Improving Your Land – Uses for Vacant Land
Vacant land. The term sounds so, well, vacant. Some buyers acquire vacant land with dreams of building some day. Others may just want to hold on to their investment and hope some magic happens somewhere down the line and the value of the unused property skyrockets. But what are some things you can do with vacant land otherwise? Let’s unlock our imaginations.
Conservation easements. First check with local governments to investigate tax credits for leaving land undeveloped. Your land may qualify to be placed into special land trusts that reward you at tax time while still allowing to use the land for recreation.
Small-scale storage. Perhaps your land is near a popular recreation destination. You could install inexpensive storage sheds where folks could store their gear without hauling it in their vehicles every time they head out to play.
Grazing. You may be able to rent out land to local ranchers or farmers and those wild grasses will bring you an income.
Energy Farming. Chances are even when nothing is happening on vacant land there is sunshine and maybe wind present. Depending on the topography of your land you could rent to nascent alternative energy producers who would install solar panels or wind turbines. You could even be in position to lease to a celltower.
Free range dogs. Many pet owners find leash laws for dogs on public lands onerous. Maybe your land has old jeep roads and trails running through it. Offer access to local dog owners who may happily pay a fee to let their best trail buddies run free.
Community gardens. There are more potential truck farmers than available land out there. Renting slices of your land for small-scale tilling and harvesting is a win-win for everyone involved.
Selling out to the man. If your vacant land is zoned for commercial signage and borders on a busy, or even not-so-busy, highway make it known that you are open to placing a few tasteful billboards on your property.
Special events. Ever hear of Max Yasgur? He owned a dairy farm in upstate New York back in 1969 when he heard of some music promoters looking for a place to hold a festival. He rented one of his fallow fields for $10,000 for what became Woodstock. He even got mentioned in a Joni Mitchell song. You never know what can become of your vacant land if you don’t keep an open mind. A vacant mind, you might say.