The Best Counties to Buy Land in New Jersey

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The Best Counties to Buy Land in New Jersey

Bart Waldon

With over 4 million acres dedicated to lush forests, fertile farmlands and Atlantic coastal living, New Jersey presents no shortage of alluring landscapes tempting land buyers exploring ownership opportunities. As one of the nation’s most densely populated states, a full 40% of total acreage currently falls into private hands according to USDA data – ensuring plentiful prospects exist for those seeking vacant plots or rural spreads offering sanctuary from bustling suburban sprawl.

Yet savvy investors know even among the Garden State’s cornucopia of picturesque terrain, certain localities outshine for land buying prospects based on geographic virtues positioning residents to prosper whether planning housing development plays or leisurely hobby farms equally.

Let’s explore the top 5 New Jersey counties shining brightest for future-focused property investors seeking the best experience balance and value appreciation potential when staking acreage claims today.

New Jersey’s Unique Land Ownership Allure

Before surveying standout county-specific locations, consider underlying factors fueling New Jersey's enduring land ownership intrigue:

Strategic Northeast Location 

Within weekend driving access to both New York City and Philadelphia adjacent megahubs, New Jersey acts as bedroom community to over 22 million Northeast metro population while retaining its distinct cultural identity.

Infrastructure Access 

The state lays claim to having most extensive roadway network in the entire nation, ensuring property accessibility and connectivity advantages that enhance utility and valuations long term.

Business Friendliness 

New Jersey offers both federal opportunity zones and state level incentives for startups, farming enterprises tax relief among small business niches. Such perks incentivize investments especially across development planning.

Lifestyle Flexibility 

From quaint seaside living to equestrian estates, golf communities and family farm ambiance, varied build-ready vacant land options help customize lifestyle pursuits without necessarily needing extreme wealth.

5 New Jersey Counties Offering Top Ownership Experiences

While no universally “best” land investment location exists given unique buyer needs differing, the following 5 New Jersey counties stand out providing overall appealing balance across location attractions, current value sweet spots and projected future demand trends that facilitate rewarding ownership journeys for varied pursuits.

1. Monmouth County

This central east county strikes an enviable Atlantic coastal lifestyle living balance as home to both upscale enclaves and more affordable zones enabling land ownership dreams aligning with middle-class means too if willing to locate strategically inland bypassing premium seafront plots.

Key Virtues

  • Attractive beaches and marinas facilitating recreational living
  • Established housing demand but retains open spaces
  • Convenience access to robust Route 18 regional highway corridor
  • Farm assessed lands incentives available lowering taxes

2. Cumberland County

Offering the lowest average land prices statewide given its Down South position, Cumberland emerges a value hunter’s hidden paradise with temperate weather that keeps fuel costs low while natural attractions like rambling woodlands ideal for hunting/fishing provide private rural respite plausibly developing over time.

Prime Attributes

  • Among the state's lowest land per acre costs currently
  • Positioned for eventual spill off housing growth from Atlantic County next door as metro prices soar ever higher
  • Contains 2 state parks and recreational lake region
  • Qualifies for special farmland tax assessments lowering carrying costs

3. Gloucester County

Lying along the southeastern Philadelphia metropolitan fringe, accessible Gloucester County provides compelling land plots enjoying proximity perks as suburbanization brings supporting amenities ever closer while buffer parcels still supply pastoral preservations or eventual construction income potential as more get priced out across the river.

Top Considerations

  • Fast developing outer Philly suburb promising continued demand lifts
  • High performing school districts lure family buyers seeking value
  • Farmland preservation incentives available capping taxes
  • Light rail mass transit connections adding accessibility

4. Warren County

Nesting northwest mountain valley splendor blending countryside serenity with only hour proximity reach to Manhattan and the entire Lehigh trade zone, Warren County offers protected open acreage suitable for either weekend escapes or launching visionary ventures in one of New Jersey’s least discovered gem cutters.

Noteworthy Aspects

  • Boasts the state’s largest farm average size showcasing viability
  • Forestry, mining and tourism economy translates to sound jobs outlook
  • Positioned along I-80 logistics corridor
  • Home to unsung Phillipsburg emerging satellite town

5. Atlantic County

Coastal Atlantic County retains massive land tracts untapped currently at seeming bargain rates compared to areas farther north, offering investor foresight substantial scale speculation upside either holding through inevitable infrastructure connectivity improvements and south Jersey market value appreciation cycles or strategically subdividing for phased profit taking as regional migration continues drifting overall.

Prominent Attributes

  • Houses underrated Atlantic City region with ample casino supported jobs stabilizing economy
  • Half the average statewide land per acre prices revealing deep value buying opportunity
  • Farmland preservation tax incentives in effect countywide
  • Ripe for large-scale plotted community development plays on speculative model

Final Thoughts

While subjective aspects like intended goals and lifestyle priorities sway site suitability, the above counties consistently score highest average marks staying steps ahead of shifting market curves and demographic preferences evolving throughout ever-dynamic New Jersey. Leveraging location intelligence around zoning flexibility, infrastructure reliability, tax liabilities plus local economic health indicators allow securing lands aligned with personal time horizons and risk-reward comfort levels. County-specific strengths illuminate pathways for crafting legacy generational assets from once overlooked or underappreciated acreage holdings. Consult invested local agents specializing in zones matching needs to receive offline guidance steering deals towards ultimately fulfilling ventures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are current average per acre land valuations across well-demanded New Jersey recreational counties?

Northern New Jersey land averages around $15K per acre for buildable plots in Sussex County while southern Cape May country coastal acreages trade closer to $170K per acre. Assess attractiveness based on personal recreational budget needs.

What annual property tax burdens apply towards owning vacant land across different NJ counties?

As a rule of thumb, an average 1.89% county and municipal property tax levy based on assessed vacant land valuations deducts from investor net yields yearly. But farmland assessments or conservation lands can qualify for preferential lower rates capped around $300 annually protecting owners.

What closing timeline makes sense for buying NJ land realistically?

Standard residential purchase contingencies span 30-45 days but localized complexities regarding water table testing, pinelands permissions etc. when building residential projects on virgin land often extends closing timeframes to 60+ days. Flood zone construction brings even more red tape. Revisit contingencies to confirm.

Should I consider owner financing when buying New Jersey lands plots?

Outside individual investors offering creative owner financing represents an alternate avenue for buyers unable to secure traditional commercial loans immediately to acquire lands across NJ. If negotiating such terms, still involve real estate attorneys to formally vet and protect all parties legally via drafted contracts.

What due diligence costs relate to buying land in New Jersey?

Typical due diligence spends for New Jersey vacant land buyers tally 1-3% of property valuation amounts covering professional services like surveys, title searches, attorney closing fees, permitting processing costs, basic contamination audits, buffer environmental studies etc. Budget accordingly and clarify exactly what reports any purchase offers made contingent upon reflect realistic budget expectations.

What types of land permits require consideration if planning development in New Jersey?

Construction permits, wetlands permit, drainage field testing permissions, environmental impact reviews, site plan approvals, zoning variances etc. remain common New Jersey barriers for raw land plots being built up from vacant status. Rezoning appeals may also apply depending on county. Probe use qualifications before acquiring as assumptions risk surprise delays later.

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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