Archive for the ‘Locations’ Category

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.

Advantages to Buying, Selling and Investing in Large Acreage

Buying, selling and investing in large acreage can be very exciting and rewarding. There are three inherent advantages to owning large tracts of land, as opposed to smaller lots.

  • First, there is almost an unlimited supply of small lots available for purchase, whilelarge tracts of land are a much rarer commodity.
  • Second, it is very difficult to subdivide a small lot, while large tracts usually can be parceled into smaller parcels, automatically increasing the per-acre price.
  • Third, in order for a small lot to increase in value, there has to be greater demand for usage, while large acreagecan increase in value simply as the result of ongoing and inevitable inflation.

In the year 1930, the Dow Jones was 294, and a person could have purchased large tracts of land all over the Western United States for $2 per acre. Today, the Dow Jones is approximately 11,000, representing a value 37 times higher than it was 80 years ago. Yet it would be very difficult today to find land for sale anywhere in the United States for less than $200 per acre, representing a value 100 times higher than it was 80 years ago.

There is another important factor at work here that should not be overlooked. The Dow Jones is a group of companies, but in 1930 there were many individual firms that failed, went bankrupt, or were liquidated and no longer exist. However, every single acre of land that existed in the United States of America in 1930 is still here today and is worth considerably more money.

In order for stocks to increase in value, there has to be ongoing positive performance and greater earnings. Large acreage, however, will gain value simply as the result of inflation and population increase, both of which are inevitable in future years.

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it took $6,536 in 2010 to purchase the same goods and services that $500 purchased in 1930. That means inflation caused the dollar to lose 92% of its purchasing power over the last 80 years. The population of the United States in 1930 was 127 million people; today it is 317 million and is projected to exceed 400 million by 2040.

In the future, if inflation continues as it has since the founding of the nation; if the population continues to increase as it has since the founding of the nation; and if no one figures out how to make more land –then the only conclusion is that the finite supply of large acreage has to increase in value in future years!

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Tips When Purchasing Cheap Land in USA that is for Sale

Robert Morris signed the Declaration of Independence and helped finance the American Revolution. He was one the original U. S. Senators from Pennsylvania, and from 1781 to 1784 was the Superintendent of Finance for the fledging federal government. He was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men during the founding of the nation and also was one of the first and biggest speculators in cheap land in USA for sale.

Mr. Morris was involved in various acreage speculations throughout the colonies, but especially in Georgia, New York and Washington DC. One of his biggest deals was the acquisition of the Phelps and Gorham pre-emptive right to approximately five million acres of land in Western New York. He aggressively tried to market his vast holdings throughout the United State and Europe.

The Panic of 1796, caused by Atlantic credit markets, liquidity issues with the Bank of England, and war scares between England and France, resulted in a serious economic downturn in the new nation of the United States. Robert Morris was “land rich” but “cash poor” and unable to meet his financial obligations. In 1798, he was declared bankrupt and sentenced to debtor’s prison. After release from prison, in poverty and ill-health, he lived only a few years longer and died in 1806.

So is land speculation an ill-conceived enterprise that is destined to fail? Absolutely not! In fact quite to the contrary, dealing in cheap land in USA for sale is an almost guaranteed method of making substantial sums of money IF two simple rules are followed.

Rule #1. Never buy more land than you are able to pay for from existing cash flow!

Rule #2. Be prepared to hold the land for a long enough period of time!

If you adhere to the above rules it would be almost impossible to not make money on a cheap land deal. Robert Morris, however, acquired more land than he could pay for and would have had to sell the land in a very short period of time in order to cover his financial obligations. His precarious finances, together with the Panic of 1796, did him in!

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Dirt Cheap Land for Sale in the United States?

When people see dirt-cheap land for sale, the first question they usually ask is, “But can the land be used for anything?” Following are just two historical examples to consider.

The Imperial Valley Venture

In the years between 1901 and 1907, the California Development Corporation attempted to build a water canal from the Colorado River westward into California’s Imperial Valley. The goal was to provide a source of irrigation and turn this dry, desolate and uninhabitable area into a subdivision of lush farms. Initially started by private promoters, the project eventually was taken over by the Southern Pacific Railroad with federal support promised by President Teddy Roosevelt. The United States Government owned most of the region and was offering dirt cheap land for sale at $1.25 per acre. The project failed after thousands of acres were sold and millions of dollars lost, and in 1909, the California Development Corporation was liquidated.

So what has happened to these dirt-cheap land prices during the last 100 years in the Imperial Valley? Much of the land is still without water, still desolate and uninhabitable yet it is very difficult today to find land in the Imperial Valley for less than $1,000 per acre.

Interstate Highway 80 in Wyoming

For a more recent example of dirt-cheap land for sale, consider the area along Interstate Highway 80 in Wyoming between the towns of Rock Springs and Rawlins. Local residents refer to the region as “barren and worthless.” Most of the dirt-cheap land for sale in this part of the state is in the checkerboard area (ownership of alternate sections divided between the federal government and private owners), which eliminates development potential. Known as the Red Desert, this area has no power, water, utilities or maintained roads. In 1990, land could have been purchased for as little as $15 per acre.

Today, 20 years later, ownership is still divided between the federal government and private parties, the area still has no power, water, utilities or maintained roads, and the zoning is unchanged. Yet this same “barren and worthless” land now sells for as much as $500 per acre.

If a person is seeking land for a specific use —  such as agriculture, hunting, immediate development, or a site for a retirement cabin with utilities, trees and a creek running through the middle – then dirt-cheap land for sale probably won’t fit these needs. However, dirt-cheap land for sale is an overlooked real estate niche, as a large number of people have an almost innate desire to own such properties. Dirt-cheap land for sale is inexpensive to acquire and very exciting to own, because who can predict, with absolute certainty, future usage or values?

A hundred years ago, there were many popular, prominent stocks that no longer exist. These companies went broke, went out of business or were made obsolete by technology. However every single acre of dirt-cheap land for sale 100 years ago is still here today and is valued at a higher price. The predictable thing about dirt-cheap land for sale in the United States is that it will eventually increase in value as the result of nothing but the passage of time.

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Where to find Cheap Rural Land for Sale

The most expensive land for sale in the United States is situated in the downtown sections of the larger cities and the least expensive land is located in the outlying rural portions of the nation. The best deals regarding cheap rural land for sale anywhere in the United States of America will be found in the larger Western states: Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Mexico and Nevada. In the remote rural areas of these states land can still be found for prices under $500 per acre.

The advantage of finding cheap rural land for sale is that purchase prices will generally be very reasonable and easy seller financing is usually available. Of the various investments available to people today – rental properties, commercial buildings, business franchises, oil drilling partnerships, commodities, bonds and stocks – cheap rural land is the easiest to acquire, the easiest to maintain and in 25 years from now is the most certain of all the other assets to still be here and to be worth more money than it is today.

Cheap rural land is a finite asset, meaning there are only so many acres available in the United States and there is no way to manufacture more land. The United States of America contains 2.4 billion acres of land and 100 years ago, in the year 1910, the population was 92 million people. That equated to 26 acres per person. Today there are still 2.4 billion acres of land in the United States and the population is 307 million. This now equates to only a little over 7.5 acres per person. Thus is there any doubt but that cheap rural land for sale today will become much more valuable in future years?

As evidence of this inevitable price increase consider that in 1990 cheap rural land in parts of Texas, Wyoming or South Dakota could have been purchased for $50 per acre or less. Today some of that same land is now priced at closer to $500 per acre, an increase of 10 times the 1990 price.

How did the stock market perform over this same period? In 1990 the Dow Jones was 2900 and today it is around 11,000, an increase of approximately 4 times the 1990 price. What about the value of cash over the same period of time? According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics it takes $167 today to buy the same goods and services that $100 purchased back in 1990. In other words inflation robbed the dollar of 40% of its purchasing power is just 20 years time.

Finding cheap rural land for sale and purchasing under beneficial terms might well be one of the surest and safest methods of building wealth in future years. History has taught us that it is virtually impossible to lose money owning large tracts of rural land if purchased cheap enough and held long enough.

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Benefits of Buying Country Acreage

The traditional real estate investment approach is to buy income properties (single family homes, duplexes, apartments, and commercial buildings), or predevelopment land near population centers that are in the path of growth. In many instances, however, simply buying unimproved country acreage in the “boondocks” can provide safer and more predictable financial results.

The least expensive part of an investment can often be the initial funds needed to acquire the asset. The most expensive part of an investment, however, can sometimes be the capital required to develop or improve the asset after it is acquired. In the case of income properties or land for development, the cost of maintaining the buildings or paying for the development can be very high. Raw land, however, costs very little to own or maintain.

For instance, let’s say you buy commercially zoned land in the city for $500,000, then spend another $1 million erecting a duplex and another $250,000 maintaining it through the years, and eventually sell the property for $2 million—then you would receive $2 million on a $1.75 million investment, or a net of $250,000.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy cheap acreage in the “boondocks” for $500,000, spend practically nothing on maintenance or development through the years, and resell it for $1 million at some point in the future? Using this scenario, your potential profit would be $500,000 on a $500,000 investment—instead of $250,000 on an investment of $1.75 million.

While it is a little understood real estate investment niche, sometimes just buying cheap country acreage and holding it for the long haul can be the best investment approach. In this manner you are simply relying on time to create a profit, instead of costly maintenance and improvement expenses.

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Cheapest Land in the World is in the United States

The cheapest land in the United States is generally around $200 per acre, yet land can be found in some countries priced as low as $20 per acre. So if a real estate investor were interested in acquiring a large tract of the cheapest land in the world for future investment purposes, which country in the world would offer the best potential?

The answer, without doubt, would still be the United States of America for the following reasons:

  1. Government Stability—The United States has one of the most stable governments in the world, and property rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution.
  2. Currency—Buying land in the United States with U.S. dollars eliminates the problem of converting profits from foreign real estate transactions into U.S. dollars.
  3. Title Insurance—There are dozens of title companies in the United States that issue policies insuring the buyer’s title to the land. In many foreign countries it is difficult, if not impossible, to secure reliable title coverage.
  4. Squatter Rights—Unlike many third-world countries, the U.S. courts do not recognize property rights for “squatters” who occupy land without obtaining legal ownership.
  5. Transferability—It is fast, easy, and inexpensive to transfer ownership of land in the United States. In some countries—Argentina being a prime example—there can be time delays of several years while the government investigates and approves (or denies) the transfer of ownership of land located near coastlines or national borders.
  6. Economy—The United States is still, far and away, the world’s largest and most vibrant economy.
  7. Worldwide Demand—Historically, there always has been a demand for land in the United States, and worldwide investors have purchased with safety and confidence.

A large tract of land acquired in the United States for $200 per acre undoubtedly offers a far greater future potential than does a large tract of land acquired for $20 per acre in a third-world country. All things considered, the cheapest land in the world is located right here in the United States of America!

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