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How Much Does An Acre Of Land Cost In Maryland?


In 2024, an acre of land in Baltimore County Maryland costs between $50,000 and $190,000.  That’s a pretty large range.  This article explains how utilities, permitting and similar considerations impact the cost of an acre of land and what makes land “shovel ready."

How Much Does Land Cost To Build A Custom House In Maryland?

As of Summer 2024, an average building lot to build a 3 bedroom 2 ½ bathroom custom house is selling for about $280,000.  

For the full cost breakdown of how much does it cost to build a custom home, please see our article here.

Why Is Some Land So Expensive?

Land is typically offered for sale with the stipulation that the buyer confirm feasibility with the county.  This means it’s up to YOU to make sure the price you are paying takes into consideration what this land will need before the county will allow you to build your custom home there.  When everything necessary has been done, your land is called “shovel ready”.

How much does an acre cost?


What Makes Land Shovel Ready?

Here are some questions you’ll need to ask to find out if your land is “shovel ready:"

  • Does the land have residential zoning?
  • What is the water source?
  • Is it public water and sewer?
  • Is public hook up already available?
  • Do you need a well?
  • Is a private septic system needed?
  • Is a percolation test needed? Performed?


How Do I Get A Building Permit In Baltimore County?

A building permit with the county requires a full set of architectural drawings along with site plans.  An environmental impact review from the department of the environment may be required by the county to develop your building site.  The county will consider possible land disturbance as your custom home site may require grading and stormwater management design and review. Your custom home builder will confirm single lot stormwater management requirements.

Conservation easements and restricted use as established by environmental and land preservation trusts may impact your usage. Conservation easements may also ensure that you’ll have forested areas to buffer your residence and provide green views. 

The separation between your property and the other properties and/or structures that surround it is called a “building setback”.  A survey may have already been completed with a plan that illustrates setbacks. Is there a forest buffer? Stream or forested wetlands? In approaching the site your engineer will consider drainage and soil quality.

Should I Buy Land? 

From a time perspective, land as an investment is low maintenance apart from paying insurance, taxes, and some landscaping upkeep.  Adding land to your investment portfolio may be a good long-term strategy.