Why We Love Buying Arkansas Land in Cash

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Why We Love Buying Arkansas Land in Cash

Bart Waldon

Cash land sales unlock opportunities not feasible under traditional financed scenarios for both buyers and sellers. As of February 2023, the average per-acre price for non-irrigated Arkansas farmland reached $3,436. Yet that statewide cropland figure only represents one component in deriving market valuations appropriate for raw land across Natural State counties facing varying growth and infrastructure realities. For buyers focused on unencumbered ownership free of banks and loans, cash provides immediacy, flexibility and greater negotiating leverage to close expedient deals at attractive positions. Sellers also bypass headaches of mortgages and qualify offers strictly on credibility. 

We’ll address the advantages of dealing Arkansas properties for cash along with advice for best capitalizing on this efficient transaction structure whether buying or selling. With preparation and reasonable expectations, cash in hand can help secure acreage ownership objectives.

Affordable Prices for Abundant Options

Compared to land prices in other parts of the country, Arkansas provides outstanding value. While the average price per acre of land here has increased over 12% in the last 5 years, it remains affordable compared to many other states. Currently, the typical price is around $2,350 per acre. For bare land without structures or developments, prices can be found for less than $1,500 per acre in rural regions. With over 33 million acres of land in Arkansas, over 60% of which is forest, there are abundant options for purchasing plots of land at reasonable prices.

The ability to buy Arkansas land with cash allows purchasers to avoid financing costs, lock in pricing, and take immediate ownership of their new property. For those with ready capital to invest, this can be an optimal and efficient approach. Cash purchases also allow buyers to move quickly to secure ideal parcels as soon as they become available, without waiting on bank approvals for loans.

Located Near Major Metropolitan Hubs

While known for its beautiful Ozark and Ouachita Mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, streams, and forests, Arkansas also provides relatively easy access to major metropolitan areas. Regions like Bentonville in the northwest corner of the state are located only a few hours away from large cities like Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, and St. Louis.

For those looking to buy recreational land to occasionally build a vacation cabin on or to own hunting grounds for weekend trips, proximity to these urban centers is a major convenience factor. The drive to get to rural land holdings is not overly cumbersome for weekenders from these big cities seeking an escape to the Natural State’s outdoors. The ease of access increases the demand for Arkansas land purchases from both in-state and out-of-state buyers.

Expanding Economic Opportunities

Several parts of Arkansas have seen surging economic growth in recent years, increasing prosperity and attracting new industries. Northwest Arkansas, for instance, has ranked among the fastest growing US economies over the past decade thanks predominantly to the presence of major corporations like Walmart, Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt Transport Services. Central Arkansas is also seeing a boost from technology sector companies relocating to Little Rock and Hot Springs metropolitan areas.

This expanding economic environment provides more job opportunities and incentives for people to take up residence in Arkansas. In turn, demand rises for land in the state not only for commercial real estate needs but also for residential and recreational purposes. Astute land buyers recognize the potential to capitalize on this growth by purchasing vacant plots for investment purposes or to build future homes on. Making these purchases with cash allows buyers to act quickly to purchase promising land ahead of further development.

Minimal Restrictive Regulations

When evaluating potential land deals in any state, it’s imperative for buyers to comprehend legal conditions related to zoning restrictions, water rights, mineral rights, easements, covenants, and property tax implications. Arkansas earns praise for having fewer restrictive state and local land regulations compared to many other parts of the United States.

Zoning laws are relatively relaxed or altogether absent in rural areas. Water rights are allocated more liberally, giving land owners clearer control over resources on their properties. Severed mineral rights are also less common, reducing the chances of subsurface resource deposits being controlled separately from surface land ownership. This lack of intense regulatory control appeals to those seeking freer rein over the raw land they aim to buy with cash in Arkansas.

Beautiful Geography for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Of course, one of the foremost reasons individuals choose to buy land in Arkansas is to enjoy or preserve sections of the state’s magnificent natural landscapes and habitats. Arkansas is blessed with immense biodiversity. Over 52,000 documented species of plants and animals live here. From the Ozark National Forest to the Ouachita National Forest, Buffalo National River, Ozark Mountain region, dozens of state parks, and wildlife management areas, Arkansas offers endless options for nature lovers.

For hunting enthusiasts, over 180 species can be legally hunted across 16 million acres of public and private forest and grasslands. Fishing is also spectacular with over 132 native fish species in 500,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of fishable streams. Hiking, camping, boating, kayaking, and simple relaxation in wooded acreages away from congested cities motivate many land buyers who want to own and experience Arkansas’ environmental riches on their own property holdings.

Suitable for Diverse Land Uses

In addition to recreational plots for personal leisure, land buyers scout Arkansas terrain suitable for other uses like farming, ranching, or commercial development. Over 44% of the state’s land area is currently used as farmland, producing billions in crops annually, thanks to fertile soils and a favorable climate. Beef cattle and calving operations also thrive across the state’s rangelands and pasturelands.

Whether for raising livestock, growing crops, logging timber, extracting natural resources, or opening small businesses, economically viable land parcels are available to purchase with cash throughout Arkansas if buyers identify and target the right locations. Careful research is still needed though, as site-specific conditions play a major role in determining which parts of the state align best with intended land usage plans.

Strong Investment Potential

Perspectives on land ownership and management objectives vary considerably amongst buyers. Some purchase property strictly for personal recreational use. Others focus on fairly immediate development plans for residential, agricultural, or commercial uses.

Savvy investors also recognize that vacant land itself can be a smart long-term investment as well, especially in a state like Arkansas where property values continue steadily rising. Owners can buy land at affordable prices today with cash, hold it for a decade or more as areas around it economically expand, then ultimately sell it off for handsome profits. Patience and proper due diligence are vital, but the potential returns make raw land ownership an appealing addition to investment portfolios.

The Drawbacks of Arkansas Land Buying

Of course, buying land is rarely without some drawbacks or risks to consider too. Land buying scams have become more commonplace across the country in the internet age. Arkansas land buyers need to protect themselves from fraudulent listings, false claims on property specs, invalid ownership rights, undisclosed liens, boundary discrepancies, and other issues that could present unwelcome surprises.

Performing thorough due diligence with title searches, surveys, appraisals, inspections, and legal guidance is essential before buying land in Arkansas with cash or financing. Title insurance is highly advisable as well to defend against flaws in deeds, errors in recordings or transfers, claims from heirs of previous owners, and other hazardous title situations that could result in financial losses.

Land development also inevitably comes with upfront costs and taxes. Determining viability requires evaluating undisclosed costs that may lurk below the surface both figuratively and literally. What restrictions and permit requirements might local governments impose? Does the land contain hidden issues like improper drainage, sinkholes, or buried waste that could be environmentally hazardous and expensive to mitigate?

Other questions to ask cover utilities access, roadway conditions, flood risks, and insurance requirements. Failure to investigate these matters when buying property could result in unexpected financial pits or prevention of development plans when issues surface later.

An Ongoing Lure That Keeps Calling

Despite needing to navigate risks around land buying in Arkansas, thousands continue flocking to become proud owners of Natural State land annually. The state has endured nearly a decade of consistent land value appreciation, averaging over 10% yearly since 2012 according to Federal Reserve Economic Data. This steady rise seems unlikely to abate given Arkansas’ natural blessings and blossoming economic activity.

Ultimately for buyers, when the timing and budget align to invest, Arkansas should remain firmly on the radar as a premier destination for land ownership. The inherent affability of Arkansas residents, slower pace of life, pleasant climate, and access to amazing outdoor environments check nearly every box land buyers seek. Do your homework, scrutinize parcels carefully, involve professionals when needed, and venture into your Arkansas land buying journey equipped for success. The Natural State’s splendor, opportunities and allure will likely continue attracting new land owners for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land tend to be the best investments in Arkansas?

Some of the best land investments in Arkansas include recreational properties in scenic rural areas, farmland with quality soil, and commercially zoned parcels located near expanding economic development zones. Plots with lake, river or mountain views also retain excellent resale value for investors with longer time horizons.

What resources are available to research regulations that may impact development plans when buying land?

The Arkansas Real Estate Commission provides regulatory guidance across counties and municipalities. County assessor's offices can also advise on zoning restrictions, usage classifications, mineral rights, and associated property taxes. Environmental due diligence using phase 1 assessments help uncover conditions impacting builds.

How quickly are land parcels in desirable Arkansas locations selling right now?

In many popular Arkansas recreational and residential counties, prime parcels of land are selling within days of listing, especially when priced appropriately for the market. Buyers paying cash often have a competitive advantage to close quickly, but market conditions still warrant acting fast on targeted properties.

What professional assistance is advisable when buying Arkansas land?

In addition to real estate agents, Arkansas land buyers should engage property surveyors, civil engineers, title insurance providers, attorneys specialized in real estate contracts, and environmental consultants when warranted. These experts help buyers avoid costly pitfalls during and after purchase transactions.

What are the top indicators of promising land investment opportunities in Arkansas?

Factors signaling potentially good land investment opportunities in Arkansas include areas with expanding corporate relocations, steady population growth trends, public infrastructure investments planned, re-zoning to higher usage densities, and vibrant tourism activity. Median income levels, unemployment rates and overall economic health metrics are useful markers too.

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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