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How to profit from wasteland without selling it

Well, now you bought that ideal piece of land that you always dreamed of. Maybe you are planning to build your retirement home there or maybe take the family camping. Now what? Tax bills will start rolling in and that could be a strain on your wallet. It’s not like a rental property where you have the opportunity to generate positive cash flow, is it?

If you give it some thought and are willing to get creative, there are plenty of ways to generate income from vacant land before you even sell it. Below I have listed several methods for generating additional income from your property based on its size, location and topology.

1) Billboard Advertising – If your property has good road access on a fairly busy road and permission from local zoning law, you can contact a billboard company and offer your land to allow them to erect a billboard. Such arraignments can generate monthly income without taking up much of your property. Generally, you need to commit to a certain amount of time for them to erect a new billboard. Google ‘billboard advertising’ in your zip code to get the details.

2) Logging – If your property has trees, you can allow a logging company to cut down some of the trees on your property and sell them for lumber. There are usually restrictions on how big a tree must be before it is cut down for lumber, so you don’t need to worry about all the trees on your property being removed. Usually the registrar does all the work and splits the profits with you in the 60/40 area and they get 60%. Negotiate the best deal you can before you sign any contracts.

3) Leasing your property to hunters: If you have a large enough plot of land, hunters will pay you to let them use your property to hunt. This is usually restricted to a certain time of year, so you’ll need to check local ordinances. You can go to the Internet and Google ‘gun clubs’ and hunter websites in your area and post an ad on their site offering your land for hunting.

4) Renting your property to campers and/or ATV drivers – Many free-spirited people love the outdoors but don’t have any property to enjoy. Consider putting up a free ad on Craigslist or BackPage offering your property to campers, ATV drivers, etc. I once found a local film production company that had advertised on Craigslist that they wanted to rent a property to shoot a short film outdoors. The duration was about three weeks and they were offering about $1,000 for the use of the land. I also found another ad where some old college buddies got together once a year to camp, drink beer, and play waffle ball. They didn’t really care for regular camping and were willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars for the use of some property just to get away from it all.

5) Get paid to have a company remove your stone walls: There are companies that will pay you to come and remove the stone walls on your property. I personally like stone walls, I think they have character and they would never take mine away from me but it is an option.

6) Lease some land to local farmers: Consider leasing some of your property to local farmers so they can grow vegetables in season. Or if you have enough property, you might even consider letting them grow a Christmas tree farm on your property. You can find local producers through your Chamber of Commerce or by searching the Internet. There are usually groups that farmers join in local areas. You can also go to your local Farmer’s Market and discuss such hearings in person.

7) Lease your property to raise cattle: Similar to leasing your property to local farmers to grow vegetables, you can lease your property to ranchers to allow them to raise cattle on your plot. There are also farm tax exemptions for raising livestock on your property, check with your local government for details.

8) Leasing your property for windmills or cell phone towers: Leasing your property to a company to allow them to put windmills or cell phone towers on your land can be very profitable. They take care of all the details of the construction of these structures and you end up paying a monthly rent for the privilege.

9) Subdivide your property – Depending on local laws, you may be able to subdivide your property and sell some smaller sections. This can allow you to keep most of your property while generating some cash and also lowers your tax bill.

10) Storage or Parking Rental – Place an ad in your local Penny Savers offering to let someone put up a storage container on your property for them to store their ATVs, boats, etc. Very often, people from the city and suburbs enjoy coming to the country for all it has to offer, but they don’t like having to lug their ‘toys’ back and forth all the time. Let them place one of those Pod Units on your property to store their vehicles for your weekend outings and charge them a monthly fee for the privilege.

11) Leasing road frontage to businesses – If your property is located on a busy highway, the location might be desirable for a business to lease a portion of your parcel. Properties with good road exposure can lend themselves well to a gallery or studio, farm stand or even a food truck.

These are just a few of the many ways one can generate income from the land they own. You are only limited by your own imagination, so take some time and think outside the box and I’m sure you can find many more ways to benefit from your property. Good luck and email me at [email protected] and let me know what unique shapes you came up with. For more ideas, visit us at

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