land

Texas offers many advantages that make it an appealing state to invest in land. Here are some of the top benefits to consider.

Steady Population Growth

Texas has seen enormous population growth in recent decades, especially in major metros like Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. This steady influx of new residents fuels housing demand and real estate development across the state. As more people move to Texas, prices for well-located land tend to increase.

Business-Friendly Policies

The Lone Star State promotes a low regulation, low tax environment to attract companies. Rapid job creation across many industries generates need for commercial real estate from offices to warehousing. Texas draws both large corporations and small startups. This business energy produces ongoing land development.

Oil and Natural Resource Wealth

Texas leads the nation in oil production and refining. It also has rich farmland, timber, wind power and other natural resources. Land ownership allows income from mineral rights leases, energy production, agriculture and more. These stable streams attract investors.

Tourism Appeal

From the Alamo to Texas Hill Country wineries, landmarks statewide draw visitors. Land near top attractions can profit from hospitality uses like resorts. Outdoor recreation also powers demand for ranches, lakeside properties and more. Tourism brings billions annually.

In summary, Texas provides one of America's most vibrant land investment markets. The state offers both long-term capital appreciation upside and income potential. For investors who study local trends and target the right locations, Texas land represents a promising asset class.

Prime Texas Regions for Land Investing

While challenges exist, some regions of Texas currently present strong cases for land investment:

Austin Suburbs

The capital city area is a top relocation destination, especially for tech companies. Assertive building of master-planned communities, retail centers, offices and housing continues. Savvy investors target land along future transit corridors.

Dallas-Fort Worth Metro

One of the fastest growing metro regions in the U.S., DFW has rising demand for all types of real estate. Excellent transportation infrastructure and business-friendly policies draw new residents. Raw land 20-30 minutes outside urban centers offers solid upside.

San Antonio Metro

Affordability attracts families and companies to the Alamo City region. Toyota recently moved its U.S. headquarters here. Exurban plots near New Braunfels/Canyon Lake/Boerne turn profits as this I-35 corridor expands.

Houston Metro

Despite downturns in oil, Houston remains Texas' economic engine. With major ports and diverse industries like biomedical, Houston offers investor upside. Areas like The Woodlands and Sugar Land continue rapid growth.

West Texas Oil Country

Midland and other Permian Basin cities offer huge value swings when oil prices rise and fall. Risk-taking investors sometimes hit jackpots buying mineral rights or development land. However caution is wise in this boom-bust region.

Selling Texas Land Yourself vs. Cash Sales to Companies

Once an investor decides Texas land has profit potential, the next key decision is how to sell for maximum value. Two main options exist:

Selling Land Yourself

Selling land privately requires immense time and marketing. First you must determine an asking price, or hire an appraiser. Listing with a realtor and on MLS may cost 6%+ but expands reach. You still need signs, flyers, online ads and more. Fielding calls, emails, and showings takes many hours. Negotiating with buyers also requires skill. The entire sales process can easily take 12-24 months. This option offers the highest potential sale price but is very time intensive.

Cash Sales to Land Buying Companies

A newer option is selling to real estate investment groups that specialize in land. Companies like Land Boss have funds ready to buy Texas land for cash, closing in days or weeks. The value offered is typically 70-80% of the retail market price. Sellers avoid commissions, long marketing times and negotiations. While discounted, this method provides quick, guaranteed cash sales. For those needing fast liquidation or not wanting hassles, it can be appealing. Investors may sell some high-potential parcels retail while cashing out lower performing land.

Final Words

Texas offers enticing opportunities whether you seek a family ranch, investment parcel or commercial development site. Population and job growth keep demand brisk across the Lone Star State. However, land investing still requires ample research, capital and patience. Knowing the risks and challenges in advance allows savvy investors to pursue ideal parcels. With careful analysis of markets, zoning, infrastructure, natural resources and growth patterns, Texas land can provide stable, long-term real estate investment returns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What parts of Texas are best for land investing?

The major metro areas like Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio provide excellent investment upside due to steady population growth. Oil regions like West Texas can also reward savvy investors but have more volatility.

What does land cost per acre in Texas?

Land prices vary drastically based on location and whether raw or developed. In rural areas, prices may start under $2,000/acre. Near cities, raw land can cost $10,000 to over $100,000 per acre in some luxury communities.

How long does it take to sell land in Texas?

Selling raw, undeveloped land takes patience - often 1-3 years to find a buyer willing to pay a premium price. Parcels in high-growth areas will sell fastest. Land with development challenges may never sell.

What risks exist in buying Texas land?

Unknown zoning/permitting changes, natural disasters, market downturns, legal issues, property taxes, and long hold times all bring risks. Thorough due diligence is critical before investing.

Should I sell my land myself or use a company?

Selling land privately may earn top dollar but requires great time and marketing. A cash sale to an investment company brings speed and convenience at a discounted price. Most sellers use a combination based on each parcel.

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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