Property Picks: Farmland That Costs $3k – $12k an Acre

More and more of us like the idea of living “off the grid,” or, at very least, living lighter on the land. That used to mean lots of hard work and isolation. But today, with the world at our fingertips, it’s easy to find a plot of oh-so-affordable fertile land to grow your own vegetables, raise some chickens, maybe milk some goats…and check your email 11 times a day if you feel like it.

In the last 70 years, the world’s population has grown from two billion to seven billion people and food prices have been steadily creeping upward. Some experts, like those from WHO (World Health Organization), believe that farmland is one of the best investments you can make. It’s one of the few hard assets that continues to appreciate. And we agree.

Less than four years ago, for instance, Dave Merritt bought a 2.5-acre farm near Lake Arenal, Costa Rica, for $36,500, or $3.65 per square meter ($14,600 per acre). Today, he says, similar properties are selling for twice as much.

Farmland around the world has been steadily increasing in value. But if you’re looking for a small plot for personal use, you’re in luck. You can still find bargains in some of our favorite countries.

Nothing beats an on-the-ground search, as most locals selling acreages won’t have listed properties with real estate companies. But here are some examples from the article I wrote for the June issue of International Living magazine:

* In Mexico, a 100-acre coffee/produce farm and eco-resort near San Cristóbal de las Casas is offered for $299,000.

* In Costa Rica, a three-bedroom country farmhouse on an acre of land can be had for $50,000 or a 15-acre farm with lake and volcano views at Lake Arenal for $179,000.

* In Panama, a hilltop farm of nearly 10 acres is selling near Penonome for $65,000.

* In Ecuador’s fertile Yunguilla Valley, you can pick up 10 acres just 38 miles from Cuenca—with water rights—for $40,000.

* In Nicaragua, a seven-acre farm that grows produce for a vegetarian restaurant in Managua is for sale for $59,000 near the college town of San Marcos.

For full details on these properties, see my full article, Farms and Gardens: The Freedom of Self-Sufficiency starting on page 8 of the June issue of International Living magazine.

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