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Report shows the 20 most expensive and 20 cheapest counties for residential land

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Check out the 20 most expensive (and 20 cheapest) counties for residential land below, followed by surprising findings from our report.

The list, from compares the average price and estimated property tax on an acre of a single-family parcel in 300 of the biggest U.S. counties.

Counties with the Most Expensive Residential Land:

1          San Francisco County, CA

2          Kings County, NY

3          Hudson County, NJ

4          Santa Clara County, CA

5          San Mateo County, CA

6          Queens County, NY

7          Washington County, DC

8          Bronx County, NY

9          Nassau County, NY

10        Arlington County, VA

11        Alameda County, CA

12        Orange County, CA

13        Suffolk County, MA

14        Richmond County, NY

15        Essex County, NJ

16        Union County, NJ

17        Los Angeles County, CA

18        Honolulu County, HI

19        Marin County, CA

20        Bergen County, NJ


Counties with the Least Expensive Residential Land:

281      El Paso County, CO

282      Benton County, AR

283      Greenville County, SC

284      St. Joseph County, IN

285      Buncombe County, NC

286      Jefferson County, AL

287      East Baton Rouge Parish, LA

288      Washington County, AR

289      York County, SC

290      Knox County, TN

291      Yavapai County, AZ

292      Caddo Parish, LA

293      Lafayette Parish, LA

294      Spartanburg County, SC

295      Lexington County, SC

296      Sussex County, DE

297      Mobile County, AL

298      Horry County, SC

299      Madison County, AL

300      Montgomery County, AL

Surprising findings:

Bank-breaking Bay Area: Ever dreamed of living next door to celebrities like Julia Roberts or Danny Glover?

A quick look on Zillow shows that you can – if you have $20.6 million. Like San Francisco’s steep roads, that’s the average price per acre of land – not including the mansion – in San Francisco County, California, the No. 1 priciest county in our ranking.

San Francisco County was the only one to earn over 90 points, about 30 more than the next most expensive county, thanks to being one of only two with lot prices averaging eight figures.

Kings and Queens of New York: You’ll need a king-sized wallet if you want to buy residential land in Kings County, New York (aka Brooklyn). In Kings County (No. 2), an acre will set you back an average of just under $13 million. With such exorbitant prices, it’s no wonder the county’s overall score is more than 20 points higher than the next most expensive county.

Take the subway up to Queens County (No. 6) and you’ll find similarly towering prices, slightly lower taxes, and even more rules to follow.

Moving farther away from the city gets you slightly better lot prices, but don’t expect taxes to be much better.

Southern savings: If you’re really hoping to settle down without breaking the bank, set your sights on the South. Montgomery County, Alabama, boasts the least expensive residential land, and you’ll find similar savings in other Alabama counties, as well as in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

What makes this region so affordable? These counties have lower land prices, lower taxes, less demand, and more available lots than other metros. You’ll also get more bang for your buck in these areas, where average yard sizes are significantly bigger than in pricier counties.

The full ranking and analysis can be found here:

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