The Best Counties to Buy Land in Louisiana

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The Best Counties to Buy Land in Louisiana

Bart Waldon

Louisiana spans over a total of 28.4 million acres across its 64 individual parishes holding diverse terrain – from Gulf coastal wetlands to central prairie cropland through northern hill country blanketed in pine forests. The optimal parishes for land buyers to purchase property within depends heavily on preferences balancing affordability, intended usage and practical infrastructure access enabling development upside essential for maximizing lasting value. USDA data shows over 16 million acres currently actively farmed producing soybeans, sugarcane, cotton, corn and rice – allowing south central rural parishes to offer budget per-acre listings regularly below $2,500. 

Alternatively, dynamic commercial viability near logistics or education hubs across East Baton Rouge, Orleans and Lafayette parishes position land better for those planning housing communities or business facilities despite higher initial purchase costs hovering around $7,500 per acre on average. Proper due diligence identifying the best Louisiana counties providing ideal land conditions for specific plans determines lasting fulfillment and strong returns on acreage investments long-term.

This guide showcases Louisiana land market standouts that balance affordability and upside for varied pursuits.

Rural Investment Potential - Franklin Parish

Bordered by Arkansas and Mississippi, sparsely populated Franklin Parish provides ample inexpensive tracts well-suited for agriculture, forestry or hunting leases thanks to abundant water access via streams and the Boeuf River. With median cropland prices around $1,800 per acre, investors find extremely affordable large acreage sites capable of rent revenue. Sabine National Forest proximity appeals for private recreational retreats as well adjacent to public lands. And since the parish currently only shows depopulation of 1.6%, future prospects remain stable for maintaining long-range land investment value compared to riskier coastal parishes more vulnerable to storms and soil deterioration.

Diverse Growth Potential – Livingston Parish

A suburban parish northwest of Lake Pontchartrain and just east of Baton Rouge, Livingston Parish offers both vibrant development zones along main corridors in Denham Springs and Walker plus remote wooded acreages 20 minutes away. The average per-acre price sits around $4,250 - above state-wide rural parish averages but lower than areas closer to New Orleans – providing a spectrum of property options. With *year-over-year population growth above 11% over the last decade according to census data, Livingston Parish stands poised for even more commercial and residential development unlocked by new I-12 infrastructure connecting to metro job centers. This makes both built lots and vacant lands promising plays for appreciation.

Waterfront Recreation - Cameron Parish

Fronting Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, Cameron Parish serves up affordable waterside parcels and wetlands starting around $2,500 per acre on average feeding the Calcasieu River according to recent sales data. 70% of the parish falls protected refuges or wildlife management zones offering nearby public land access. And for land buyers prioritizing boat launches, shore fishing, storm watching and waterfowl hunting over infrastructure demands, Cameron Parish provides an abundance of budget rural sites tailor made for personal hobby or vacation property retreats. Just budget for elevated foundation construction.

Business Development Potential – Lafayette Parish

Centrally located Lafayette Parish presents one of Louisiana’s most vibrant urban economies away from New Orleans in the heart of Cajun Country. Major healthcare systems, higher education infrastructure through University of Louisiana at Lafayette coupled with arts/culture destinations position the parish seat and surrounding townships for increasing land demand from both commercial developers and new residents. Convenient highway connectivity via I-10 and I-49 add logistics advantages. Average per-acre price tags hover around $7,500 overall – well above rural averages but lower than trendy regions in Texas or Atlanta metro makes this parish perfect for those looking to build or lease property to thriving enterprises.

Additional Key Louisiana Parish Land Purchase Considerations

Beyond surface appeal of initial listing prices when identifying prospective parishes to purchase land in Louisiana, several other factors influence which areas make strong long term investments. Consider things like:

Water Access 

Rivers, bayous or drainage basins enhance appeal for fishing, boating or irrigation plus natural beauty. But also investigate possible flooding history.

Infrastructure Networks 

Parishes farther from urban interconnectivity face limitations on internet access, electricity reliability challenges and road quality hindering development.

Environmental Challenges 

Coastal erosion, wildfire risks, flood zones and hurricane storm surges greatly disrupt parish land stability long-term in Gulf zones.

Tax Burdens 

Crunching total property tax rates for land holding investments factors heavily on net cash flow returns.

Local Zoning /Land Use 

Ensure current zoning or use designations align with any development plans down the road requiring permits so surprises don’t emerge later derailing dreams!

Evaluating the specific land dynamics beyond pricing alone identifies Louisiana parish standouts delivering stable, fruitful ownership experiences for buyers instead of future headaches.

Prime Industries Driving Local Land Demand

Understanding which industries power individual parish economies also provides clues into what types of properties will appeal to area business buyers and developers – fueling land value growth:

Orleans Parish – Tourism, shipping/logistics, tech startups, film production

Lafayette Parish – Healthcare, education, retail, entertainment

Jefferson Parish – International trading, oil/gas, aerospace

Caddo Parish – Agriculture, timber, some auto manufacturing

Identifying parishes with diverse business environments hedge bets against isolated sector downturns that devastate single industry towns. Dynamic economies lift surrounding property appetite across rural, suburban and urban tracts alike.

Key Takeaways – Getting Louisiana Land Purchase Right

Within a state showing gradual overall population and economic gains, certain Louisiana parishes outpace others regarding viable land investment appeal or future development potential. But blanket statewide assumptions fail to uncover best hidden opportunities meeting buyer preferences and risk tolerances. Applying tailored parish-specific research based on intended land usage goals allows securing properties delivering lasting financial performance, recreational joy or long-range financial security for Louisiana land shoppers who drill down into the data.

Final Thoughts

Buying viable land across Louisiana’s 64 parishes challenges out-of-state investors unfamiliar with hyperlocal dynamics influencing everything from per acre pricing to development potential and infrastructure reliability beyond surface curb appeal. Applying extensive research and consultation with knowledgeable location-based real estate professionals and land companies proves critical before bidding on listings too good to be true or sending soil tests claiming theoretical suitability not requiring raised foundation costs. Properly vetting parish distress factors around flood histories, toxic Superfund declare sites and necessity for storm wind buffers uncovers hidden headed not caught in listings marketed to external purchasers. Committing due diligence allows securing Louisiana land delivering lasting overall value fitting usage goals rather than problem properties demanding extensive remediation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are property taxes like buying land in Louisiana parishes? 

Tax rates fluctuate significantly parish to parish with millage rates ranging anywhere from 50 mills to 300+ mills in 2021. Generally rural forest or agricultural lands carry lower effective property taxes while commercial city development sites or expensive waterfront residential parcels lift tax burdens. Always model estimated post-purchase taxes owed before bidding.

Which Louisiana parish is cheapest for buying land? 

Currently the most budget friendly options come from parishes like Tensas, Claiborne or Madison where average per acre land prices often fall sub-$1,000 for extensive acreages. However these also offer little infrastructure or nearby development. Assess goals to identify ideal balance of affordability and attributes.

Do Louisiana parishes near Texas show faster development growth currently?

Yes - northern and western Louisiana parishes bordering Texas often benefit from spillover migration patterns from major metros like Dallas thanks to abundant cheap land and beneficial tax policies luring transplants. Regions nearer Houston and Interstate 10 corridor in particular lead state population expansion.

What concerns exist buying coastal parish land in Louisiana? 

Gulf-adjacent parishes carry higher ongoing risks of seasonal hurricane flooding, shoreline erosion and soil deterioration from higher salinity content. These risks jeopardize building integrity over decades while driving insurance costs higher long-term compared to inland regions better buffered from storms and rising sea levels.

Which Louisiana parish reports the strongest job growth post-pandemic?

Lafayette Parish centered around the city of Lafayette shows tremendous job gains since 2020 thanks to robust University of Louisiana system expansion alongside tech, healthcare and manufacturing growth. Its central I-10 corridor location also fuels continuing migration into surrounding communities as a heuristic culture destination.

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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