The Best Counties to Buy Land in Arkansas

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The Best Counties to Buy Land in Arkansas

Bart Waldon

Arkansas entices buyers seeking acreage for remote private retreats or future off-grid living ventures with ample scenic beauty found nowhere else. Sparkling Ozark Mountain streams and lush rolling woodlands dotted with lakes offer ideal backdrops to establish homesteads on undeveloped tracts across the countryside. But variations in property access, lot terrain and local markets significantly impact pricing and building feasibility based on Arkansas' differing geographic regions. Conducting due diligence beforehand navigating the 75 unique county conditions proves essential.

Recent land transaction data verifies affordable opportunities exist to procure raw rural acreage in Arkansas. Statewide averages currently hover around $2,900 per acre. However, view that baseline as starting point for tailoring expectations based on desired location attributes and intended property uses. Dense forests of Newton County trade hands closer to just $1,100-per-acre compared to $6,100-plus found around fast growing Northwest bedroom communities. Regardless of budget or timeline, the insights in this guide better equip all potential Arkansas land buyers asking the right questions through the evaluation process.

For land shoppers focused on central Arkansas proximity, several appealing options exist that balance degrees of seclusion against accessibility around the Little Rock capital region. These well-positioned counties enable commuting feasibility when needed while sustaining connections to nature full-time.

Best Central Arkansas Counties for Raw Land Buys

Faulkner County

Faulkner County directly borders Little Rock’s northern suburbs, spanning just 644 square miles centered around the growing town of Conway. While not completely removed from urbanization influences, the convenient location contains desirable features like the recreational Lake Conway Reservoir that balances development pressures. Recent sales data shows average per acre land pricing around $3,400, on par with neighboring locales seeing upswing momentum. For buyers wanting near future suburban growth without sacrificing weekend rural retreat potential, Faulkner County checks important boxes.

Perry County

Positioned between Faulkner and Pulaski Counties, rural Perry County provides an attractive blend of affordability and open space less influenced by metro sprawl. Contractors secure building-ready land here typically around just $2,100 per acre. Now that value exchange does come with inherent trade-offs beyond infrastructure availability. Key healthcare facilities sit further away for example, so medical urgency response times may lag other regions. However those focused squarely on budget look to Perry County for some of central Arkansas’ best kept secrets securing private acreage ownership.

Pope County

Pope County stretches scenically along the Arkansas River Valley bisected between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountain ranges, presenting ideal terrain for future off-gridders. Rolling grasslands with interspersed forests appeal to hunting and hiking enthusiasts alike. For outdoorsy types not requiring urban proximity, Pope County offers access to quaint tightknit communities with acreage pricing around $2,600. The natural beauty found here keeps property values lower than faster growing central Arkansas areas.

Van Buren County

Lastly, Van Buren County rests peacefully about 25 miles north of Little Rock directly abutted by the Ozark National Forest to the north and Arkansas River to the south. Budget land shoppers take note, average pricing per acre sits around $2,300 partially thanks to plentiful fishing and boating access along the waterway. For those on the hunt for weekend recreational retreats not completely severed from city conveniences, Van Buren lands along these serene shores offer fantastic value.

Best Northwest Arkansas Options

While less remote than options further north, Northwest Arkansas still provides unspoiled Smoky Mountain vistas and ample elbow room. Benton and Washington counties rank among the state’s fastest growing locales, raising demand for private land havens.

Benton County

Flanked between Madison and Washington counties, Benton County provides a middle ground between Fayetteville’s rising urbanity and remoteness of the Ozark Mountains. Centered around Bentonville, home of Walmart’s corporate offices, the county experienced nearly 30% population growth since 2010. Average pricing per acre in Benton County currently sits around $5,300.

Washington County

As the most populated county in Northwest Arkansas, Washington County saw land prices jump over 20% last year alone. Major employers like the University of Arkansas and Tyson Foods, alongside desirable Fayetteville suburbs, make Washington County an increasingly popular destination. With high buyer competition, average acres in Washington County run around $6,100.

Carroll County

Just east of Bentonville’s growth corridor, Carroll County provides a more tranquil and budget-friendly woodsy escape. Spring fed Kings River carves a peaceful passage lined with canoeing outfitters through soaring limestone bluffs. Typical raw land in Carroll County trades around $3,100 per acre, up to half the price of adjacent locales.

Best North & West Arkansas Raw Land

For those prioritizing space, isolation and rugged beauty over convenience to centralized jobs and amenities, North and West Arkansas offer appealing options. Just be ready for longer drives to reach airports, hospitals and bulk shopping.

Baxter County

Tucked into Arkansas' northern mountain region, Baxter County provides pleasingly affordable and private retreat potential. Surrounded by Mark Twain National Forest acreage trading around just $1,600 on average. The remote location works perfectly for floating pristine rivers, fishing fertile lakes or escaping completely off-grid. Just budget fuel costs traversing long distances to civilization.

Newton County

The aptly dubbed “Natural State” descriptor feels truest in Newton County bordering Oklahoma. With the Ozark National Forest occupying southern regions and Buffalo National River recreation area to the north, Newton County serves up unspoiled vistas. Bargain basement land prices around $1,100 per acre keep budget buyers coming. Be ready to provide your own basic utilities and emergency services in the rural locale.

Whether seeking refuge from city life or room to establish multi-generation family compounds, Arkansas contains appealing land options for many needs. Just carefully weigh lifestyle priorities before jumping on real estate. While cost comparisons matter, also consider long-term goals aligning your purchase appropriately.

Final Thoughts

With gorgeous scenery and welcoming communities rooted in countryside living, Arkansas offers something for everyone in the market for raw rural land. Just be sure to carefully analyze regional attributes against your budget, lifestyle aims and timeline before picking a county for property ownership. Factor in considerations like proximity to healthcare services, access to roads and infrastructure, any development plans that could impact future valuations, and applicable zoning constraints on intended usage plans. While counties like Newton provide alluring upfront cost bargains, they come with likely trade-offs forfeiting nearby conveniences urbanites rely upon. Conduct thorough due diligence like site visits and expert consultations so your Arkansas acreage investment unfolds profitably for years ahead. Wherever you choose for country life in The Natural State, let your land help sustain personal serenity or multi-generational memories enjoying Arkansas’ outdoors bounties.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are property taxes like on raw land in Arkansas?

Arkansas property taxes on vacant undeveloped land average around 0.5% of the property's assessed value. However, different counties and municipalities set varying millage rates based on localized budgets and needs, meaning the exact tax amount per acre differs across regions. Contact county tax assessor’s offices for precise details before purchasing land. Also note that if land gets developed later, property taxes will likely increase reflecting reassessments.

How feasible is building a house on raw acreage bought in Arkansas?

Building residential homes or hunting cabins on raw land purchased in Arkansas carries additional complexities over developed lots connected to infrastructure. Ensure the property allows and is properly zoned for your intended building plans through the local county clerk processes first. Also factor in costs to clear land, lease excavation equipment, dig well or install septic if no public utilities available, transport materials through remote areas, and meet code requirements. While 100% feasible with right budget, building in remote Arkansas locations has hidden hurdles.

What timber rights restrictions exist on Arkansas land purchases?

In some Arkansas counties, prior owners may have sold timber rights separate from property ownership. This allows logging companies access to harvest mature trees on the lands per contracted terms. Ask specifically about any severed timber deeds attached to target parcels before closing and negotiate adjusted pricing if timber revenues now diverted. Cleared lands also lose natural appeal and shade coverage. Ensure your plans align with harvest schedules so desired foliage remains intact through ownership if possible.

Is funding available to help buy raw land tracts in Arkansas?

Several USDA programs like farm loans and first-time homebuyer programs apply towards vacant land purchases in eligible Arkansas counties. The Natural Resources Conservation Service also issues grants aiding those facing prime farmland conversion and wetland conservation projects on acquired lands. Terms and qualification rules govern, but federal help exists for niche needs or loan assistance meeting unique buyer situations when buying Arkansas acreage.

What wildlife encounters happen most on Arkansas wooded lands?

Abundant whitetail deer and wild turkey populate wooded hills and bluffs throughout the state. Black bears, coyotes and bobcats also roam certain remote areas. While mostly avoiding humans, take normal precautions like waiting for escorts when hiking off trails and not approaching cubs with mothers. Also watch for snakes like copperheads and spiders like brown recluses common to the region if collecting firewood or clearing brush on newly acquired acres.

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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