by Laura Mueller
There’s a lot of investment potential in buying and owning land—including some income opportunities that you might not have even thought of yet.
Most people buy land with very specific use intentions in mind. But whether you’ve purchased land for recreation, farming, or just to live on, there may be a way for you turn to turn existing parts of your property into active or passive income streams. And in addition to putting more money into your pockets now, this can also increase the overall value of your land if you go to sell later on.
Here are some cash opportunities that are worth making note of if you’re planning on buying land or already own some land that you’d like to make more money off of.
1. Offer an on-site vacation rental
There’s a big market for vacation rentals, and a lot of interest in secluded and private getaways. So if you have a structure on your land that can be currently used or renovated for this purpose, consider getting into the game. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO take a lot of the guesswork out of hosting and managing your own vacation rentals, and make it so that you don’t even have to be on site in order to let guests in and collect payment.
2. Set up some camping sites
Even without a rental-worthy property on your land you can still make passive income by arranging some camp sites. Bonus if you can promote other recreational activities for those who choose to stay, such as bird watching, hiking trails, or catch-and-release fishing—all without the crowds of traditional camp sites.
3. Host barn events
Don’t put an on-site barn to waste. While there’s certainly more that goes into it than just hanging up some string lights and calling it a day, barns make an excellent and attractive venue for weddings, corporate retreats, and other events, and many people are willing to pay a pretty penny for such a stunning space. This income stream isn’t quite so passive since you’ll need to coordinate with caterers, planners, and the like, but it is a great opportunity if you’re looking to expand your land’s use.
4. Lease agricultural plots
Do you have arable land that you’re not putting to any profitable use? Look into leasing out select portions to hobby farmers, community gardeners, or others who want to grow their own crops but don’t have the land to do it. You’ll get a rent payment every month, and as a bonus, you’ll have someone else working to beautify and maintain portions of your land.
5. Offer indoor and/or outdoor storage
If you’ve got the space and aren’t using it, why not rent it out to people who have stuff and nowhere to put it? Consider setting up indoor or outdoor storage spaces that you can rent at competitive rates. There’s a huge need for this, especially for large items like boats and RVs and for storage in rural areas where other facilities might not be so conveniently located.
Before pursuing any additional revenue stream, be sure to check the zoning and use requirements that pertain to your land. This way, you can be sure you’re in the clear and that you can make extra cash without running into any issues.
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Managing rental properties can be a dream or a nightmare, depending on how you manage it. Sometimes the difference is not knowing about the resources that are available to you as a property manager.
Many of the common problems that landlords and property owners deal with are often easily solved with software for property managers.
If you are wondering if you need a property management software solution, ask yourself the questions below. If you answer yes to many of them, you may want to consider investing in one of these innovative software programs.
Are You Driving to The Bank Each Month To Deposit Your Rental Checks?
While doing things the old-fashioned way is the way some people prefer it, you can have renters deposit their payments electronically into your account with a property management solution.
Do You Forget Which Maintenance Request Is For Which House?
If you own a portfolio of properties, it is very easy to mix up which house has the leaky sink and which one has the bad water heater.
Are You Keeping Track of Rental Payments and Expenses In Excel?
This is ok if you have one or two properties, but things get quickly out of hand if you own more properties than that.
Is Tax Season Hell Because You Cannot Remember Who Should Get a 1099-MISC?
Keeping track of 1099s is a basic part of most property management software solutions.
Are You Losing Lease Renewals Because You Don’t Remember Which Ones Are Expiring?
There is no reason to ever forget when a lease is expiring when you have the right software managing your real estate transactions and properties.
Have You Lost Tenant Leads Because You Have No Way to Track Them?
There is a lot of competition out there. You want to keep track of your tenant leads so you can land the best ones.
Are You Approving Applications Based on a Conversation?
There are automated systems in software that can make the approval process more process and data based.
If you have been asking yourselves these questions and pulling your hair out, you may be ready for software for property managers. There are many excellent solutions available and many of them are very reasonably priced. So stop the inefficiencies in your business and start looking at property management software as soon as you can.
by Laura Mueller
Real estate investing is often heavily focused on physical properties. But investing in vacant land can provide major returns, and may just be one of the best real estate investments that you can make.
Unlike other types of real estate, vacant land requires minimal upkeep to maintain, and is more about investing in the right location at the right time than anything else. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, or that all pieces of vacant land are equally valuable. So if you’re new to real estate investing and considering vacant land, check out the three vacant land investment tips below to make sure that you put your money where it counts.
Tip #1: Look (and Plan) Ahead
The value of vacant land is primarily in its potential — in particular the possibility that it may be prime real estate for future commercial or residential development. In order to hold that promise, however, the land needs to be properly zoned, with the right entitlements to ensure that your big plans for the future are actually achievable. After all, you’re not going to have a lot of luck selling your land off to a developer if they can’t actually use it.
When considering a plot of vacant land, be sure to get a full picture of what the land can and cannot be used for. Also take into account the topography and what sorts of utilities are already there versus what you’ll have to spring for. Cheap land isn’t so cheap if you’ll need to raze it and install water and other utilities before it will be appealing to buyers.
Tip #2: Tally Your Taxes
Vacant land is hardly a one-and-done purchase. You’ll have annual costs that you’ll need to factor in to your investment budget as well, and depending on where you’re buying and how long you’re planning to hold the property before you sell you may end up spending more in taxes than you ever actually bargained for. Be sure that you understand your tax commitment, and that it’s in line with your current and future financial planning.
Tip #3: Think Short Term
In general, you always want to be thinking of getting a return on your investment sooner rather than later. A lot can change in over time, and those changes could make your land less valuable. The sooner you can flip it to a new investor or developer, the less risk you’ll incur in terms of market changes and dips.
It won’t always be the case that you can turn around and sell your land, but timing should absolutely be a significant factor in your purchase decision. If you see the short term potential in a piece of vacant land and happen to have the funds to go all in, go for it. If you see the potential but it’s a couple decades off in the future, move forward with a little bit more trepidation. That’s not to say you can’t make a good long term land investment (plenty of investors do!), but that, as a new investor, it might not be the best way to get established.
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