What are the Best Websites to Buy Land in Minnesota?

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What are the Best Websites to Buy Land in Minnesota?

Bart Waldon

Spanning over 84 million acres of forest, farmlands and scenic lake country in land area alone, Minnesota offers plentiful options for prospective buyers seeking vacant plots across both rural southern regions plus rugged northern woodlands. However, the search process locating desirable listings amid such extensive inventory volumes spread broadly statewide necessitates digital land search platforms efficiently filtering candidate opportunities initially vetting viability virtually before committing travel time assessing finalists eventually in person after preliminary indications surface most promisingly.

In recent decades now, prolific expansion improving digital listing aggregations together with remote working location flexibility trends expanding real estate search boundaries nationally enables possibilities identifying likely Minnesota land investment gems from anywhere applying sound screening logic digitally before journeying evaluating finds manifesting best upside potential worthy. Here we survey popular land listing sites aiding discoverability plus highlight prudent subsequent validation processes further inspecting shortlisted high-possibilities found online soon thereafter during local visits.

Top National Land Listing Search Platforms

For broadly combing through raw vacant land opportunities listed publicly across Minnesota’s immense geography affordably without an immediate need visiting each location initially, national land listing clearinghouses allow customized screening parameters fine tuning searches suit individual buyer priorities like budget, size, usage intents ultimately plus desired county locales currently rising fastest economically.

Leading national land listing sites facilitating Minnesota searches include:

Lands of America 

One of America’s largest land only search portals contains filters sorting national inventories down specific counties by size, price, and usage designations. Polygon parcel depictions enhance evaluations. No upfront advertising fees incentivize fuller seller listings. Buyer demand popularity metrics score listings.

Land Watch 

Emphasizing agent listings over private sellers directly, LandWatch offers robust search functionality screening parcels by acreage, pricing plus geographic traits like roadway frontage and water body proximity. But fractional results sorting inconsistencies occasional hamper sub-5 acre searches incompletely. Detailed property maps allow visioning build footprints virtually during assessments.

In essence, checking big picture state landscape perspectives across promising regions first when prioritizing locations suits most investors rather than just reacting towards pretty photographs depictions too narrow possibly. Online filters decode puzzles.

Assessing Local Listing Platforms – Minnesota MLS

Beyond national listing some showcase Minnesota land selectively using statewide filter capabilities sorting all active real estate listings which contains “Lots and Land” property type classification isolating undeveloped vacant parcels amidst residential or commercial assets populated already. Options include:


The consumer search portal of National Association of Realtors funnels MLS listings from local brokers into integrated map and filter formats customizable favoring land seekers priorities first mostly avoiding improved properties diluting relevancy. Both keyword descriptors detail plus visual location mapping functions enable scenario planning assessments.


Though principally housing focused, Zillow incorporates land/lot subdivision filtration viewing declining results as buyers toggle acreage size parameters upwards specifying larger rural lands sought predominantly. However imperfect systematization miscues overclassify some results inaccurately despite settings refined intentionally maximizing accuracy. Use judiciously being adaptive to search manually also.


Similar to Zillow structurally regarding function limitations attempting isolating vacant land selects specifically, Redfin delivers reasonably clean parcel segmentation results when narrowing down metro or subdivision regions but does suffers miscues overclassifying rural town outskirts occasional plots possibly due still containing existing derelict storage structures termed “lands” regardless by listing agents when uploaded not looking closely mislabeling lots intentionally but consequential still the same now confused buyers who filter explicitly seeking vacant acreage usage statuses exclusively free from encumbrances discovered later actual during on-location site assessments ultimately clarifying matters determine build suitability further. 

Consider Redfin strong starter possibly but verify leads generated doubled before committing fully believe or digitally promoted too confidently otherwise possibly disappointed ultimately seeking perfection unavailable.

Owner Lists Direct 

Bypassing brokers altogether transacting directly with private land owners eliminates sales commissions improving return-on-investments downstream for property developers or builders able qualifying financing, due diligence plus local engineering studies/approvals processes beforehand seeking entitled pad-ready or easily re-entitled land sites benefiting from market visibility exposure absent full brokerage representation anyways counterproductively. Less smooth transitions but still possible when self navigating local complexities familiarizing individually over time through successes plus failures realized ongoing ultimately. Instincts guide improving odds better over repeated deals.

Prudent Validation Before Visiting Shortlisted Minnesota Land Sites

Eventually after previewing digital land photographs, map depictions and county growth data points sufficiently promising supporting acquisition hypothesis plausibly, buyers still should validate promoted listing merits further through additional remote due diligence steps validating viability priorities individually before ever committing travel time assessing finds ultimately person. Wise actions include:

Title Records Checks 

Employ attorneys conducting courthouse title searches unveiling past property ownership lineages, expired liens impacting collateral capacities, disputed easements muddying boundary usages possibly and prior tax deficiencies jeopardizing title insurability protections sought guarding against defects uncovered later once transaction deposits finalize. Identify skeleton risks upfront, not afterwards.

Google Earth Historical Imagery 

Free snapshots toggling years back help expose prior land alterations like timber clearances, demolition removals or concerning brush pile burn sites possibly signifying hazardous waste interments nearby warranting evaluations clarifying matters determine contamination liabilities threats which could sink entire development viability propositions entirely if located too centrally amid intended usage zones. Hope best prepare worst.

Local Municipality Inquiries 

Though seemingly rudimentary, directly calling county or town clerks requesting zoning designations double confirmations on listings could uncover restrictions prohibiting intended development plans unaware initially that would only surface months later formally through full app permitting submissions derailing projects entirely too late in processes after heavy investments get committed reliant perfect execution timing. Now knowing beats surprises sabotaging years efforts and hundreds thousands sunk costs steep learning curves realized hard ways when seeking easy wins only naively. Ask proactively, silence kills uninformed.

Managing Broker Discussions 

Listing brokers familiar with parcel nuances like why current owners sell, prior showing buyer feedback shared and neighboring district plans soliciting local expert perspectives further inform Remote buyer considerations uniquely without needing guess specifics brokers know but might avoid disclosing voluntarily unless asked directly about aspects crucial tipping decisions investing out-of-state capital absent boots touching soil first. Information drives transactions favorably always.

While not every extraordinary deal manifests through top site picks filtering search tools set wide blanket prospecting net casts maximizing visibility originally necessarily, solid opportunities do surface digitally using consist tenant indications informing where in-person visits best reveal true gem deal potentials actionable. Advanced remote preparation converts possibilities beyond photography depicting open spaces serenely but limiting understandings precisely. Understanding distinguishes achievers maximizing upsides sustainably over repeated efforts.

So prepare thoroughly, validate cautiously believe slightly under reasonable evidences support only and possibilities improve discovering special Minnesota lands others passed over simply expecting obvious indicators guaranteeing slam dunk payouts effortlessly not realizing underneath complexities subtly where assumptions made foolishly lead pains unprepared once curtains lifted exposing miscalculations unfortunately too late reversing courses easily without consequences endured learning hard ways when easy buttons got pressed excitedly despite better judgements nagging intuitively beware undermine tenets rule real estate investing prudently treat land ventures like meritocracies won slowly, not casinos played luckily. But those persevering eventually do uncover surprising gems through hard work beating negative odds consistently over enough hands played skillfully optimizing variable conditions beneficially despite uncertainties abounding always.

Final Thoughts

While expansive national land listing platforms help broadly survey Minnesota's plentiful vacant acreage options initially from afar, prudent buyers still double check details directly with local county clerks and specialized property brokers familiar with hyper-localized zoning codes, infrastructure serviceability factors and district plans which dictate usage suitability for intended residential or commercial development pursuits further once inspected onsite ultimately. Though time intensive trying self-navigate such findings inexperienced, partnering Minnesota-based agents pays dividends avoiding easily overlooked limitations that outside buyers rarely discern from county records cross-referencing or feasibility studies commissioned determining build costs worse-case accurately. Relying solely on advertised listing content risks underselling the deeper diligence necessary ensuring land parcels merit the contemplated investments at suitable risk-return profiles justifying capital outlays projected. But those efforts devote identify gems worth the work rewards eventually.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are common mistakes reviewing Minnesota land listings remotely?

Beyond ignoring zoning codes research, common mistakes around Minnesota land listings include presuming access guarantees without legal easements deeded permanently, accepting advertised acreage totals site unseen failing accounting for substantial non-buildable wetland void deductions significantly reducing usable space plus misinterpreting permissible improvement allowances possibly restricted long-run by conservation easements undisclosed initially that only surveyors uncover investigating parcels forensically assessing capacity limitations comprehensively.

Can brokers help search Minnesota land inventory?

Yes, experienced Minnesota land brokers facilitate property searches through their network referral channels accessing off-market parcels not publicly listed yet by leveraging local relationships with assessment officials, attorney contacts, and land developer peers who circulate word discretely around best available sites primed for acquisition by qualified investors or builders bidding competitively once sufficient buyer interest gets confirmed privately protecting vulnerable deal positions cautiously in advance.

What real estate databases help assess Minnesota build suitability?

The Minnesota Geospatial Commons website provides free GIS mapping layers filtering down environmental risk factors, flood zone propensities plus zoning designations accurately at county/city municipal levels guiding land buyers what gets permitted where regarding home construction possibilities overlaying multiple data filters helps assess viability quicker remotely before visiting target sites ultimately.

What permits required developing raw Minnesota lands?

Typical permits required subdividing raw Minnesota lands for improved residential build outs include Environmental Site Assessments, Master Planned Community approvals, Traffic Impact Studies, Wetland Delineation Surveys Tree Preservation Orders, Preliminary & Final Plat Reviews, Grading/Erosion applications and individual well/septic system approvals assessed per lot seeking clearance certifying safe occupancy ultimately.

How can buyers validate Minnesota land listing details?

Before visiting Minnesota land parcels personally after previewing digitally online initially, buyers should validate advertising claims by phone with local county recorders offices checking title deed status, property zoning codes specifically, total acreage accuracy, plus confirm existence legally binding ingress/egress easements guarantee permanent access rights to otherwise remote locked inner sites landlocked by surrounding owners denying entry or passage unconditionally cancelling buildable feasibility entirely too. Assume nothing completely yet still when evaluations require confirming locally various assumptions faraway buyers make commonly misled by assumptions rather truths locally.

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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