Rural land is land that falls outside of urban areas. Interestingly, the U.S. Census Bureau has nine definitions for “rural,” and researchers and policymakers also seem to have their own. Based on one Census Bureau definition, rural refers to “all areas outside Census places with 2,500 or more people.” That rural definition represents 97% of all land area and is home to just 31% of the U.S. population.
Regardless of how you define it, some characteristics of rural land seem universal: very few homes, buildings, or people. Due to the low population numbers and low obstructions, wildlife is also more prevalent in these areas. Without properties or buildings in their way, animals have more room to roam. In most rural areas, agriculture is also typically the primary industry.
If you’re looking to invest in rural land, you might be wondering where to start your search.
Here are some of the reasons you should narrow in on rural land in Florida:
Florida is known for its nearly year-round sunny weather. That means you won’t be subject to frigid winters that can impact your rural land.
The Sunshine State also features beautiful wetlands and rich pine forests.
In fact, Florida has roughly 2.36 million acres of longleaf pine ecosystems. A little less than half (40%) occurs on private lands. Due to its high-quality wood, longleaf pine offers the potential for a greater profit than loblolly pine. Although it takes a few years longer to grow to commercial size, it grows into a more valuable product.
Rural land in Florida is also easier to maintain due to its flat nature. You don’t have to navigate hills or mountain ranges, which makes it easy to access and care for the area.
Tax Breaks and Financial Opportunities
Florida has a number of tax breaks and financial opportunities that may be available if your rural land in Florida meets specific requirements.
For instance, if you have a Florida Agriculture Classification, the property on the land may be taxed on the market value or on the assessed value. If the property is used for an agricultural purpose, the assessed value (or taxable value) may actually be less.
Some land uses that may qualify as agricultural include: citrus; cropland; grazing land; timberland; and poultry, swine, or bee yards.
As the buyer, find out if your rural land in Florida has an existing classification and consider whether you plan to continue its current use. If you do — or you plan to pursue another agriculture-related use — contact a property appraiser for your county. They can establish the value of your property, review and apply exemptions, and assess limitations and classifications that might potentially decrease your property's taxable value.
Additionally, Florida Fish and Wildlife and its partners offer a number of financial incentive programs to landowners who implement property management practices that improve wildlife habitat.
Increase in Value Over Time
There is a finite amount of land. When you buy rural land in Florida, you have an asset few will have, but many will want.
From 2021-2022, Florida agricultural land increased in value, including farmland (+9.6%), cropland (+9%), and pasture land (+6.7%).
Although an increase in value is never guaranteed, rural land values have increased nearly every year from 2008 to 2022, demonstrating a long history of returns. If you hold onto that investment, it has the potential to become a nest egg that grows over time.
Realtors Land Institute shared a great quote about this, which they attributed to Will Rogers: “Do not wait to buy land. Buy land and wait.”
Interested in Florida Rural Land Investment Opportunities?
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