Are you lucky enough that your house is situated on a plot of land far bigger than you need? Have you bought a plot of land in the perfect location for your dream home a few years down the line, but you don’t want to leave it to go to waste while you wait to start building? There are plenty of great ways to use vacant land, some of which might even make you a few bucks. From community gardens to chicken farming, guest houses to Christmas trees, here are a few great ways to use any spare land, either permanently or temporarily.
Make a bit of cash
Some of these ideas are perfect if you’re sitting on a plot of land, waiting to develop it further down the line. The income from them might even help you to reach your financial target faster as a bonus.
The demand for Christmas trees in December and pumpkins in October is well worth tapping into if you have the space. If you’re quite close to a city population, but you believe there isn’t too much competition around, then what are you waiting for? Neither requires a lot of maintenance once they’re planted, and they can be seriously lucrative if you get your marketing right. Sure, you might find that for a couple of weeks a year you don’t have time to sit down and rest for even a moment, but with the cash that comes rolling in, you’re not going to mind.
If you’ve got enough space and good accessibility by road, but with beautiful surroundings to boot, you might find that people will happily pay you a small sum to camp on your land. It’s usually worth building in some sanitation units – a couple of toilets and a shower block, as well as a washing up area – but other than that, it’s easy to just leave people to it. Some areas require campsites to have insurance, so make sure you do your research. If you don’t want to cultivate your land, and you’d prefer to keep it as it is, for the most part, allowing camping during the summer months it perfect.
Local farmers might be happy to rent sections of your land from you in order to grow plants or rear animals. This requires no work from you, but you’ll still see returns. Alternatively, you could set up your own small business. Why not grow apples, grapes, or root vegetables, and sell them to local producers or at a farmer’s market? The best thing is that you get to keep the surplus.
Build on it
A popular way to use vacant land is by building on it. Some people choose to build a barn or garage, others choose to add an extra home to their plot. This home can be rented out to people on a long term basis, or it could be a vacation home that you can let during the warmer months to traveling families. Once you’ve spent the money upfront on building the house, it can be a very lucrative way of using space.
Some people even choose to use the space to build yourself a new home from scratch while they save money by living in their old home. This gives them the opportunity to develop a home entirely as they like it. Many companies have some great ideas for homes which can be built from scratch and modified, such as these craftsman house plans. They allow people to build the home of their dreams on the lot they already have, without having to compromise. Always dreamed of having a double garage, a home cinema, or a conservatory? It could all be yours, and you wouldn’t even have to leave the neighborhood.
Some people don’t want to commodify their own backyard. They won’t want strangers traipsing onto their property for pumpkins or Christmas trees, but they don’t want to waste the land they have available either. It’s a dream that many people how to go self-sufficient and live off the earth. No more plastic packaging, no more wandering the aisles of Walmart, and no more battery-farmed eggs.
Starting the process of going self-sufficient with an organic lifestyle is surprisingly easy. Start by working out what you want to do, and how much time you have available. Will you keep animals? Do you have time to feed and water them, clean their pens, milk them or collect their eggs? If you want a vegetable garden, how much space do you have available? Do you have the right climate and soil, or would it require investment to get it spot on? Then it’s a case of working out how you will divide up your land and your time. Many people choose to start small, perhaps with a vegetable patch and a few chickens or a goat, and grow from there. It’s a steep learning curve, so be prepared to put the time and effort in. Once you do, it can be very rewarding.
Lease it to the community
If you live in a suburban area, or near to a more urban housing area, you might find there is a call for community gardens. You could split down an area of your land into smaller lots, which can then be rented to individuals and organizations within the community who desire to grow their own plants or flowers or keep a few chickens. It can be a great little source of income, but it’s also amazing for someone who wants to give back to their community. While it would require a little work to get started, then to collect payments and organize renters, and settle any disputes, the ongoing running is low effort and rewarding.
These are just a few ideas for how vacant land could be used. It’s also worth mentioning as a final point that if you’re based near a highway or thoroughfare, you could make a few bucks from renting space out to companies for advertising to passing traffic.