Pros and Cons of Buying Land in Ohio

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Pros and Cons of Buying Land in Ohio
By

Bart Waldon

With around 75,000 people, Ohio has the largest Amish population in the country. When the Amish first arrived in the early 1800s, they found the farmland and lack of crowds perfect for their traditional, community-focused lifestyle. Living simply without modern tech like electricity and cars, Amish families maintain the old-fashioned ways of their ancestors. Their biggest communities can be found among the picturesque hills and valleys of eastern and south-central Ohio.

Holmes County stands out as a top place to experience authentic Amish culture. Visitors can ride in a horse-drawn buggy, browse homemade quilts and furniture, or enjoy family-style meals at Amish homesteads. Many Amish also run small businesses selling goods that are hugely popular at local markets. As more Amish settle in the Buckeye State, it's clear Ohio offers the peaceful country life they seek.

For land buyers, Ohio also represents a chance to own great property at reasonable prices compared to much of the country. Scenic surroundings and productive farmland add to the appeal. But before searching for that perfect parcel around Cleveland or Cincinnati, weigh the pros and cons of buying Ohio land carefully.

The Pros of Buying Land in Ohio

Ohio offers many benefits that make it an attractive place to purchase property, from affordable pricing to beautiful scenery. Here are some of the top perks:

Reasonable Prices

Compared to coastal cities, real estate in Ohio costs a fraction of the price. The average vacant acre goes for around $5,000 - very doable for more buyers. Even in cities like Columbus, land is cheaper than much of the country.

Future Growth Potential

Today's low prices could mean huge returns later as infrastructure expands into rural areas. Current cheap land could skyrocket down the road as development comes to remote spots. Buying now could really pay off.

Prime Farmland

Much of Ohio provides fertile ground perfect for corn, soy, wheat and more. The rich soil also offers ideal conditions for gardening and landscaping. For those who want to cultivate the land, Ohio has some of the best.

Scenic Landscapes

With rolling hills, forests, lakes and prairies, Ohio boasts some beautiful backdrops. Places like Hocking Hills showcase the diversity of stunning natural settings. Finding great views is easy here.

Low Property Taxes

Ohio's property tax rates are more affordable than the national norm. Lower taxes help make up for lower incomes on rural land. Owners get to keep more of the money made on their property.

Room to Spread Out

Ohio has a below average population density compared to other states. Even around big cities like Cleveland, there is room to find spacious parcels that offer privacy. The open space allows buyers to purchase big acreages and not worry about encroaching development.

The Cons of Buying Land in Ohio

Of course, purchasing property in Ohio also comes with downsides. Here are some of the biggest drawbacks to be aware of:

Limited Public Land

Most of Ohio's land base is in private ownership. This leaves very little public land open for purposes like recreation. If you want to be able to access parks, trails, wildlife areas, and other public spaces, Ohio lands fewer options compared to western states. Activities like hunting can be harder without having public lands.

Variable Climate

Ohio can see everything from frigid winters to hot, humid summers. The state is prone to lake effect snow in the winter and severe thunderstorms in the summer. The variable climate can create challenges for certain crops or animals not suited for both temperature extremes.

Few Major Cities

If you want to live close to a big city, Ohio offers fewer options compared to many other states. Outside of Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo, most of Ohio is rural small towns. Access to amenities like airports, pro sports, and entertainment is more limited.

Ongoing Rust Belt Decline

While manufacturing and heavy industry used to be the state's economic engine, the decline of these sectors has caused ongoing economic challenges. Certain regions face more unemployment, poverty, and urban decay than other parts of the country.

High Property Taxes in Cities

While rural areas have low property taxes, the rates in major metros like Cleveland are among the highest in the country. Taxes eat into profits for commercial property owners. High annual tax bills can diminish attractiveness of owning land in cities.

Flood-Prone Areas

Some parts of Ohio are prone to flooding, especially along major rivers. From the Ohio River in the south to the Great Lakes in the north, low-lying areas near water see regular flood events. This represents a risk for both damage and reduced accessibility to properties in the flood plain.

Limited Public Transportation

Outside of a few major metros, public transportation options are very limited across most of Ohio. This can make travel around and between cities without a personal vehicle challenging. Poor transportation access reduces convenience of getting around the state if you live in rural areas.

Key Factors to Consider Before Buying Land in Ohio

If you're exploring purchasing rural property or raw land in Ohio, keep these key factors in mind:

  • Location - Consider proximity to amenities based on how you intend to use the land. Also research any local economic challenges.
  • Terrain - Hilly or flat? Soil quality? Flood risks? Understand how well suited the land is for building, farming, etc.
  • Infrastructure - What utilities are available nearby? Road access? Internet availability? Lack of infrastructure can limit land uses.
  • Zoning Laws - Make sure the local zoning allows your intended use - residential, commercial, agricultural, etc. Don't assume you can build anything.
  • Mineral Rights - Don't overlook who owns rights to any oil, gas or valuable minerals under the surface. This can affect potential income.

Taking time to thoroughly evaluate both the pros and cons will help you make the most informed decision on whether purchasing property in the Buckeye State aligns with your needs and goals. With attractive pricing across much of the state, Ohio offers affordable opportunities to invest in land. Just make sure to go in with full awareness of the potential benefits and challenges.

Final Words

Purchasing land in Ohio can be a smart move for many folks. Reasonable pricing means you can likely find an affordable property compared to other parts of the country. At the same time, land values may rise substantially down the road. So you get a deal now with big potential for long-term gains.

However, you need to look at both the pros and cons carefully based on what you want to do. Important factors to weigh include location, infrastructure availability, terrain, local zoning laws and who owns the mineral rights under the surface. Taking time to research all of these things is key to making a sound investment.

While buying land in Ohio comes with trade-offs like anything else, being an informed shopper helps ensure you make a decision that fits your personal needs and leads to rewards later. If you enter the process eyes wide open to the benefits and challenges alike, owning a slice of the Buckeye State can end up being a fulfilling adventure with abundant possibilities. Just do your homework thoroughly on the front end for best results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the main costs of buying land in Ohio?

The purchase price is obviously the big one. Property taxes add on annually as well. If mineral rights aren't included, that's another cost to factor in. And if utilities aren't available, installing a well, septic system etc really adds up. Closing costs like title insurance and filing fees apply too.

Does Ohio restrict buying farmland in any way?

Nope, Ohio doesn't limit foreign buyers or require minimum acreage for farms. Corporate ownership of agriculture land is also allowed. The only exception is some farm preservation programs require owner-operation.

How can I find out who owns the mineral rights?

Check with the county recorder's office where the property is. The deed specifies whether mineral rights are included or have been separated. They can also tell you about any current extraction projects.

What land surveys are needed in Ohio?

For any new property division, you need a full survey by a licensed surveyor and registered with the county. A mortgage lender may also require a survey, but it's case by case.

Is unincorporated land a good cheap option?

Yes, since infrastructure is limited and zoning laws fewer in rural areas usually. But county codes and permitting still apply. No utilities could make development costs go way up.

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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