Pros and Cons of Buying Land in Mississippi

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Pros and Cons of Buying Land in Mississippi

Bart Waldon

Over 10.5 million acres exist across Mississippi dedicated primarily towards farming, logging and other productive rural purposes according to the latest USDA census update, meaning no shortage of land investment opportunities arise but also unique caveats assessing merits against hazards for out-of-state buyers entering unfamiliar territory. Government projections trace notable population shifts from the Delta reversing multi-decade declines as infrastructure upgrades unlock locale potential. However underwhelming per capita income levels coupled with opportunities pursuing more stable plays in faster growing regions explains why thorough due diligence proves instrumental before sinking capital into Mississippi land buys. 

This guide examines core factors both for and against buying land in Mississippi - from metro periphery plays near revitalization zones to more remote timber and crop acreage. Key considerations will include taxation variability across counties, infrastructure development differences determining future utility, and inherent challenges attempting to resell rural lands lacking area maturation necessary elevating end valuations closer to basis entry pricing thresholds today. Let’s objectively weigh the evidence on whether Mississippi dirt delivers.

A Localized Look at Mississippi

Mississippi is located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordered by Tennessee, Alabama, the Gulf of Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The state features forests, farmland, wetlands, beaches, major rivers like the Mississippi River, and an abundance of wildlife. The climate brings hot, humid summers and mild winters.

Popular cities like Jackson, Gulfport, and Biloxi offer plenty of culture, entertainment, dining, and job opportunities to residents. The overall cost of living statewide is about 15% below the national average - a major perk. However, the median income is also lower than the U.S. average.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Mississippi's natural beauty and recreational options like camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting. Due to its central location, residents can take weekend trips with ease to major southern destinations. The state does face challenges in public education ranking and healthcare availability in rural areas that future residents will want to research beforehand.

Benefits of Buying Land in Mississippi

There are many advantages to purchasing land in the state of Mississippi, including:

Affordable Pricing

The average price per acre for land in Mississippi is around $2,400 which is well below the national average. Forested land can be purchased for as little as $1,000 per acre in some rural counties. With lower land prices, buyers can purchase bigger parcels while staying within their budget.

All Types Available

Mississippi provides a diversity of landscapes so buyers can find the right land type for their needs. Options include farmland, timberland, recreational land with lakes/rivers, residential acreage, commercial property, and hunting land rich with wildlife to pursue deer, turkey, ducks, and more.

Peace and Privacy

Those wanting to enjoy nature, have privacy, and live a simpler lifestyle appreciate Mississippi's rural lands away from busy cities. Building a country home or cabin also allows customization and freedom.

Investment Potential

While land values are increasing in Mississippi, prices still remain affordable compared to other areas of the country. Purchasing land now can pay off decades later or be sold quicker for a profit if the market continues rising.

Low Property Taxes

Annual average property taxes on land in Mississippi are only 0.4% of the property's value - one of the lowest rates in the U.S. This keeps long-term carrying costs lower for owners.

Incentives Available

Mississippi promotes business growth across industries with numerous incentives, workforce training programs, and infrastructure development. Those wanting to utilize land commercially may benefit from state or local economic packages.

Potential Downsides of Owning Land in Mississippi

Despite the many positives, there are a few potential cons to evaluate before buying land in Mississippi:

Property Access Challenges

While main highways and interstates connect bigger cities in Mississippi, rural backroads and driveways require more maintenance and can become damaged during storms. Ensure any property you buy has suitable road access.

Hunting Restrictions

Hunting land must be registered and approved for legal hunting use. Specific licenses for various seasons and equipment also apply so research accordingly if using your land for hunting purposes.

High Renovation/Construction Costs

While land itself comes at an affordable price, constructing a new home or commercial building in Mississippi can get quite pricey due to material and labor costs. Permits and contractor hiring will add to the overall investment too.

Risk of Natural Disasters

Being located in the southeastern coastal region, Mississippi faces substantial hurricane and flooding threats during storm seasons which can damage properties. Make sure you have adequate property insurance.

Lack of Services in Rural Areas

Sparsely populated rural counties may lack quick emergency response services, medical facilities, high speed internet connectivity, reliable mobile phone coverage, and retail/entertainment conveniences.

Key Steps for Buying Land in Mississippi

If you decide Mississippi has the natural beauty, slower pace of life, and affordability you want in a land purchase, make sure you take the right steps:

Clearly Define Intended Use

Decide why you want the land – such as recreational use, farming, residential, or commercial development. This drives location selection and other criteria.

Consult an Attorney

Enlist a local real estate attorney during the buying process to review title work, easements, deed preparation/filing, and closing procedures. Don’t skip this key step.

Inspect On-Site

Thoroughly evaluate prospective land in-person to check boundaries, water sources, terrain, access roads, energy/utility availability, soil quality if farming, and vegetation coverage.

Review All Disclosures

Carefully examine seller disclosures about prior land use, flood zone status, known defects, restrictions, mineral/water rights ownership, leasing agreements, or other factors affecting the property.

Complete Due Diligence

In addition to inspections and disclosures, research county records, use surveyor site maps, handle appraisals, conduct environmental testing, confirm zoning parameters, and apply for required permits.

Taking these essential steps helps land buyers make an informed decision and avoid unwanted surprises after purchasing property in Mississippi. Partnering with a knowledgeable local real estate professional and attorney simplifies the process too.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Land in Mississippi

Purchasing land can be a big investment. Make sure the process goes smoothly by avoiding these common mistakes new buyers make in Mississippi:

Not Involving a Real Estate Attorney

Hiring an experienced real estate attorney is critical before finalizing any land purchase. They can catch title issues, negotiate on your behalf, ensure proper deed transfers, and assist with closing. A couple thousand dollars in legal fees can save you from major headaches down the road. An attorney also facilitates quicker conflict resolution if any problems surface with the land after purchase.

Skipping In-Person Property Evaluation

Don’t rely solely on the listing photos when viewing Mississippi land for sale online. There are many unknown factors not visible through photos. Make time in your home buying schedule to view the land in person so you can thoroughly walk and assess the perimeter boundaries, access roads, ground condition, vegetation, water resources, topography, views and more.

Not Researching Building Codes and Permit Needs

If you plan to construct a residential property, commercial structure or make other improvements to vacant land in Mississippi, research in advance regarding needed permits, zoning regulations, architectural requirements and related local building codes. Not doing so and improperly creating plans for improvements could lead to rework delays and extra costs if your vision doesn’t satisfy state and county compliance rules.

Doing adequate homework before finalizing any land deal can prevent most unwelcome surprises in Mississippi. Lean on real estate and legal experts throughout the buying process as well. They have the experience to guide you through critical steps correctly the first time.

In Closing – Mississippi Provides Appeal for Land Buyers

From its natural beauty and affordability to investment upside and sanctuary appeal away from city life, Mississippi offers many pros for land buyers ready to take the plunge. Keep the potential setbacks in mind, but the state gives both residents and out-of-state buyers plenty to love if purchasing land for personal use or profit-building purposes. Just be sure to complete due diligence and inspections to ensure the property aligns with your goals long-term.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land are available for purchase in Mississippi?

You can find many types of rural, recreational, residential, agricultural, and commercial land for sale in Mississippi. Common options include timberland, farmland, hunting acreage, waterfront property, vacant residential lots, and commercially zoned land for business use.

What is the process for buying land in Mississippi?

The process involves deciding on intended land use, researching parcels for sale that match your criteria, viewing properties in-person, making an offer, negotiating price and terms, conducting due diligence like inspections and title review, securing financing if needed, and finalizing the purchase with an attorney.

What costs are involved with buying Mississippi land beyond the purchase price? 

In addition to the property cost, buyers will need to budget for expenses like legal fees, inspections, appraisals, survey fees, permit applications, title insurance, property taxes, and potentially utility installation, land clearing, road building, or other prep work for your plans with the land.

How can I find reputable real estate companies that sell land in Mississippi? 

Reputable land specialists will have positive online reviews, belong to industry associations like the National Land Realtors Association, have direct experience buying/selling rural land regularly, can provide local market insights, and will guide you thoroughly through the property search and acquisition process.

Is financing available for buying undeveloped land in Mississippi? 

Financing can be secured but usually comes with higher rates and requirements like 20-25% down payments minimum. Land loans or owner financing from motivated sellers provide options too. Paying cash outright is ideal and gives buyers greater leverage to negotiate better deals.

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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