Can You Buy Land From The State? | askBAMLand

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Ever considered buying land from the state? It sounds crazy, but it's a possibility! We're not talking about purchasing a tiny piece of grass.

You can buy land from the state. Whether you're looking for land to build your dream home or invest in, the state agencies can offer some great options. Just remember that the process of buying state-owned land can be a bit different. But hey, who doesn't love a good challenge?

Can you buy land from the state? yes! Why am I saying this? Because not long ago a friend wanted to acquire land for agricultural purposes. The land was state-owned and he was wondering how to get it. After consulting experts at the Bureau of Land Management, he was given directions on how to buy the land. Currently, he has already started his projects on the land, let's dig in-depth into acquiring land from the state agencies, shall we?

Key Takeaways

  • Buying land from the state lands is possible in the USA country
  • You can access the available land for sale on the government agency website
  • Do your due diligence before bidding to buy lands from the state
  • Buying state land has more benefits than buying private land
  • Purchasing land from the state procedure is different from the historic procedure

Table of Contents

How to buy Government-Owned land

Millions of acres of land are owned by the federal government, and your state, county, or municipal governments. The government often disposes of land through open auctions once it has served its function or is no longer required. Even if the government no longer wants them, you may frequently save money on a range of property parcels when you uncover excess government-owned land or real estate sales methods.

Land sale by other federal agencies

Just a few government agencies manage real estate investment and land transactions, even though many sell their surplus property. Buyers seeking information about state agencies that sell surplus property may find it all on the USAGov website.

By using this website, you may save time searching for vacant property and avoid having to pay third parties to provide you with information regarding government land sales that are freely available.

Purchase of federal land

The most typical method for the federal agencies to sell land is through public auctions. According to USAGov, the Bureau of Land Administration and General Service Administration oversees federal auctions for excess federally held public lands under their attorney general. Parcels of public property sold might be as little as a few acres or as large as hundreds of acres. Few of the BLM-sold plots are suitable for cultivation. Some sections of real property are underdeveloped land.

You may only purchase unimproved surplus land, which typically lacks conveniences like access to power, water, or sewage. The property may be a sizable parcel in a rural wetland or a desert region, or it could be a small urban plot.

Land sales for properties controlled by the federal government are also provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Marshals Service. You may wonder why the government is purchasing property. They don't always pay cash for it. Often, someone who violated U.S. rules or regulations forfeited their legal ownership of this surplus land.

Due to criminal convictions, several parcels were forfeited to the federal government or taken under the agency power. Each state agency uses its website to publish information about upcoming land sales, including dates, times, and instructions for potential purchasers. These organizations provide real estate transactions that include property, residential, commercial properties, and surplus property.

Purchasing federal land

You must adhere to the agency directions when you participate in federal land auctions. For each bid on a parcel of public land, you’re asked to guarantee a particular amount as a deposit. To bid, you must be a citizen of the United States. Property purchased at BLM auctions is financed independently by bidders. Review all sales conditions completely before placing a bid.

Bidders can register online for the U.S. Treasury Department's auctions. To sign up as a bidder, you must provide a photo ID. A bidding fee in the form of a cash deposit in an amount corresponding to the auctioned asset is also required by the Treasury Department, although the terms of each property's auction differ.

Dates for parcel and real estate open houses and inspections are published by the department. If your bid is successful, you will need to provide your finance and purchase the land using a verified or cashier's check. On property controlled by the Treasury, non-citizens may bid.

Check the buy real property area of the U.S. Marshals site to identify land available for real estate sale on marshal service. Browse the listings here for the US and abroad. The prospective buyer must satisfy all bidding, financing, and closing criteria mentioned for each piece since the buy real property is primarily offered "as-is." The state will then sell you the land.

Sale of local government land

Start with USAGov to find the property that your state government owns. Using the Excess Sales by States dropdown list, find the name of the state. You'll find links to every state organization that conducts land sales methods and auctions. Contact the revenue assessor, courthouse, or local governments official for information on county and municipal property transactions.

Steps on how to buy land from the State Government

Are you ready to buy some land from the state agencies? Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

Step 1: Find available land

The first step is to find state-owned land that is available for purchase. The easiest way to do this is by visiting your state's land management agency website. They should have a section dedicated to land sales and auctions. You can also contact them directly to ask about available properties.

Step 2: Determine eligibility

Before you get too excited, it's important to determine if you're eligible to buy state-owned land. In most cases, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old. Many states have additional requirements, such as residency or income qualification deeds.

Step 3: Submit your bid

Once you've found a real property you're interested in and determined your eligibility, it's time to submit your bid. This is usually done through an online public auction or sealed bid process. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and submit your bid before the deadline.

Step 4: Wait for the results

The state will review all bids and select the highest bidder. If you're the lucky winner, you'll be contacted to complete the purchase process.

Tips for buying state-owned land

Do your research: Research the property thoroughly before submitting a bid. Check for any potential issues or restrictions, such as zoning regulations or environmental concerns.

Be prepared: Have your financing in order and be prepared to pay the full amount at once. In most cases, the state will not offer financing or payment plans.

Be patient: The process of buying state-owned land can take time. Be patient and prepared to wait for the results of your bid.

Potential benefits of buying state-owned land

Buying land from the state government can offer some unique benefits that you may not find with a private party. Here are a few potential perks to consider:

Lower price

State-owned land is often sold at a lower price than comparable private properties.

Unique properties

State-owned land can include a variety of unique properties, such as old government buildings or abandoned mines.

Public access

Some state-owned land may be open to the public for recreational use, such as camping, fishing, or hunting.

Purchasing land from the state government can be a great option for those looking to invest in real estate or build their dream home. With a little research and patience, you can navigate the process successfully and potentially score a great deal.

Pros and cons of buying state-owned land

Here's a quick reference table outlining some potential pros and cons of buying land from the state government:

Pros Cons
Lower price Limited selection
Unique properties Additional fees/costs
Public access to recreation No negotiation on the price
Potential for great deals Lengthy process


Do thorough research. There are still fantastic discounts even if the days of purchasing land for $10 an acre are long gone. You can locate good property values if you're adaptable to your location, prepared to wait, and eager to look through listings.

Acquiring lands close to protected areas or national forests ensures that you won't have any neighbors and that you'll be notified first if any nearby properties ever come available for sale.


It's not for everyone to purchase isolated houses devoid of services. It might not be possible to use lands without water or roads if you cannot construct or live sustainably.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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