Creative Uses for Vacant Land
Originally posted on https://landscouts.com/blog/business-ideas-for-raw-land
Where some see a vacant lot, do you see a realm of untapped possibilities?
The reality is that an unoccupied piece of land is one of the cleanest slates, full of potential and possibility. From skating rinks to business centers, how you fill it is up to you.
If you currently have a vacant lot that’s burning a hole in your pocket, you could hold the ticket to a savvy business owner’s dreams. Even if you aren’t looking to use it yourself, it’s helpful to know the value it holds.
Today, we’re sharing a few of our favorite business ideas for raw land. Browse this list, find a few that fit your land, and sell today for a profit.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
1. Build a Housing Unit
Sure, you can build a single-family home for yourself and enjoy the vacant lot on your own!
Or, you can build a spec house and sell it to an end user. Short for a speculative house, this is a unit that custom builders create with the intention of selling it for a profit. Often, buyers will jump on it toward the end of construction, when most of the design options are in place and changes are minimal. This way, they have the look and feel of a brand-new home without the hassle of building from the ground-up.
This can include a duplex or even a multi-family dwelling if you have the space and bandwidth.
In most cases, the land’s zoning restrictions will allow new construction, making this a no-brainer if you’re more of a builder and less of a businessman.
2. Store RVs
Thanks to a new young-adult generation that’s embracing minimalism and a more natural way of living, RVing is back and more popular than ever before.
Dealers sell more than 430,000 of the luxury camper units every year, often to people with big dreams of cross-country road trips and off-the-beaten-path excursions.
Then, what do most of those people do?
They take one or two big vacations and leave their RV parked for the rest of the year. The only problem? Most of them don’t have adequate parking space in their driveway or garage.
This is where your vacant lot comes in!
Offer to rent spaces in it where RV owners can park their vehicles when they’re not in use. That way, they free up space at home and you earn a quick buck, charging each rental by the month.
Is your land near a body of water? Offer to store boats, instead!
3. Start a Community Garden
You can handle a few acres on your own. But if your plot is expansive, why not ask a few community members to pitch in?
Contact your local government officials to approve the project, and then put the word out! From flyers to social media posts, there are many ways to explain your mission and recruit interested members with green thumbs.
Pool funds together to buy the seeds or starter plants. Then, create a volunteer schedule where others can come to water the garden, gather produce and pull weeds. If you grow more than you can consume, donate the excess to your local food shelter.
You can also set up a little farm stand on the lot, with proceeds going back into the garden project. If you’re up for a solo venture, you can also go this route alone, though it’s more fun to involve a crowd!
4. Create a Wind Farm
This opportunity requires empty land that’s in a prime location.
Though eco-friendly and a great step toward a greener future, wind farms are noisy. You don’t want to install one near an area that’s sensitive to noise pollution, nor one with a healthy and thriving bird population, as they’re no match for the powerful turbines.
Instead, look for a lot that’s unpopulated and windy, with access to the main power grid.
In the United States, that means focusing your efforts between the West Coast and the Midwest, where winds are the strongest. It’s also helpful to look for areas that are currently subjected to air population from coal-burning power plants, as your wind farm could generate more health and air benefits for that region’s residents.
Even along the East Coast, however, you may be able to find small communities with abundant outdoor spaces that are ideal for wind turbine setups.
By 2020, scientists predict that wind power will generate 113.43 gigawatts (GW) of power across 36 states. By 2050, that number will jump to 404.25 GW over 48 states. By investing in a wind farm now, you could be at the forefront of this movement, making a profit and a difference at the same time.
5. Build, Store and Sell Tiny Houses
No one expected them to explode in popularity, but tiny houses have sparked a major movement, going from a niche hobbyist market to a mainstream design choice in less than a decade.
Now, people of all ages are embracing the lifestyle and choosing to live with less. The best part? A majority of tiny houses sit atop trailers, as most local zoning laws require legal residences to be at least 600 square feet.
That means owners can set a home up anywhere they can find land. What if you rented yours?
If space allows, divide your lot into three sections. Allow builders to use some of the land to design and build their tiny houses. Then, offer them the chance to set the finished product up there, as well. With enough room, you could even set up an outdoor showroom of sorts, where buyers can browse different models of tiny houses.
With this particular housing market in a boom and land at a premium, you should have plenty of interested renters looking to call your great view their own.
6. Set Up a Recreational Center
Is your vacant lot full of hills and valleys? Do you and your friends love to bring the four-wheelers and dirt bikes over to stir up some dust?
Consider creating a simple recreational center to make that same fun available to the public! You don’t have to get elaborate here. A few trails and courses are often all you’ll need to draw a crowd.
If your locale sees a heavy amount of snowfall every year, you could even open your land up to snowmobiles and sleds in the winter! Talk to a local business lawyer about ATV laws in your state and any insurance coverage you’ll need to have in place.
7. Harvest the Timber
While you’re looking at your vacant land and wondering what to do with that open space, look beyond the field and into the forest.
While most standard real estate appraisals will ignore the value of timber, it could be worth more than the land itself at the end of the day. Contact a local wood dealer or broker to assess the value of yours, and hire a logger to take care of the actual cutting.
As this is one of the most dangerous undertakings around, it’s critical that you work with professionals at every juncture. Don’t try to take down even the smallest tree by yourself if you’re unqualified to do so.
8. Become a Livestock Farmer
Did you buy this lot with dreams of living off the land? Though we’re a digital society that embraces automation at every turn, the pull of a bucolic lifestyle still beckons to many.
If you’d rather wake with the chickens than the ding of your smartphone, you may consider trying your hand at livestock investing.
If you have the resources and the knowledge to tackle this job yourself, farming can be a lucrative business, especially if you know how to marry the industry with tech-savvy toolsthat allow you to simplify manual labor and reach a wide audience. You can even charge a small fee and allow visitors to watch you in action, teaching schoolchildren and interested adults alike what a day on the farm looks like.
Or, you can always rent your lot to farmers in your area who need land for their cattle to graze. From dairy cows and sheep to horses, pigs and goats, there’s no limit to how varied your farm can be. If you’re an equestrian at heart, you can even turn your land into a horse stable, where you can charge for riding lessons, boarding, grooming, and more!
9. Build an Event Center
From weddings to corporate conferences, high-end rental facilities are hard to find. If your budget allows, focus on a niche and build an event center that supports it!
In some cases, this might mean constructing a gorgeous barn to serve as the venue and letting the land take center stage from there.
Or, if you’ve invested in this land with a few business partners, you may have the capital on hand to establish a multi-building facility that houses conference rooms, ballrooms, meeting spaces, a cafeteria and even basic overnight accommodations for multi-night guests. You’ll need to nail down the specifics on the land’s zoning requirements before breaking ground, but this can be a great way to earn back your investment and cater to your community at the same time.
In a similar vein, you can offer your land to your local chamber of commerce, letting the city use it throughout the year for various pop-up shops and seasonal events. From autumn fairs and corn mazes to summertime galas and springtime dances, your local community programming often needs a place to call home, and your land could be it.
Want to draw a bigger crowd? Install a stage and hiring a lighting and sound crew to turn your lot into a bonafide concert venue!
10. Fuel Off-the-Grid Passions
Living in tiny houses is one thing. Off-the-grid living is another.
Do you have land that is so remote it isn’t connected to public utilities at all? You can still earn money from it!
Today, there’s a new sub-movement of people who want to take minimalism to a new level, living without any connection to modern society at all. That means they travel with their own septic tanks, wells, and power source (usually solar panels).
This way, they can live in any location they choose without being connected to the traditional power company that dictates their cost of living. They’re looking for a place like yours and the more isolated the parcel, the better. Offer to let them use your land for a fee, but be sure to set up some guidelines and parameters first to make sure the spot stays safe and clean.
Along the same lines, you can also set your lot up to accommodate camping or hammocking.
Even if someone isn’t ready to commit to putting down roots on your land, they may want to try out the lifestyle for a few nights. Especially among the young adult population, these activities are gaining attention and appealing to a rustically-inclined crowd.
Set up a few campsites or invest in glamorous camping (glamping) facilities for those who’d rather not sleep in a tent. This is a great option if your site is near a major attraction such as a theme park, college, or sporting venue. People can stay a few nights in the outdoors and save money on hotel accommodations!
11. Throw It Back with a Drive-In Theater
There are fewer than 400 drive-in movie theaters left in the United States.
A nostalgic tradition that conjures up images of popcorn with the windows down, these iconic institutions are giving way to megaplexes with surround sound and reclining seats.
Still, with the resurgence of retro design and the buzz around everything old-school and time-honored, the idea of a drive-in theater should be white-hot. The only thing preventing them from popping up around the country again? It’s not easy to find enough land.
This is where you come in! You’ve already got your eye on the lot and you’re ready to make a move. While you may not earn as much with this business venture as you could through, say, harvesting timber, you’ll become the talk of your town for all the right reasons.
Try These Business Ideas for Raw Land
As you look out at your raw, vacant lot, do you see dollar signs, smiling faces and a career that someone can feel good about?
If so, it’s time to sell it and pocket a profit for yourself before helping others do the same.
While the undertaking isn’t for everyone, there are plenty of business ideas for raw land that can inspire and propel the right entrepreneur. If you’re holding onto land that you know can be profitable, it’s smart to tap into that potential while the market is ripe.
Ready to get that unwanted land off your hands? That’s where we come in!
Use our service to get a cash offer on your lot today. We’ll give you a fair price and take care of the selling process for you. This way, you can get that vacant land off your shoulders and let someone else find their dream as you chase yours!