The word vacant has a negative connotation. It evokes feelings of emptiness, abandonment, and hopelessness. Yet you can make money with vacant land. Moreover, you can do so in ways that are environmentally sustainable and socially conscious. Here are twelve ways to get started:
Camping or Events
Developers commonly offer land for sale or rent with conditions that it be used only for camping. You can purchase this type of property and develop it as a campground, renting out the sites (or whole facility) to groups such as church youth groups or schools. You could even rent out camping gear like tents and sleeping bags.
Additionally, you could rent space in your campgrounds at off-peak times to individual families looking for outdoor space options. Events are another potential moneymaker: rent your land out to local churches or civic organizations who wish to host events, such as wedding receptions.
Owning property next to an equestrian trail means opportunity. If you live near one of the many horse trails and do not currently own horses yourself, consider opening up your land to equestrians who need a place to board their horses.
This also applies to people who own horses but do not have access to acreage for the animals; such potential customers will be eager to pay for you to allow your land to be used as horse boarding or training facilities.
The solar energy industry is growing exponentially. As more and more people choose to go solar, developers will be looking for land on which to build their sites. If you own suitable acreage in an area where homeowners are starting to go solar, consider leasing your land out as a host site for these companies. This can earn you well over $10,000 per year from each site.
If you live near a rural country or in an area with space limitations, livestock represents an easy way to make money using your property without developing it further. Find local producers who wish to use your property as grazing fields for cattle or sheep (or rent out the land while caring for the animals themselves). Or invest in some goats yourself and start a goat dairy or small cheese factory.
If you are interested in the livestock business but don’t have the time, space, or money to invest in it directly, consider opening up your land for leasing purposes. Farmers who want to preserve their own acreage may be happy to lease some of yours as a pasture site instead for a fee.
If you have acreage in a densely populated area but are looking to cash out, consider selling your land for development into getaway cabins. Many entrepreneurs are making money renting out tiny houses near the city for those who want to escape.
Other new businesses offer luxury campsites alongside executive retreats and yoga retreats. Old sites can be renovated or made mobile and leased out as workspaces that exist only when needed (such as small offices).
Hunting and Fishing
Hunters and fishermen are a passionate demographic. If you own land that holds animals or fish, consider hosting hunters who wish to rent your property for a fee. This can be lucrative, but you must understand the laws around leasing your land (especially if it’s public) and ensure that you have permission to do so from any relatives.
This is also a great option if you have hunting dogs and want to give them some exercise besides just walking them around your neighborhood.
Many people yearn for the outdoors without actually leaving their city homes behind. You can provide them with another option by selling RV sites on your land. Add an on-site shower/laundry service, hot water, water hookups, and electricity, then sell the sites at a profit while providing revenue for yourself.
Another option for making money from vacant land is storing these recreational vehicles. People who have an RV but no permanent place for it may be willing to pay a monthly storage fee for access to your land, especially if you offer covered parking.
If your land includes standing trees, explore the possibility of harvesting them. This requires more planning and acreage than most other options and can be dangerous, but it’s an easy way to make money from otherwise unused space. Keep in mind that the type of timber you harvest will affect how much money you’ll be able to make.
Renting the Land
If you choose to develop the land yourself after all, but aren’t planning on living there for a while, consider renting it out instead . It’s an easy way to make some extra income with very little work. When you rent the land, you can earn a monthly fee for as short or as long as you like, depending on the agreement.
Boat owners who have nowhere to store their vehicles may be willing to pay you money instead. Ideally, boat owners will want a place with access to power and water, as well as some kind of shelter from the sun, rain, or snow.
You can make a good profit off of this while offering your unused land for lease. Also, consider installing an on-site pump-out station so that people can dump their tanks without having to get their boats into the water.
Farmer’s markets are a fantastic way to make money with your land, and you don’t even have to run one yourself. People will often rent out space for indoor or outdoor market stalls, particularly if they do not own the property that the farmers market is held on. This can be a great way to earn some extra income while also helping local agriculture thrive.
Cell Phone Towers
Cell phone towers are another way to earn money with your land. It’s a big project in terms of both time and investment, but it can be worth the effort. You can install towers on just about any piece of property – even some undeveloped parcels will work as long as there is an existing point of access nearby.
Rental fees for towers can be substantial. This obviously works best if you own a large parcel of land (ideally five or more acres), but you’ll need to check into local zoning laws regarding what kinds of towers are allowed where.
Seasonal Destination Camp
What do people like to do during the fall (think Thanksgiving)? That’s right! Corn mazes! If you want to make money with vacant land that can support it, consider installing a corn maze or pumpkin patch on your property to attract visitors throughout the fall season. You’ll need land that can be contained and built upon, but you could even charge admission if you build it big enough.
The same thing goes for the other seasons of the year.
Last but not least, you can make money with vacant land by raising bees. Raising bees is an awesome way to make money on the side and have added benefits as well. This is a considerable undertaking, however, and you will need to plan for the long term. You’ll also have to be prepared and willing to deal with any problems that might arise. If you’re interested in pursuing this, be sure to read my article on how to make money keeping bees.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make some money with vacant land, try one of the options mentioned above. They are simple ways of taking advantage of resources that may otherwise go to waste.
No matter what you choose, it’s essential to consider your local government laws regarding zoning when planning how to use the land you own. Then, once you make a decision, try it out! There is no better way to make money with vacant land than by doing something with it.