“Who on earth would buy that hunk of dirt?” my new acquaintance asked after I showed him our latest acquisition. He was a house investor, and we were talking about our respective business models at a local real estate meet-up.
This wasn’t the first time I had heard something like this. It is a common reaction I get when I explain that I am in the land investing business.
Vacant land can seem like an odd asset to many people, investors and non-investors alike. Perhaps this is because so many folks haven’t gotten a chance to visit the out-of-the-way corners of this country or understand how beautiful so much of it is.
Sometimes you just need to see the desert stars and not the dirt.
There is a small group of people who can do this and have been able to find great success trading these “hunks of dirt.” If you think you may be one of them, here are a few facts about land investing that may make you rethink real estate investing altogether.
1. There’s a low barrier to entry
Unlike other forms of real estate, land investing is downright cheap.
In many parts of the United States, you can buy vacant land for under $1,000, making it a far more accessible asset to new investors than rentals, commercial property or even single-family homes.
For someone who is wary about placing their whole nest egg in one basket or taking out a large loan, this can make land investing an attractive option.
2. You can see great returns
When done right, you can buy a parcel of vacant land and sell it for two to 10 times what you paid for it. Of course, as with any investment, you must first know what you are doing and buy at the right price.
Still, there are very few other investment vehicles with these kinds of returns.
Again, you do need to buy your properties at the right price and do your proper due diligence. So, it is worth investing in the right resources to help you figure out how to find great deals.
3. It’s low risk
Vacant land is often considered to be a risky investment, but it doesn’t have to be. With vacant land, you can easily control your risk by purchasing properties in many different states.
You can also manage risk by only buying properties that are under $1,000. When you follow this strategy and buy at the right price, you risk very little capital on any one purchase.
4. It’s extremely low maintenance
Unlike rentals, you will have no tenants or repairs to deal with. When you own a parcel of vacant land, you often don’t have to do anything other than pay property taxes. This can make it an appealing investment for those who have little interest in playing landlord or repairman.
5. You won’t have much competition
As you may have gathered from my story above, very few prospective real estate investors are interested in vacant land. Most of them are looking to break into the residential or commercial markets. This means there won’t be much competition for you!
So, there you have it.
Land investing can be a great opportunity for someone willing to look beyond the dirt and see the potential. You will be surprised at how profitable it can be.
Erika Benson is a former affordable housing director for the City of New York turned full-time land investor and owner of Gokce Capital. Follow her blog and YouTube channel for advice on buying and selling land.