A Guide to Buying Federal Land

Buying federal land on the cheap is a thing of the past if you are looking for quality property. While the Homestead Act of 1862 made it possible to buy parcels of land from the government at a low expense, the Act was abolished by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Then, all lands were made into public property. The Bureau of Land Management is authorized to sell parts of this property under three conditions only:

  • The property is isolated, making it costly to manage at the federal level

  • The land was acquired for a specific purpose but is no longer needed

  • The land can serve to enhance a community or economic development project

If you are still looking to buy federal land, you should realize most available tracts are undesirable by most accounts. As such, any listing for cheap, quality federal land is generally misleading. To protect yourself:

  • Always visit the site before purchase; do not rely on photos

  • Verify the agent selling the land has a legal right to do so by checking with the Bureau of Land Management

  • Have a surveyor review the property to make sure there are no intrinsic flaws such as sinkholes or infestations
blog comments powered by Disqus