What are The Best Websites to Buy Land in Pennsylvania?

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What are The Best Websites to Buy Land in Pennsylvania?

Bart Waldon

So, you've got your heart set on owning a piece of Pennsylvania? I don't blame you. From the rolling Allegheny Mountains to the fertile farmlands of Lancaster County, there's a lot to love about the Keystone State.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of where to look online, let's talk numbers for a sec. Did you know farmland prices in PA have been creeping up? Acre Trader reports a 1.8% jump from 2021 to 2022, with the average acre now costing about $6,800. And get this - according to the state's Department of Agriculture, farmland covers a whopping 7.3 million acres. That's roughly a quarter of PA's total area. Pretty wild, right?

Now, let's get down to business. Where do you start your search for that perfect plot? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Here's the lowdown on the best websites for land shopping in Pennsylvania.

Zillow: The Swiss Army Knife of Real Estate

You've probably heard of Zillow. It's like the Google of real estate - everybody uses it. And for good reason:

  • It's user-friendly. Even your tech-phobic uncle could figure it out.
  • Tons of filters to narrow down your search.
  • That satellite view? Gold for getting a bird's eye view of the land.

But here's the thing - Zillow's great for getting a general idea, but it's not always the best for finding those hidden rural gems. It's like using a sledgehammer to hang a picture - it'll do the job, but there might be better tools out there.

LandWatch: For When You're Serious About Rural

Now we're talking. LandWatch is like that friend who grew up on a farm and knows every back road in the county. It's all about rural properties, which makes it perfect for:

  • Farmland seekers
  • Wannabe homesteaders
  • Folks looking for hunting grounds

What's cool about LandWatch is the detail in their listings. You'll feel like you're standing on the property just reading the description. And you can often contact sellers directly - no middleman required.

Fair warning though, the website looks like it was designed in the early 2000s. But hey, we're here for the land, not web design awards, right?

Land and Farm: The Farmer's Marketplace

If LandWatch is your rural-savvy friend, Land and Farm is the old farmer next door who's forgotten more about agriculture than most people will ever know. This site is a goldmine for:

  • Working farms
  • Recreational land
  • Anything agriculture-related

They've got a handy loan calculator too, which is great for figuring out if you can actually afford that 100-acre dream (reality check, anyone?).

Just keep in mind that some listings might be as old as the hills. Always double-check to make sure the property's still available.

Trulia: Your Neighborhood Scout

Owned by the same folks as Zillow, Trulia brings something different to the table - a focus on neighborhoods. It's like having a local guide in your back pocket.

What's cool:

  • Interactive maps showing schools, crime rates, and local hotspots
  • User reviews giving you the inside scoop on different areas
  • A mobile app that's actually useful (I know, shocker)

The downside? Trulia shines in urban areas but can be a bit lacking when it comes to rural plots. Use it to get a feel for the broader area, but don't rely on it exclusively for land listings.

Lands of America: Where the Land Lovers Hang Out

Part of the Land.com Network, this site is all about rural real estate. It's like a dating app, but instead of swiping right on potential dates, you're falling in love with parcels of land.

What sets it apart:

  • Detailed property descriptions (we're talking soil types, timber values, the works)
  • Interactive maps showing property boundaries
  • A mobile app for when the land-buying fever strikes while you're out and about

Just be warned - some of the really good features are behind a paywall. But hey, quality comes at a price, right?

Realtor.com: Old Reliable

Think of Realtor.com as that dependable friend who always shows up on time. It's not flashy, but it gets the job done.

Why it's worth a look:

  • Up-to-date listings straight from the MLS
  • Solid neighborhood data
  • A mobile app with some cool AR features (because why not add a little sci-fi to your land hunt?)

The catch? It's not specifically geared towards land, so you might have to do a bit more digging to find what you're after.

Making the Most of Your Online Land Hunt

Now that we've covered the "where," let's talk about the "how." Here are some tips to help you navigate these websites like a pro:

Know What You Want 

Before you dive in, take a minute to think about what you're really looking for. Are you dreaming of a hobby farm? A wooded retreat? A place to build your dream home? Knowing your goals will help you filter out the noise and focus on what matters.

Use Those Filters 

Most of these sites have pretty robust search options. Use them! Filter by price, acreage, property type - whatever matters most to you. It'll save you hours of scrolling through listings that don't fit the bill.

Do Your Homework 

Found a property that looks perfect? Great! Now dig deeper. Use the local info provided by sites like Trulia to research the area. Look into zoning laws, future development plans, anything that could affect your land's value or use.

Don't Believe Everything You See 

I hate to break it to you, but not everything on the internet is 100% accurate (shocking, I know). Always verify the information you find. Cross-reference listings, reach out to agents or sellers, and if possible, visit the property in person.

Get Some Expert Help 

Look, buying land can be tricky. There's no shame in calling in the pros. A real estate agent who specializes in land can be worth their weight in gold, especially if you're new to this.

Be Patient 

Finding the perfect piece of land is a bit like finding the perfect partner - it takes time. The land market can be slow-moving, with properties often sitting for a year or two before selling. Don't get discouraged if you don't find "the one" right away.

Think Long-Term 

When you're eyeing up a property, think beyond the sticker price. Consider property taxes, potential development costs, and any restrictions on the land. Some websites, like Land and Farm, have tools to help you crunch these numbers.

Explore Your Financing Options 

Unless you're sitting on a pile of cash, you'll probably need financing. Look into traditional lenders, farm credit associations, and even owner financing. Some sites, like LandWatch, offer resources on land financing that can be super helpful.

Do Your Due Diligence 

Once you've found a property you love, it's time to roll up your sleeves and do some serious investigating. Soil tests, surveys, water rights - these might not be the sexy part of land buying, but they're crucial.

Keep an Open Mind 

While you're searching these websites, remember that there are other ways to buy land. Companies like Land Boss, for example, might offer opportunities to snag discounted properties. It never hurts to explore all your options.

Final Thoughts

There you have it - your roadmap to navigating the online world of Pennsylvania land buying. Whether you're dreaming of a sprawling farm in Lancaster County or a cozy cabin in the Poconos, your perfect piece of PA is out there waiting for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it typically take to buy land in Pennsylvania? 

The timeline for purchasing land in Pennsylvania can vary widely depending on factors such as the property's location, your financing situation, and the complexity of the transaction. On average, it can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days from offer acceptance to closing. However, it's important to note that finding the right piece of land can take much longer – sometimes several months or even a year or two. The land market tends to move more slowly than the residential real estate market, so patience is key. 

Do I need a real estate agent to buy land in Pennsylvania? 

While it's not legally required to use a real estate agent when buying land in Pennsylvania, it's often recommended, especially if you're new to land purchases. An experienced agent who specializes in land transactions can provide valuable insights into local markets, help navigate zoning laws and regulations, assist with negotiations, and guide you through the due diligence process. However, if you're comfortable with real estate transactions and have done your research, it's possible to purchase land without an agent. 

What should I consider before buying raw land in Pennsylvania? 

There are several key factors to consider when buying raw land in Pennsylvania: 

  • Zoning and land use restrictions
  • Access to utilities (water, electricity, sewage)
  • Soil quality and potential environmental issues
  • Easements or rights-of-way
  • Future development plans in the area
  • Property taxes and potential hidden costs

Flood zones or other natural hazards It's crucial to thoroughly investigate these aspects before making a purchase to avoid unexpected issues down the line.

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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