Vacant landing investing in Wilmington is a strange beast and many of the traits of a land investment will not be found anywhere else! A multitude of limiting factors have the potential to make a piece of land borderline worthless. Here are some reasons to watch out for land investing in Wilmington, NC:


  1. Land is very expensive in Wilmington because there’s a limited supply and a high demand.

Wilmington, NC is located within the county of New Hanover, the smallest county in the state by far. With such a small supply, it’s very difficult to get a tremendous deal on a piece of land like other places. Most people are shocked, because regular real-estate prices are reasonable in comparison to the land prices here.

On the other side, you also have a very high demand from developers and builders. This isn’t always the case, especially with smaller/lesser quality parcels.

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2. Many of the people that own large tracts have done so for many generations.

When a piece of land has been passed down from generation-to-generation, it becomes almost like a family heirloom. People get VERY attached to a piece of property even if they very rarely look at it in real-life (bizarre I know!). Either way, you have to respect a property owners rights and many people that own HUGE tracts in Wilmington won’t sell for this reason. If you’ve worked in real-estate, people that are attached to a property think it’s worth way more then it’s true value!


3. Much of the land can’t be developed due to wetland issues

Wilmington, NC is a city with beautiful wetlands. These wonders of nature are beautiful to look at, but a builders worst nightmare. Many land owners have inherited property, thinking it is worth millions only to find out that it’s almost worthless! Coupled with the other factors above, the land left often times can’t be developed because of wetland issues.


So where can I find a vacant land investment in Wilmington?

Under .5 Acre? ~$15,000

If you are searching for an investment under one acre (and a budget of $15,000), my personal recommendation is to search near UNCW. Why? Because builders are always search for these parcels to build duplexes on. Even if you are just planning to hold it, someone out there would always be willing to purchase for a decent price.

This goes for any of the little parcels near or in “blue collar” subdivisions or college territory. Smaller builders are always looking for little lots to build on and/or turn into investments themselves. With vacant land, you always have to ask yourself “Would someone buy this?”.


+1 Acre and ~$5,000-$10,000 budget

So you want something bigger, but also cheaper. You’re going to have to go out a bit. Essentially, you want to hold a piece of property for a long time and you want to invest in something rural. I’d personally recommend investing in Winnabow and Navassa. If you’re not familiar with those places, they’re right outside of Wilmington and very rural. They are also seeing a great amount of development. It may take 30-40 years for the path of progress to reach these parts, but it’s very possible.


Holden Beach?

For the past year or so, I’ve noticed a MASSIVE up-tic in the amount of interest in Holden Beach by land investors and developers. To many, Holden Beach is the sleepy little town Wilmington once was and has a population of only ~1000 people. Holden Beach can be a great way to own a relatively cheap piece of beach real-estate.