A few blogs back I told you about a nice section of woods-and-field farm land around the corner from me that was up for sale. I thought the price was high at around $1,000 an acre. Those who responded to the matter said that, compared to where they live, the price was cheap.
I mentioned this to a guy I know who sells real estate. He told me that real estate in Central New York is priced comparatively less than many other places in the country, but taxes are a whole lot more here. I asked how other states raised the money they needed to run the government. He replied that they don’t need as much to run the government in other states because the government is not so big and wasteful. This is, after all, New York State.
So I looked at the assessed value of my little home on 1.5 acres out in the countryside. My property is assessed just shy of $40,000. When I figure in the equalization rate, the actual full value of the property comes out to $86,500. Based on that value, my school taxes, which I just paid, were $800. My property taxes are around $1,200. So I’m paying a couple thousand bucks for taxes each year on this little homestead.
I’m curious to know how that compares to other rural places in the U.S. I’m not asking for personal info. I’m just wondering if my real estate friend is correct. Does my property tax burden sound high, low or comparable to what you are paying?
As for how to find good farm land cheap, I have a theory for determining where to begin looking.
First, get a map of the United States and focus on the general area you would be willing to live in. For me, that would be from the Northeast, down to the Virginia/North Carolina border, and over to the Mississippi river.
Then take a compass and mark a 150 mile radius circle around the major cities, like New York. Draw a 50 mile radius circle around the large cities like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester (I’m thinking of N.Y. geography). Draw a 25 mile radius around small cities like Auburn, Cortland, and Ithaca. Trace the coast with a 50-mile swath. Do the same with 50 miles down each side of any major interstate roads. Color in all the marked-out areas. Identify where farmland is within any remaining area. Highlight and start looking there.
Maybe, if I did that, I’d find a rough in the diamond, like this.
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