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How to Make Money Using Unused Land

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Even as the majority of the land in the United States is used for farming, there are still some lands that have remained idle since their owners do not have an idea what to do with them. The land may be part of a lot where they built their homes. Or it may have been something they inherited from a rich uncle that they did not know about.

While they may want to consider building something in the future, they can still make money out of the vacant lot until they finalize their plans. The important thing here is that they use the land rather than have unauthorized occupants taking up residence. In these situations, the landowner may need to look for a lawyer who can compel the unauthorized person to leave, similar to the traveler eviction measure in the UK.

Well, here are some ways a new landowner can make money using a vacant lot.

Put up a Billboard

If the land is strategically located close to a major road or highway, setting up a billboard is a good option. While it requires an initial investment, once the billboard is up the operating costs are minimal. It is one of the most popular offline advertising options. In 2020, over 340,000 billboards were promoting the products and services offered by different companies.

When the billboard is up, the landowner can simply wait for advertisers to approach him to rent it. Rental costs can range from $750 per month in rural areas up to $15,000 per month in large markets for a digital billboard. The landowner can also set up a back-to-back billboard to double the income. This will depend on the location. But if setting up a billboard is not an option, the landowner can do something else with the land.

Set up a Storage Facility

Another option for the landowner is to set up a storage facility on the land. But similar to a billboard, the storage facility is only feasible when there is a market for it. So, the landowner can conduct a market study or hire someone to make a feasibility study before building a storage facility on the vacant land.

Storage rental typically depends on the size of the storage unit and can range from $75 to $500 per month. Multiplying this with the number of units rented makes up for a good amount of profit every month. Even though the landowner may spend around $25,000 as an initial investment for setting up a multi-unit storage facility, he can recoup this investment within a few months as long as people are renting the storage spaces.

Harvest Timber

If the land is thousands of acres in size and has a lot of trees in it, the landowner can harvest the wood. He can even let the lumber companies do the work for him and the amount they pay depends on the age of the trees. But before harvesting the wood, it’s best to check federal, state, and local laws that govern the practice.

While cutting wood for personal use does not require a permit, a permit is necessary for commercial timber harvesting. So, it’s best to check with the authorities before inviting any lumber companies to start cutting down the trees on the property.

Start a Campground


If the property has a lot of natural attractions, setting up a campground is another way to make money using vacant land. This is particularly true to land located close to a hiking trail. Having a lake beside the property is another attraction for campers.

The landowner can opt to have a campground mainly for tents or one that offers RV hookups. He may even set up cabins for hikers who want to have a place to spend the night before hiking in the woods the next day. A campground is a lucrative business, even during the pandemic as long as the visitors observe the minimum health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

Lease the Land to Gardeners or Farmers

If the vacant land is close to a row of apartments and residential neighborhoods, they can rent out plots of the land to local gardeners. They can also rent it out to community members who want to grow food for the community.

The landowner can also lease the land to farmers who can harvest crops. Aside from putting the land to good use, the landowner can also set up a lease agreement where the farmer takes care of the land. The land will also be more appealing to farmers if the land is large.

Owning a plot of land offers a unique opportunity to earn using a small investment and the right plan.

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