Is the Oregon farmer’s life for you? For many, it’s a dream come true owning their own farm, and finding Oregon farms for sale sounds like the first step to a lucrative, rewarding career. But before you start searching for that special piece of land for your agricultural business, it’s important to consider the big picture of your dreams.
One of the biggest barriers that could delay your goals is the financial obligations of owning a farm. Things like taxes, zoning regulations, and other fees can easily offset your profits, especially if you’re not prepared for these expenses.
Read on to learn more about what you need to look for when buying a farm in Oregon so that you can better cultivate nothing but success:
What Does Farmland Cost in Oregon?
The cost of an Oregon farm can vary, depending on factors like farm size and type, location, soil types, and whether the land is certified organic. The good news is that land used for agriculture in Oregon is usually cheaper than land zoned for commercial or industrial use.
The average price of Oregon farms for sale is $1.18 million, but prices have been reported as high as $9 million or more. An agency report form 2017 noted that farmland values in the Northwest were on the rise, with one acre in Oregon valued at $2,860 (up 4.8% from 2016). This value increases significantly for irrigated cropland, while non-irrigated cropland falls below the average value.
Farmland values in Oregon and other Northwest states are increasing, so pulling the trigger early can help you start building equity faster and avoid spending more than you need to.
Oregon Zoning Requirements for Agriculture
Oregon has Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) zones dedicated to agriculture. If you wish to farm, your land needs to be within an EFU zone, or else risk being shut down due to neighbor complaints or violations.
In addition, you’ll need to find out exactly what you can and can’t do within your zone. Although land may be designated for farming, some areas may be strictly for growing food while others are for livestock. If you’re looking to scale your farm’s offerings in the future, it helps to start planning for it before you buy land.
Taxes and Other Oregon Fees
Like any other property, farms are subject to Oregon property taxes. However, the property taxes are significantly lower for farms than other property types, about 10%-20% of what you’d normally pay.
Still, it’s important to consider this added cost of owning a farm when you’re buying land or an existing farm, as the rate is determined by its total value. Your real estate agent can offer more insight into specific property tax rates in your area.
Pros and Cons of Buying an Existing Farm
When you’re considering Oregon farms for sale, you have two options: buy an existing farm or purchase land to start your own farm.
The obvious advantage of buying an existing farm is the fact that everything you need is already in place. You get a turnkey solution to start making back some of your investment immediately. However, this could also mean paying a higher upfront cost. Also, you may not know exactly what condition the farm and equipment are in, which could lead to surprise expenses later.
Buying land for your farm means starting from scratch, which can be a good thing if you’re set on doing things a certain way. But be prepared for an expensive start: along with the land, you’ll need to purchase all the equipment you’ll need for farming, which could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. It’s also time-consuming trying to buy these items yourself, especially if you don’t already have suppliers lined up.
Work with your agent to weigh the value of each for your best chance of reaching an optimal outcome.
Financing Assistance for Would-Be Farmers
The state of Oregon doesn’t offer much in terms of grants or assistance programs to help you start or buy a farm. However, you may want to consider a USDA loan, which was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage people to move to rural areas.
The USDA loan does not require a down payment, so you don’t have to come up with as much money for your farm purchase. However, this also means that you’re on the hook for the full amount, which means your interest and monthly payments will be higher.
To be eligible for the loan, you must have a credit score of at least 640 and the property you want to buy must be located within a USDA-approved zone. Nearly 97% of the country is in an approved area, including almost all of Oregon.
The First Step in Buying Oregon Farms for Sale
If you’re looking for Oregon farms for sale, partnering with an experienced local real estate agent can be invaluable.
Clever can introduce you to one of our Partner Agents in your Oregon market that has experience in buying farms and can provide guidance and support throughout the process. In addition, each qualified buyer receives a $1,000 Home Buyer Rebate to help you save on your purchase, which can be put toward closing costs, moving expenses, or even farm equipment!
Connect with Clever today for a no-obligation consultation and let us help you find the Oregon farm you’ve been searching for.