Acreage can be a pretty deceptive thing. Forty acres looks like nothing in a Kansas wheat field. On the other hand, it’s possible to achieve a surprising amount of privacy on just a few acres in the forests of the Ozarks.

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Maybe these illustrations will help you get some idea of the size of five acres.

Real estate can come in any size or shape, but most frequently, five acre parcels of land are rectangles about 330 feet wide by 660 feet long.

Take a look at this aerial photograph of a typical urban area. (Okay, it’s not a typical urban area at all, it’s our home town, Willow Springs, Missouri, but from up here, everyone looks surprisingly normal.) Notice that five acres here will encompass a couple of city blocks. Looks like there may be around 6 to 8 houses to a block, so five acres might have twelve to sixteen homes on it.


Or consider this five acre block superimposed over everyone’s favorite size comparator: a football field. As you can see, five acres is quite a bit bigger.


Okay, getting dizzy from the height? Let’s try looking at it from the ground. Here’s five acres as it meets this rural road the short way. If the parcel were lying parallel to the road, it would be twice this long.


Five acres is 217,800 square feet.

It is the size of $1,950,678 in one-dollar bills.

In Iowa, it will produce 750 bushels of corn.

Under ideal conditions, you can graze 5 cows and their calves on it.

If you’re clever and ambitious, five acres will feed your family.

However, five acres is NOT as large as the Pentagon. Draw your own conclusions from this.

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As my final exhibit, here’s a drawing I made to show the proper scale. (You probably thought I just horsed around all day.) Here, the telephone poles look even further apart than the ones in the photo above, but they’re drawn to scale.

One of my purposes here is to point out that five acres, especially five rolling acres covered with mature forest is actually quite a bit of ground. If you need more privacy than five acres of woods affords, you’re likely to be arrested for what you’re doing sooner or later anyway, so why push your luck?