Benefits of Cheap Wyoming Land

In order to have the best chance of making money investing in rural land, three conditions are required.  First, a large supply of acreage is needed. Next, the prices must be relatively low. Finally, there must be a minimum of restrictive zoning and land use regulations in effect. Of all the states, perhaps cheap Wyoming land offers the best opportunity in this regard.

Only the larger Western states would offer the first criterion, but only Texas, South Dakota, and Wyoming combine the last two conditions of relatively low prices with a minimum of restrictive zoning and land use regulations. South Dakota and Texas basically have very few subdivision regulations, and Wyoming land is exempt from subdivision control if sold in 160-acre sizes or larger.

New Mexico has a large supply of relatively low-priced acreage—but there are restrictive subdivision regulations. Arizona land is priced too high. Nevada land is relatively low-priced, but state laws prevent the division of land into smaller than 640-acre sizes. Land in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah is all higher priced, and in addition, these states have restrictive subdivision regulations. Alaska, surprisingly, is also higher priced and contains more restrictions that Wyoming, Texas, or South Dakota. Furthermore, Alaska can be extremely cold and frozen, and it isn’t considered that easy to access by people in the lower 48 states.

Wyoming, however, has it all! It is relatively easy to get to; land prices are among the lowest in the nation; there are no subdivision regulations for land 160 acres in size or larger; property taxes are very low; and there are no state income taxes.

Those interested in low priced rural land certainly need to investigate all the opportunities available with cheap Wyoming land!

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Wyoming Land for Sale Offers Exceptional Opportunities.

Wyoming is called the “Cowboy State” and is the epitome of the Old West. As late as 1919, just after World War I, Cheyenne still had more horses than cars. The state is the 10th largest in geographic size, with 98,000 square miles, yet it has a population of only 540,000 people, the least of all 50 states. With so much land and so few people, it is easy to understand why Wyoming land for sale can offer exceptional opportunities.

Wyoming is also known as the “Equality State” because Wyoming women were the first in the nation to have the right to vote, to serve on juries, and to hold public office. In 1894, Estelle Reel became one of the first women in the United States elected to a state office, that of Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Schools. In 1924, Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first elected woman governor to take office in the United States.

The state is very conservative politically, and the last Democrat to win a presidential election was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Since then, Wyoming has voted Republican in every presidential election.

Regarding rural land investments, some of the lowest-priced land in the United States of America can be acquired in the southern part of Wyoming, along the I-80 corridor. If a person knows where to look, land can still be found in that region for under $300 per acre, or even cheaper. Not only are land prices very appealing, but property taxes can be as low as 10 cents to 20 cents per acre annually. Finally, subdivision regulations are among the most lenient in the nation. As long as land is divided into parcels that are larger than 140 acres in size, there are very few bureaucratic restrictions or controls.

If a person can find Wyoming land for sale under $300 per acre that can be purchased under beneficial terms, then future profits are simply a matter of holding the land for a long enough period of time.

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Wyoming Land for Sale at a Cheap Price

Most Wyoming real estate investors take the traditional approach of acquiring land near population centers, like Casper or Cheyenne, and then rely on future development to increase property values. Simply buying a large tract of Wyoming land for sale cheap, located in a sparsely populated area of the state, and allowing time and inflation to create higher values, probably would be boring for them.

The latter approach might be boring to some, but it is an infinitely safer and more reliable method of making money, over the long term. Consider that nothing has to happen, and the owner doesn’t have to improve or develop anything, in order for a tract of cheap acreage to increase in value in future years. It has been proven time and time again that through the years, paper currency always becomes worth less and less, and finite assets such as land always become worth more and more. Therefore, time becomes the ally when buying and holding cheap land.

Conversely, there are countless cases where real estate investors have acquired expensive land near major cities, only to go bankrupt when the economy took a nose dive, politics prevented a needed zone change, building plans weren’t approved, or the financing suddenly became unavailable. While it is certainly possible for urban developers to make substantial sums of money over a short span of time, there usually is a lot more risk and turmoil involved.

Buying a large tract of Wyoming land for sale cheap, even in the middle of the remote Red Desert, and hanging on to it for many years, is almost a “no-brainer” to create greater future values. As history has proven, it is virtually impossible to lose money owning cheap land, if it is purchased cheaply enough and held long enough!

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Wyoming Land a Unique Investment

What makes Wyoming land so unique for investment and speculation opportunities is the abundance of “checkerboard” land created by the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. Approved by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, this bill gave 10 miles on either side of the tracks—later increased to 20 miles—to the railroad companies to help offset the cost of constructing a railroad to the Pacific Ocean. The United States Government retained half of every township given to the railroads by keeping alternate sections. This resulted in the ownership of these townships resembling a checkerboard with every even-numbered section retained by the government and every odd-numbered section owned by the railroads. Through the years, the railroads resold most of their holdings to private buyers.

For private owners in the checkerboard area, there is a disadvantage offset by a huge benefit. The disadvantage is that it is almost impossible to secure “insurable access” through Bureau of Land Management property; therefore, power and utilities seldom are available, and banks won’t loan for construction where there isn’t insurable access. “Physical access,” however, is a different matter, as access to private property has never been blocked since the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 was passed. Furthermore, title companies will insure ownership of private land in the checkerboard.

The huge benefit for private owners in the checkerboard is that the public can’t cross private land to get to public land, but private owners can cross public land to get to private land.” This amazing policy results in private owners being able to access millions of acres of public land that the general public can’t get to, enjoy or even visit (because to do so would constitute trespassing on private property)!

This unique ownership feature, coupled with a low purchase price, makes Wyoming land in the checkerboard area an asset that can offer substantial future potential. Where else in the entire United States of America can one find more land for less money?

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Wyoming Acreage for Sale

Wyoming acreage for sale became more sought-after due to the inability to build railroad tracks through the 14,000-foot heights of the majestic Colorado Rockies. The Union Pacific Railroad greatly coveted the growing commerce base in Denver, but from that point west, the laying of tracks over the Rockies was too formidable a project. Instead, the Union Pacific decided, in November of 1866, to lay its tracks due west from Cheyenne through unsettled Wyoming.

By 1875, perhaps as many as 350,000 people had traveled across Wyoming by rail, wagon train, stagecoach, horseback and foot. On July 10, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the act making Wyoming the 44th state.

Wyoming is one of the four or five large Western states containing the lowest-priced acreage available in the United States. This alone makes land in the state very desirable to real estate speculators and investors.

Wyoming covers almost 98,000 square miles, stretching 375 miles from east to west and 276 miles from north to south. The 10 states of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, Massachusetts, West Virginia and New Hampshire would all fit into Wyoming’s borders with room to spare.

It’s often been said that a few good land investments can equal a lifetime of working for a salary. A person pays income tax, at relatively high rates, on salary received each and every year. On the other hand, if a person buys a tract of land that appreciates every year, no income taxes are due. And when the land is sold, it is taxed at a much lower capital gains rate. Buying a large tract of low-priced Wyoming acreage for sale, holding it for many years, selling out for a large profit and paying a small capital gains tax will beat working for a salary every day of the year!

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Where is the Cheapest Land in Wyoming?

Is there any other place besides Wyoming in the entire United States of America where one can find more land for less money?

The reason Wyoming presents such interesting investment opportunities is that there is a large amount of “checkerboard” land ownership in the state. The “checkerboard” ownership in Wyoming is among the largest of all 50 states.

A little history: The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 was approved by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln for the purpose of aiding the construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. This bill gave 10 miles on either side of the tracks to the railroad companies to help offset the cost of construction. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1864 expanded that distance to 20 miles on either side of the tracks. The United States Government retained half of every township given to the railroads by keeping alternate sections. This resulted in the ownership of these townships resembling a checkerboard, with every even-numbered section owned by the government and every odd-numbered section owned by the railroads. Over the years, the railroads resold a large portion of their holdings to private individuals.

For private owners of land in the checkerboard, there is a disadvantage offset by a huge benefit. The disadvantage is that it is almost impossible to secure “insurable access” through federal property; therefore, power and utilities are seldom available, and banks won’t loan for construction where there isn’t insurable access. “Physical access,” however, is a different matter. The government has never blocked access to private property since the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 was passed; and furthermore, title companies will insure ownership of private land in the checkerboard.

The huge benefit for private landowners in the checkerboard is that “the public can’t cross private land to get to public land, but private owners can cross public land to get to private land.” This amazing policy means thatprivate owners can access millions of acres of public land that the general public can’t get to, enjoy or even visit (because to do so would constitute “trespassing” on private property)! This unique ownership feature, coupled with a low purchase price, makes checkerboard land an asset that can offer substantial future potential.

The cheapest land in Wyoming can be found in the southern part of the state along the I-80 corridor. If you know where to look, land in this area can still be purchased for less than $250 per acre, but these prices are rapidly disappearing.

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Cheap Wyoming Land for Sale

In the late 1800s, the history of Cheap Wyoming land for sale was interwoven with the attempt of British aristocrats to create cattle grazing empires. The British were enamored of the new American cattle industry and the potential of utilizing public rangeland. The appeal lay in the fact that private land wouldn’t have to be purchased. These operations were financed by establishing public companies in England and Scotland, with prominent aristocrats serving on the boards of directors.

In 1878, Moreton Frewen was among the first British aristocrats to arrive in Wyoming. His wife was Winston Churchill’s aunt. Flush with money inherited from his father, he settled in northeastern Wyoming and founded the Powder River Cattle Company. For a few years his company grew rapidly, and he grazed 30,000 head of cattle on the public range.

Horace Plunkett, whose father was Baron Dunsany, founded the Frontier Land and Cattle Company. Plunkett’s grazing operations were also quite profitable in the early years. Again, however, instead of buying private land, he relied on free, open rangeland.

British investors started dozens of other cattle companies, but the largest was the Swan Land & Cattle Company, organized by Scottish bankers in 1883. Initial capitalization included almost 100,000 head of cattle and approximately 500,000 acres.

The profitability of these ranches in the early years was astonishing. A three-year-old steer cost $10 to raise and would bring $30 at market. Overall, the annual ROI ran between 20% and 40%. Such financial results made a strong impression on stockholders back in the British Isles.

Within a few short years, however, hard times arrived.

  • First, the open range became overcrowded and uneconomical.
  • Second, the extreme winter of 1886-87 depleted the herds.
  • Third, the marker price for beef cattle declined.

The moral of this story is that business cycles—and cattle—come and go, but land lasts forever and always increases in value through the years. So the British aristocrats should have put their money in private Cheap Wyoming land for sale, instead of relying on free rangeland.

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Understanding Wyoming Land Prices

The State of Wyoming has a huge amount of checkerboard land ownership; therefore to understand Wyoming land prices, it’s important to understand checkerboard land ownership.

President Abraham Lincoln created checkerboard land ownership in 1862, when he signed into law the Pacific Railroad Act. The purpose of this legislation was to expand the railroads from the center of the nation all the way to the Pacific Coast. To facilitate the building of the railroads, the U.S. government gave every alternate section of land, up to 20 miles on either side of the railroad tracks, to the railroad companies. So for every township (a township contains 36 sections of land), the federal government kept 18 sections and gave the other 18 sections to the railroads.

Now, the interesting part of this checkerboard arrangement is the fact that it’s impossible to cross a township without crossing both federal lands and private lands (since they are intermingled throughout the township). To this mix, add legal precedents stating, “The public can’t cross private lands to access federal lands, but private landowners can cross federal lands to access their private lands.”

When the above is fully understood, it becomes clear that there are millions of public acres  in the checkerboard area that can’t be visited, accessed, or enjoyed by the public (in essence, the taxpaying citizens of America). But, amazing as it may seem, the adjoining private owners have every right to cross and access these publicly owned lands en route to their private lands.

Up until now, at least, the private lands in the checkerboard have been valued at less money than private lands outside the checkerboard. But assuming the land isn’t going to be used for residential purposes (it is almost impossible to get building permits in the checkerboard area), what other restrictions apply to checkerboard lands? The answer is almost none!

While Wyoming land prices in the checkerboard area can be as low as $199 per acre (if you know where to look), the land can be used for the same purposes—hunting, camping, horseback riding, rights-of-way for pipelines, cell tower leases, and recreation—that $750-per- acre land is used for. In summary, there is no greater value in Wyoming land prices than those associated with large tracts of private land in the checkerboard area.

To view Wyoming land prices in the checkerboard, please click here.

Cheap Land for Sale in Wyoming

The expansively rugged land called Wyoming resonates with the spirit of the American West. For anyone who has spent time in Wyoming, the state evokes vivid images: cattle standing in the lee of snow fences; children riding horses along dusty roads; weather-beaten ranches lit by the slanting light of late afternoon; oil-covered roustabouts struggling with the furious machinery of a drill rig; the sounds of drumming and singing at a powwow; and cow towns where the area code is larger than the population. The frontier spirit pervades both Wyoming’s landscape and its people, mixing the past and present so completely that sometimes it appears time stands still. There is also something else – a large supply of cheap land for sale in Wyoming that can present some amazing investment and speculation opportunities.

If you are interested in cheap land for sale in Wyoming, and especially the vast central and southwestern part of the state, then you will find some of the best rural land investment opportunities available anywhere in the United States. In fact, Wyoming is one of the five states containing the lowest priced land for sale in the nation. The other four states are Texas, South Dakota, New Mexico and Nevada. No other state in the United States – be it any state east of the Mississippi, any of the Great Plains states or Arizona, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Oregon or Alaska – will have land for sale at cheaper prices than available in these five states. Of the five states, however, Wyoming, Texas and South Dakota probably offer the best combination of low prices, market demand and relatively lenient subdivision regulations.

The term “cheap” land refers to the per-acre price and not the per-parcel price.  For instance a 160-acre tract for $31,840 is a far cheaper price than a half-acre lot for $2,995. The reason the 160-acre tract is cheaper is because it is costs $199 per-acre while the half-acre lot costs $5,990 per-acre. The key to success in buying rural land is to concentrate on the per-acre price and not the per-parcel price. Since the Pilgrims landed in 1620 and Americans began migrating west, land dealers have made fortunes buying land by the acre and selling lots by the parcel!

There is more to consider in buying cheap land for sale in Wyoming, however, than the price itself. While the price is of paramount, importance market desirability and applicable subdivision regulations are also major concerns. Wyoming rates at the top of the list in all three categories. Land prices in Wyoming are very affordable, almost every land investor in the United States wants to own a tract of land in Wyoming and there are very few state or county subdivision regulations affecting the division or sale of land in 160-acre sizes or larger.

In summary Wyoming offers some of the cheapest per-acre land prices to be found anywhere in the United States, and is an excellent place to acquire a large tract of cheap land!

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How to Make Wise Acreage Investments

With economic uncertainty, it becomes harder each day to find an investment that is not only safe, but also provides a suitable return on your money. While others look to bonds or gold,  knowledgeable individuals turn their attention toward acreage investments.

Investing in land makes perfect sense. With the population growing at an ever-increasing rate, the demand for land will only grow greater as time passes. What’s more, land is a finite resource. While we can always discover and mine more gold or drill for more oil, we cannot find more land. So while it’s possible that the price of gold may go down as a result of new discoveries, or that the price of oil might plummet from the use of alternative fuels for transportation, land can be counted on to retain its value.

When buying land, it is not the location that makes the difference; rather, it is the per-acre price that is important. Two investments may look the same, each costing $25,000, but one is for 80 acres and the other is for five acres. If you look closely at the two different options, it becomes plain which is the better investment. The 80 acres are valued at $312.50 per acre, while the five acres are valued at $5,000 per acre. The goal of any person investing is to buy low and sell high. The savvy investor will always go for the 80 acres at the lower per-acre price.

Acreage investments have never been easier, and the Internet has made it exceedingly simply to find and compare countless offerings—in the search for the lowest per-acre deals available!

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