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How Much Does an Acre of Land Cost in New Jersey in 2023?

Building a new home is exciting! But first, you'll start with buying land for your custom home in New Jersey. If you’ve never bought land before, you probably have lots of questions, chief among them: how much is an acre of land in Central New Jersey going to cost? GTG Builders will explain the average costs, what affects the cost, and how to budget for your land to help get you started down the path to your perfect home!

How Much Does An Acre of Land Cost?

An acre of land in New Jersey can cost anything from $10,000-$3,500,000 per acre, depending on where you are looking to build your custom home. The average cost per acre across New Jersey, however, is around $200,000. Such a huge range can be frustrating. The good news is there are reasons for the range. We'll explain them so you'll know what to expect, including costs for more specific locations. 

exterior of blue house with two car garage in central new jersey by GTG Builders



Costs across an entire state will vary wildly, so we'll narrow it down to certain counties. In Mercer County, an acre of land could cost $130,000-$850,000 and include historic properties on the higher end. An acre in Ocean County could cost $150,000-$3,500,000, with highly coveted beachfront property on the high end of the range. Hunterdon County acre costs begin at $10,000 for undeveloped land. In Somerset County, an acre of land can cost $180,000-$450,000. 

These numbers are based on currently available land in Central New Jersey. The lower end of the ranges will include undeveloped land. Larger properties are more likely to be found further inland, where land tends to cost less per acre on average. 

Undeveloped Versus Developed

Undeveloped land, or raw land, has never been developed for construction. It has no utilities, no sewer, and often no roads. Soil tests and surveys will need to be conducted to test the composition of the land and if certain mitigation tactics will need to be used before building a home. The land will also require more intensive excavation, tree clearing, and other methods to ready the property for construction. 

The cost of developing land must be factored into your budget before deciding whether to buy. Undeveloped land typically costs less upfront than developed land for these reasons. If you're thinking about buying undeveloped land, make sure you thoroughly research the cost of development.

Environmental Factors 

Land costs vary throughout the state. Land near the coast, for example, can come with a much higher price tag (and be difficult to find) than land in undeveloped, non-coastal areas. However, insurance costs can be much higher in areas around the beach. Homes built near the ocean also experience maintenance challenges due to the corrosive nature of salty ocean air. If you choose to buy land near the New Jersey coastline, consider if these associated costs are manageable. 

Additionally, land that will require less preparation can come at a cost, while land that needs remediation may be less costly upfront and more costly post-purchase.

Even noise pollution and light pollution can affect the value of a piece of land if that land is close to a city or the turnpike. If a plot of land seems unusually cheap, there might be a good reason. Always have the land inspected by a professional before making an offer. 

Population & Economic Activity 

The population and economic activity in an area can also greatly impact the cost per acre of land. Rural areas tend to be much more affordable than denser urban areas or the suburban neighborhoods that surround cities. Similarly, the more people there are trying to live and work in an area, the higher demand for housing is and the higher costs will be. For this reason, land located in north or central New Jersey, close to bustling New York City, tends to be more expensive than land located further south.

interior of custom home with wood ceiling and deer head in central new jersey by GTG Builders

Buying Land? Tips for Budgeting

Budgeting for land is an important part of the home-buying process because many mortgage lenders may be reluctant to offer loans for land alone. Finding a lender is possible, but down payments are usually high, as well as interest rates. 

When budgeting for the cost of a plot of land, plan to pay for the land with your own funds or start by contacting lenders to find out what you'll qualify for, and how much you can expect to put down. It's best to seek pre-approval from at least three lenders to secure the best rates. Lenders will also likely offer to transfer your loan into a mortgage once your home is built, which can come with a lower rate.   

Ready to Build in New Jersey? Start With a Reputable Builder

New Jersey land is valuable, as are the homes that are built on New Jersey land. With excellent schools, accessibility to important urban areas, and diversity of the population, there are plenty of reasons to build yours in New Jersey.

GTG Builders is highly knowledgeable and experienced in building custom homes, including when it comes to what makes land suitable for building a home. Contact GTG Builders to find out how you can start the custom home building process today.