City Spotlight: Mineola, Texas – Finding and Buying Land
In the heart of East Texas’s timber belt sits the town of Mineola. This historic railroad town is situated at the junction of Highway 69 and 80 – just 80 miles east of Dallas. Despite its small population, Mineola boasts a steady real estate market and offers a variety of different land opportunities for investors.
Mineola’s History and Culture
As of 2010, Mineola’s population was just 4,515. This small Wood County town has roots in the railroad industry and was first established in 1873. During this time, the International-Great Northern and the Texas and Pacific raced to see who could get their rail line to Mineola first. I-GN reached the finish line 15 minutes early.
The city got its name from a railroad official. As the story goes, the official combine the names of the daughters of two prominent locals: Minnie and Olla. Some refute this tale, claiming that instead the city was named after the railroad’s hometown of Mineola, New York.
The city government was first organized in 1873, and a post office was built in 1875. The town officially incorporated in 1877, but a devastating fire destroyed 18 of the town’s buildings in the 1880s. By 1890, the town had flourished with several schools, seven churches and a population of 2,000. Shortly after, the town would host the Wood County Fair.
Because Mineola is situated in the timber belt of East Texas, the locals had plenty of timber for lumber and railroad tie making. During its first 60 years of existence, the city produced cotton, fruit, livestock and berries.
To this day, the town remains the shipping center. By 1970, its population increased to 4,000, and has remained steady ever since.
Mineola’s climate is typical of East Texas. It’s unpredictable – especially during the spring. Like the rest of East Texas, Mineola has a humid subtropical climate. Temperatures can reach 95° in August, and dip down to 58° in January.
Manufacturing and farming are the two primary sources of employment for residents of Mineola. Currently, the city maintains factories for the manufacturing of sporting goods, clothing, fertilizer, electronic connectors and cattle feed. Packaging is another major industry in the city.
The Mineola Nature Preserve is one of the city’s biggest tourist draws. The preserve encompasses a staggering 2,911 acres with a 193 species of wildlife, including longhorn cattle, buffalo and birds. The city is also home to two museums: the Mineola Depot and Railroad Museum, and the Mineola Historical Museum.
The Mineola Depot and Railroad Museum tells visitors the story of the railroad being built into Texarkana. The museum can be found in the back section of the Mineola Depot, and has been restored to its 1906 appearance. Memorabilia and Museum dates back to the early 1900s. The Mineola Historical Museum can be found in the old town post office. Visitors can enjoy a plethora of memorabilia that tells the story of the town’s rich history.
The Local Real Estate Market
Mineola boasts a population density of 859.6 people per square mile. According to the 2000 census, there were 1,193 housing units in the city. The city is home to 1,779 households, and 29.2% of these homes have children under the age of 18. Over 50% of households consist of married couples who are living together. Single mothers account for 12.6% of households, while 32.7% of homes were non-families. Only 17.3% of homes accounted for people aged 65 and older.
Based on this data, we can gather that Mineola is a very family-oriented town, which is great news for investors.
Median household income in Mineola is $30,000, while median income for families was $37,528. The city’s per capita income was $15,945. Roughly 18.6% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line.
As of October 20, 2015, and the average listing price for Mineola homes was $171,185. This represents a slight decline (1.9%) compared to the prior week. Home prices reached a peak of $181,000 during the week of August 14, 2015 before dipping to $174,000 the next week and settling at $171,185 during the last week in October. The decline in prices may coincide with the significant drop in listing numbers during the second half of the month.
Home prices are below the national average in Minneola. One of the cheapest listings we’ve come across was for a 1,026sqft home on a 5,968sqft lot for $39,999. Affordable home prices allows investors to purchase properties at low prices, and enjoy a nice return on their investment either through flipping the home or rental income.
Mineola Land for Sale
Mineola’s location allows for ample opportunities to purchase a variety of different types of land. Waterfront land is available as well as farmland, residential lots, and heavily forested plots rich in timber.
Land prices are relatively cheap, too. One 18 acre, heavily-treed lot is going for just $85,500 right now. Another 15 acre property that’s located just across from the Mineola Nature Preserve offers flatland, a creek, two ponds, barbed wire fencing, sewer tap from the city, and road access for the price of just $124,625. Ranches with several hundred acres can be purchased for less than $1 million.
Mineola also offers a number of recreational land opportunities. Because the area is rich in wildlife, the area is a popular choice for hunters looking for hunting land. Right now, you can purchase recreational land near enchanting Lakeridge for $899 for 0.14 acres.
Mineola, Texas is a historic railroad town with an affordable real estate market and plenty of land investment opportunities, especially for farmland. The town’s population has remained steady over the last few decades, but growth is starting to be seen. The local real estate market is remaining steady despite the town’s small population.
If you’re looking for a place to build your dream home, farm or use for recreational purposes, Mineola has plenty of premium land for sale at rock-bottom prices. And with a warm sub-tropical climate, the town offers plenty of bright, sunny days throughout the year.
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