10 Creative Ideas on How to Make Land Pay For Itself

Whatever type of land you own, one thing is certain: if your property isn’t making money for you, you’re probably missing out on a significant income stream that may help you pay off your mortgage or cover your annual property taxes. You need to figure out how to make the land pay for itself so you can free up some cash.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to make land pay for itself, here are a few creative options.

Subdivide and Sell the Land for Cash

When considering how to make the land pay for itself, subdividing is an excellent option to consider. This is a perfect solution if you have a big plot with many unused land portions. It allows you to make more money from individual pieces of land than if you sold it as a whole. The easiest way to sell the unused raw land is to contact “we buy land” sites and get cash for your plot. Just remember to check the zoning laws for subdividing with your county’s planning and construction department’s website.

Sell Timber

Lumber companies are constantly on the lookout for new locations to harvest timber. So, if you own forest land, you can secure extra income by selling timber. The worth of timber depends on multiple factors such as age, size, species, and defects. It also depends on the type of harvesting and how much is sold in a one-time sale. Learning the specifics of the timber on your land will help you maximize your profits. Also, you can get a forestry consultant to appraise the trees and assist you with preparing the selling process. 

Plant a Vineyard

Investing in a vineyard can be costly but very rewarding. The type of grape you can grow depends on your region but you can use it to bottle your own wine, set up a small tasting room, and organize vineyard tours. Create an inviting space for people to come and purchase quality local wine. As a bonus, you’ll have a beautiful landscape for your viewing pleasure. 

Host a Billboard

If your land is strategically located near a highway or a busy road, it could be an excellent spot to place a billboard.  You can lease the plot of land to ad agencies. The amount you’ll earn usually depends on the billboard’s size, traffic, advertising rates, and duration of the agreement. The agency will be in charge of the billboard’s construction, maintenance costs, and other ongoing expenses. The other option is to build a billboard yourself and lease it. The bigger the building, the higher the rent. You’ll need more increased investment, but it will definitely pay off, considering that one billboard can generate up to $10,000 a year.  

Start a Rental Business

People are increasingly looking to get out of the city and find getaways in rural areas. If your plot of land is attractive and has nice views, a river nearby, or it’s located in the woods, you can start a rental business. Depending on your finances and market demand, you can build cabins, a cozy Bed and Breakfast, a campsite, and even offer a glamping experience. This type of business is usually seasonal, so it gives you great flexibility in addition to being profitable. 

Lease Your Plot for Wind or Solar Energy

Renewable energy is on the rise, so using these resources is expected to grow in the next few years. If your land’s location allows it, consider leasing it to an energy developer. They will place solar panels or wind turbines on your property in exchange for paying specific monthly fees for a set period, which is usually about 25 to 30 years. This allows you to turn your raw land into an income-generating asset while being environmentally friendly.

Build a Storage Facility

A self-storage facility business ensures a great return on investment, leaves plenty of room for expansion, and it’s easy to maintain. However, keep in mind that building the facility requires a more significant upfront investment, so be sure to conduct proper market research and assess the demand in your area. Outdoor storage space is a more cost-effective option. You can use the property, making only minor improvements such as putting up a fence and a gate to address the clients’ safety concerns.  

Rent It to Hunting Enthusiasts

If you own a massive wildlife-rich piece of land, you could make a lot of money by allowing people to hunt on it. Arrangements differ depending on the situation, but having some amenities such as a cottage with running water and electricity will attract more hunters. Be sure to check with the local wildlife department for potential hunting restrictions. Finally, before guests arrive, double-check that they have hunting permits.

Rent It for Weddings and Events 

With the post-pandemic surge in weddings and other special events, it’s a great moment to start an events company on your vacant land. If your land already has any type of infrastructure to accommodate such events, it may make it a more cost-effective option, requiring only a small initial investment. The alternative option is to have the event organizator get their tables and chairs or rent them along with the property. Keep in mind that you’ll need to obtain permission from your local authority if you want to rent your land for events. 

Start a Parking Lot Business

If your vacant lot is situated near commercial zones, hospitals, schools, or event spaces, you can consider starting a parking lot business. You can invest in simple open lots or interior secured garages. If your lot has room for 20 vehicles that earn, for example, $10 per space a day, you will have $200 per day, which amounts to $73,000 in gross revenues per year.

The Takeaway: How to Make Land Pay For Itself?

Depending on the vacant land’s location, available resources, and how much you’re willing to invest, you can easily make the land pay for itself. Many options will be defined by the land’s size, topography, zoning, and other property attributes. Before taking up any of these ideas, be sure to check all local regulations.