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Where to buy land, in southeast US

 
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We are looking to buy in about 2 years. We should have a budget of about $200,000, maybe a  little more.   We will need 80 (hunt able) acres or more, but it does not need to have a home on it as we plan to build our own.  That being said an area, without building codes is ideal.  My husband is a veteran so states that are veteran friendly are a plus. We think VA, WV, and TN are beautiful but are concerned about mining and fracking effecting the land.  Please any and all input is welcome.  Once we focus in on a state I can start researching taxes, laws, climate, plants etc.  (I'm a total planner)
 
master gardener
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Location: southern Illinois.
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I would not rule out NW Georgia.  Land is cheap.  Chattanooga  would be in striking range if you needed access to a city ( such as medical).

I am not sure as to VA districts.  I can say that the VA in GA has been aggressively developing its online presence to reach people in remote areas.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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There is a lot of "hunting land" out there that is cheap, but not really good for much else but hunting.  (Flood Plain, Steep slopes, etc.)  Make sure it does not have a CCR or conservation covenant attached to it.  There are a lot of acreages that have gov't conservation leases that severely limit what can be done with the property, and the sale price reflects that.  

Eastern OK has some nice land in the western Ozark range.  Prices are reasonable.  As with all areas you will see, poverty and meth have wrecked havoc on many rural communities.  Plan to spend some time in the area doing some recon before signing final papers.  Don't be in a hurry.  

A great resource for learning about potential purchases:  UC Davis Soil Web  It will give you very detailed information about soil type/structure, along with some general weather and habit conditions for specific properties.  

I can't really give much advise on the "where", as that is extremely subjective.  
 
H Allen
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I have not heard of conservation covenant, thanks for the heads up, I will be sure to research it.
 
Posts: 108
Location: East Tennessee
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I live in East TN North of Chattanooga. I build cabins and houses, these last few years I've been building a lot for people moving into the area. Some near Murphy NC, some in N. Georgia. And a few here in east TN. Land has been going up, and I've not seen any reasonable prices or tracts here lately.

 
H Allen
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Is fracking an issue in TN? I hear so many nightmares about water you can light on fire.
 
Ben House
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Location: East Tennessee
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I don't know about fracking, where I live coal mining and stone quarrying is the thing, not oil. Now I heard of one well getting mineral heavy after blasting was done at a nearby stone quarry. But my well has the best water I have drunk. I refill water bottles with my own well water and enjoy it's flavour.
 
gardener
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Location: Piedmont 7a
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Central Virginia Piedmont region still has some decent land prices, though increasing quite a bit of late. Not aware of any fracking or mining - that may be more in the mountains. They did just cancel the pipeline project, so that is good news.

Can often pick up some clear cut land at a bargain price, and as long as there are some Springs/creeks on it, there will be a hardwood buffer that supports deer and Turkey as the land grows in.

For example:  https://www.landwatch.com/buckingham-county-virginia-recreational-property-for-sale/pid/336194291
 
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If you're at all concerned about climate change, I'd recommend not moving to the Southeast US unless you want to buy land in the Smokies (southern Appalachian mountains). The rest of the south will become intolerably hot/humid over the next few decades.

There's also the issue of most of the south, mountains or not, having very leached out and acidic soils. This is due to the high rainfall and history of deforestation, resulting in erosion.

The best places to go in the South, therefore, are limestone windows high in the mountains. These limestone coves are valleys that have a different base mineral than the rest of the south, and therefore higher fertility. They are also decently high elevation.

These windows are:

Tuckaleechee Cove

Wear Cove

Miller Cove

Cades Cove

Jones Cove

Bumpass Cove

 
pollinator
Posts: 216
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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Do you want to sell your production?  If so, proximity to good (affluent) markets is helpful.  
 
H Allen
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I had no idea about the limestone cove, I will certainly look into that, thank you.

As for selling our production that isnt part of our plan at this time.

We would like to build one or two hunting camps and charge for people to stay and hunt our land. This of course would be on a very limited basis. Also my husband is a gunsmith, much of that work is done through the mail.
 
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