It’s true that while we live in the age when patents and intellectual property seem to be fortune makers, we can’t forget about one of the most traditional forms of value: land.
Back in the day, how much land you owned was a determinant of your wealth and power, however, since then we have turned to other methods to measure success and influence (like the number of Twitter followers, for example). However, no one will argue the fact that owning land is still a very good investment. Apart from dips in the real estate market, owning land is a much steadier and flexible investment than even owning stocks in companies.
Today, if you have recently purchased some land or were left some in a will, it can be difficult to decide what exactly to do with it, especially if you want to gain maximum value from it.
Here are several savvy options that investors today consider:
- Farm It
Depending on where exactly your property lies and the state of the soil, you could consider farming the land. You might not be a farmer yourself, but there are plenty of enterprising individuals who would be pleased to rent your land and use it to plant their crops. They get the benefit of not having to purchase the land outright for a huge sum, slowly increasing their profits as they sell their harvest, while you get a small sum that will help you cover the property taxes. Did you know that farmed land also has a lower property tax rate than abandoned or developed land? That’s right! So though you might not make that much off of this arrangement, at least you won’t be stuck with a huge tax bill at the end of the year. Alternately, if you have the experience and the abilities, you can farm it yourself, making a profit off of your harvest and your hard work!
- Develop It
If the location of your property is within urban limits, or even perhaps in the city center, you have the opportunity to really make a nice profit when planned out accordingly. If you have the funds to do it, you can build something on your property, increasing the value, and then either rent it or sell it. However, property development can take a lot of further investment and experience in planning, engineering, marketing, and more, so unless you have expertise in one of these areas, you might want to exercise caution. Worst-case scenario, if it’s just an empty lot on which you could build a house, consider servicing the land and building a home that will sell well in the current market.
- Pave It
Once again, location is everything. If you however have the good fortune of owning land in an area in which there is very little opportunity for parking, you might want to consider paving your lot, installing a gate, and charging people for using your property to store their car, either for a short or long terms. While this might not make sense in every situation, remember that you need to at least make enough money to cover your taxes and the initial investment in this conversion is much lower than redeveloping the property.
- Save It
Some might call this the laziest way to deal with your investment, however sometimes leaving it be is the smartest thing to do. Yes, you might be paying annual property taxes on it, but having the land untreated and ready to use might spark the creativity of a developer or another investor with a plan. I’m sure you have heard stories of prospector who, after the city limits creeped closer and closer, ended up selling their land for a fortune to a developer looking to build a subdivision.
No matter what you decide to do with your land, you will most likely make a profit over several years, either in the increase in value or your investments paying off. There are no rules dictating the right or wrong way to do something, however, choose an option that fits your abilities, needs, level of engagement, and unique situation.