Where is the best place to buy farm land?

mike758January 7, 2014

I'm currently somewhat young and I live in a former country town, now suburbs in southeast Pennsylvania, becoming more and more dense. I want to escape the over development and even start my own farm. I also want to live an "off the grid" lifestyle. Now whether this farm will be more of a hobby farm or my main source of income is still in debate now, I still have to learn more about the lifestyle to determine that. I may even go into a help exchange program to learn more about farming. I do have agriculture experience, I just have never lived on a farm.

Anyway, when you talk about either escaping the over development or starting a farm, people always say to "head west". The question is where? I know in my town the only remaining farms are rich horse farms, because land is worth about 50,000 an acre taxes are really high. Even some of the rural areas around me in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are still pretty expensive to buy land from, and they constantly face pressure of development.

I'm looking for a realistic place to live that has affordable farmland, cheap taxes, and where I wouldn't have to worry about developments going up suddenly. I also don't care if I have to live on the other side of the country either, it might sound like I want to stay local but I seriously don't care. I don't think there even are good places to start a farm on the east coast.

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hi Mike, Are you going to raise; live stock?, garden? They have water shortage in many places to the west. Your looking in the high dollar area's. There are much more reasonable properties.

I can only tell about NY, There are lots of farms here very cheap to buy, like $30,000 for about 8 acres. They are older homes so the taxes arent much. There is money to be made easily. Yet the towns are small, like population 600. The people are great too, excellent schools. Winters can be cold, but it kills the bugs off. Our soil is like black gold, rainfall perfect.

Where you go is dependent on what you plan to do when you get there.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 12:14AM
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I plan to do both. Like I said I'm still young and don't have a plan set in stone, but I would like to both grow crops and raise livestock. New York actually may be nice because I would still be somewhat close to my folks at home. Are there any specific areas there you would recommend?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 11:39AM
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hamchuk(z6b NC mtns)

I've heard that TN is a great place b/c they're pretty lenient on building codes in general, pretty good soil, you can grow almost year round if not actually year round, and lots of rural land available. Rivers as well and low population density. Definitely worth checking out.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 7:06PM
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Walla Walla Washington of course! there are plenty of places, land, lots, and area here!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:40PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I'm thinking upstate New York. It is pristine up there. Very friendly people. The soil should be great without adding anything altho that would help things grow better. It seems like a great area to live. Low crime, no traffic, etc. Fresh air. God's country!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:49PM
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I think TN would fit the bill for you. If you own more than 15 acres, there is no property tax on the land and the property taxes on your home are one of the lowest states. (Investment and sales taxes are higher though.)

It has four seasons but winter is much shorter than you are used to.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:25AM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

I sold a bunch of 10 acre parcels in 2007 for 8-9k each in Central Nebraska. Rain can be short at times, but ground water is Nebraska's strong suit. Windier here than you would be used to and probably colder. Lots less people. Nebraska has more cows than people.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:17PM
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I am a little late to this discussion but I have to chime in here since I have some experience in this area. I would absolutely not go to TN to try to homestead. I just left there after two years of battling the elements. I was east of the Smokies which is more temperate than central and west TN and could not make a go growing food. Soil is clay, wind is very high year round, tornadoes are frequent as well as heavy downpours and hail on a regular basis, bugs are unbelievable since it never really gets cold enough to kill them. After a few years I gave up and moved back to PA. Taxes are cheap, yes, but there are no local services and some areas are so remote and difficult to access that you need a four wheel drive just to get home. In areas where they are practically giving the land away you wilI find extremely rocky soil and no access roads. I did meet some people who had settled in with goats or growing tobacco if you would be interested in those. Central and west TN are way too hot and humid for my taste. Tornadoes have become more frequent in those areas and a lot of people are leaving. PA is definitely not the place for cheap land, but it has the right climate and soil for self sufficiency as well as lots of water. I am thinking of going north from here to cooler weather year round. I do see taxes can be very high in New York and other northern states. You might have a look around eastern West Virginia for some large tracts of land. I am not sure of the soil conditions there. Love to know what you have decided to do since I am on the same journey.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 7:51AM
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Did you buy your land yet?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 11:11PM
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go much father west. there was a good reason my great great grandmother walked from st Louis to the Willamette valley in 1850. mild winter but cold enough to kill the pests. warm enough to grow almost anything. no sales tax but has income tax. look south of Salem

    Bookmark   March 3, 2015 at 10:39PM
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What bugs get killed off in your cold winters? The year round growing season

In southeast Texas is great. you can have greens all winter. Watermelons on

The 4th of July. Check the growing charts you plant your garden twice a year.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2015 at 7:18AM
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Your chickens eat the bugs.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2015 at 7:19AM
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