Many people enjoy the thought of living on a ranch, away from the city. The idea of owning lots of wide, open space or a cottage tucked in the woods has been passed down from generations when having second homes and vacation properties were common and enjoyed. Today’s land consumers are fewer and far between as money gets tight and more people are selling rather than buying, but the dream for land ownership lives on for many. When you think about it, our country was founded and flourished on the thought that people ought to own land. But how realistic is this goal?
Prior to buying that ranch out west or an empty lot in your neighborhood, weigh out the benefits and drawbacks of owning land. The greatest benefit to possessing land is that as the population keeps growing, land will become more and more precious. The simple supply and demand theory comes into play here and the price will always increase. Buying raw, undeveloped land itself (with no structures or improvements) births several advantages. Most especially if you’re considering a long-term investment. Land that hasn’t been cultivated will be less expensive than property that has existing structures like buildings, sewage, water or electricity. In many raw land purchases, buyers are able to buy the land and then save up the money to actually build at a later date.
One possible disadvantage to land ownership is that the property won't be generating any income and its value will be in appreciation only. Realistically you can expect it to take years for the value to increase adequately. So if you need or want a quick money maker, buying vacant land is not your best option. You should also have a geological survey performed before you buy to determine what, if any, restrictions there may be in building on the land. If the land is found to have unsuitable conditions, you could have a difficult time building yourself or selling it later. You want to check the zoning information as well too, because if it’s zoned for commercial use, any plans for residential use are gone.
Another positive to buying vacant land is that you won't be paying for maintenance and the taxes are going to be cheaper too. With no structure on the property there are no concerns in finding renters and worrying about meeting city regulations. If in the future you decide you don’t want to build, or can’t afford to you, can always sell the land. Keep in mind as with any real estate, the key to owning land is the location. If you’re going to invest in land, pick something that’s in a good location. To invest in land or not is only a decision that you can make. If you have money sitting aside that you're looking to make a solid investment for your future, vacant land could be a great investment for you.