land poor

Also found in: Idioms.

House Poor

Describing an individual with significant income, but with such a large mortgage on his/her house that he/she has little discretionary income. Historically, this term referred to farmers and ranchers, most of whose cash went to debt service on their land, but it has expanded to include anyone who spends so much on his/her mortgage that he/she cannot spend on other goods and services he/she wants or needs. Being house poor is also known as being land poor. See also: Upside down mortgage, McMansion, Foreclosure.

land poor

Having substantial real estate assets but little cash. It historically referred to agricultural land, but it no longer has that restricted definition.

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It proclaims to all who see and partake that land poor gardeners can contribute to the health and nutrition of their families.
discussed how "the engine of our prosperity is rooted in the consumption of raw land, and even though most municipalities are now land poor, they are being forced to engage in fiscal zoning because they depend on their own revenue to survive.
Unemployment stimulates activity that tends to land poor people in prison.

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