Investing in Real Estate: East Coast vs. West Coast

By LandCentral

Sandy beach

Investing in real estate varies from coast to coast. While an acre of land is more valuable on the east coast, the west coast has more options available when looking for that acre. But this is nothing new. The east and west have been pitted against each other since the pioneers made their first trek out west. And everyone knows, when it comes to real estate, it’s all about location, location, location! But what about property value, taxes, or any other number of things to consider when investing in real estate? Which coast reigns supreme when it comes to real estate? Let’s find out the truth about Investing in Real Estate: East Coast vs. West Coast:

Round 1: How much is that land really worth?

While land value varies state to state, it also varies owner to owner. Some land owners may see the value in rural, usable land, while other investors might seek out a more urbanized setting to build their latest apartment complex. When it comes to actual land value based on what you can get per acre, check out the numbers:

East Coast: Value of land per acre

  • Maine – $6,142
  • Vermont – $7,439
  • West Virginia – $10,537
  • North Carolina – $16,230
  • South Carolina – $17,610
  • Virginia – $21,921
  • Florida – $28,961

West Coast: Value of land per acre

  • Wyoming –$1,600. (cheapest in the continental U.S.)
  • Colorado – $6,462
  • Oregon – $6,503
  • Washington – $16,752
  • California – $39,092

WINNER: East Coast.

As you can see, aside from California, the East Coast wins this round with their acreage being valued more on average. Want to know how much acreage in your state is valued at? Let’s find out.

Round 2: Property Tax Rate

Property tax varies state to state and even county to county. There are some states who offer property tax exceptions to seniors and veterans, while other states offer property tax relief programs when you fall on hard times. However, when it comes to coast to coast comparison, there are averages to consider.

East Coast – Highest

A property tax rate is used to determine the percentage of the home’s value that goes to property taxes. In New Jersey, for example, a median home value of $316,400 would pay $7,601 in annual taxes. That’s a property tax rate of 2.40%

West Coast – Lowest

In Oregon, the property tax rate is 1.09%. That means with a median home value of $247,400, the annual taxes would equal $2,637.

WINNER: West Coast

With cheaper property taxes on average, the West Coast proves a better deal from an investment side, especially if you have a property sitting vacant for months at a time.

Find out your state’s property tax or learn more about the median home price to property tax rate.

Round 3: Available Land

East Coast – The biggest difference between land on the east and west coasts is size. Due to property and state size, there is a finite amount of land to build on in the eastern region of the U.S.. Because of this, property value remains high and vacancy rate remains at just 1%. This means less vacant lots to pick from and if you do find one, it will be rather expensive to purchase.

West Coast – Property area on the West Coast is much larger, offering more opportunity to build bigger dwellings, larger outdoor space and lower purchasing prices per square foot. The average price per square foot in New York City is $1,200, compared to $312 per square foot in Los Angeles. See what we mean?

WINNER: West Coast.

If you’re looking for a spacious land deal without having to sell an arm and leg to get it, then the West Coast is your best bet.

Round 4: Best States to Invest in Real Estate

East Coast: Florida

Fun in the sun, Disney World, and world class beaches, what’s not to love about Florida? When it comes to real estate investing, Florida reigns supreme. Whether you’re looking for a vacation home, rental property or retirement destination, Florida real estate will pay out big time. Plus Tampa is one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. Thanks to baby boomers retiring there, rental properties have increased by 26% in 2017 alone.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for an east coast real estate investment that’s sure to give you a high ROI, Florida’s where it’s at.

West Coast: Washington

With gorgeous landscapes, spacious land opportunities, and a booming economy, Washington has become the it place to invest in real estate. Thanks to cities like Seattle and their low unemployment rate, transplants and renters and moving in by the hundreds. This means big bucks for investors like you. With an Airbnb rental income of $2,228, Seattle and it’s neighboring areas have become a top location for vacation rentals. Even land in more rural locations are in high demand in this Evergreen state.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a west coast real estate investment that will bring you income for years to come, Washington is the state to beat.

In the end, where you choose to invest your money is up to you. When considering an area with investment potential, don’t forget to consider:

  • Rental appeal
  • Average property price
  • How long a property stays on the market
  • New construction
  • Local economy

These factors will give you a good idea of whether or not the value of your property will increase over time.

Want to invest in raw land but don’t want to build on it? Find out how. Whether you invest in the East or the West, LandCentral is here to help. We’ve got land spread throughout the U.S.

Check out our favorites:

East Coast properties.

West coast properties.

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