You may have heard that Bill Gates owns a lot of land, but you may not know how much. You may also be interested in why a billionaire wants land.
Bill Gates is one of the largest farmland owners in the United States. Gates and his wife own 269,000 acres of farmland. While the Gates’ own a lot of farmland, nonfarmers own 283 million acres of farmland throughout the U.S.
This article will go into detail about how much land Bill Gates owns and why he owns so much. Since it works as an investment for him, it also includes the benefits of using land as an investment like he does.
Through our professional experience in land acquisition, we have found that people buy and sell land for many different reasons and have learned that it can be an investment for profit, vacation, or any opportunity that suits your needs and desires.
Why Does Bill Gates Own So Much Land?
Well, why would you think that a billionaire would want to own land? If you said “investment,” then you are right. Bill Gates is in the money flow business, and farmland, as well as other land, can generate a lot of money.
Bill Gates’ investment company, Cascade Investments, has invested in hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in the last 10 years. In addition, the land is audited to meet sustainability standards including soil health and water management. This way, the land will remain productive and healthy, while also becoming a money-driving investment.
The land that Gates owns is located in several states and consists primarily of commercial farmland. In fact, he owns some of the land that produces potatoes used to make McDondald’s french fries. His land ownership spans across 19 states.
The land that Bill Gates owns is used to grow soybeans, corn, cotton, and rice over 70,000 acres in northern Louisiana. In Nebraska where he owns 20,000 acres, it is used for soybeans. The 14,000 acres in Washington is used for potatoes and in Florida the land is used for carrots.
Gates diversified his investment portfolio through land ownership, but why? Farmland offers a strategy that is completely separated from his other wealth and investments. It also offers proven return rates. Not only that, but it fits in with Gates’ values as a philanthropist because he can keep the farmland healthy for future generations.
Land can produce food, fuel, and manufacturing materials as well as provide environmental services, residential spaces, and more. Land will likely never be a bad investment, as long as the land is healthy and properly located.
As the population grows in large cities, some people will inevitably want to move to the country. There are also growing trends revolving around the purchase of low acreage farmland and noncommercial farming.
Farmland can be an investment in several ways. It can be sold as a property (or multiple properties), it can be used to produce things that people buy, or it can be rented out, like much of the farmland in the United States. The opportunities are virtually endless.
While farmland, and land in general, will undergo economic factors and changes to demand, it is very likely to increase in value as the years roll by.
Why is Land a Good Investment?
While most people do not have the ability to buy hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland like Bill Gates, anybody can look at land as an investment opportunity to take advantage of. I mean, it is unlikely that one of the richest people in the world would invest in something that wasn’t a good investment, right?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that land, particularly raw land, can be a good investment for Bill Gates or anybody else, including you.
It is a Limited Resource
There is only a certain amount of land available on earth. This will always be true, no matter where the land is. That doesn’t mean that every piece of land is a good investment, but a significant amount of land will offer a high return on investment.
As more and more land gets developed, if you own land that is in the path of the plan, you could have buyers offering you big money to take hold of the property. As more and more land becomes developed, less and less raw land is available, which potentially increases the value as demand remains the same or even increases.
It is Useable
Even if you buy the land with the purpose of selling it at a later time when the area undergoes more development, you can still use the land in the meantime. This could give you a place to relax or to even build a small vacation home. The potential is endless. Do whatever you want to with the land as the value increases.
Not only is it usable by you, but land can be used for so many different things. It can be used for residential development, commercial projects, industrial zoning, public or semi-public use, agriculture, or right of way (a way for others to access a different piece of land or portion of the land).
If you own a good amount of land, then you have the possibility of subdividing it into multiple lots that can generate separate income streams. This could allow you to sell or lease the individual lots of land on the property. This can potentially earn you tons of money.
It may even be easier to sell smaller lots than it would be to market the entire portion of land that you invest in. It also allows you to keep a portion of the land for personal use so you do not have to give up your weekend home or relaxation property.
While the land that Bill Gates owns is already developed for farming and likely costs a ton of money, land can also be quite affordable. The value depends on a lot of factors including location, type of land, acreage, supply, demand, and more.
Some raw land may even be as affordable as a few thousand dollars, which can be an affordable and cost-effective investment strategy (or just a place to use for personal reasons). In fact, this also means that you may not even have to apply for a loan to start the investment!
Raw land is not developed. This means that there is not much to maintain on it unless you want to add your own buildings or other property. You just have to keep it relatively clean, mow it, and pay property taxes.
While land is a limited resource, there is still less competition for raw land than there is with residential and commercial real estate. Land holds ample opportunities for growth and development, yet you may find that there is more land than there is competition. This means that you can find good deals that may be just the thing you are looking for.
Good Return on Investment
Raw land can be a great way to generate passive income or even spur large profits in the long term (or even short term if you know what you are doing). It is possible to make high double digit returns on land that you bought for an affordable price only a few years prior. There are also ways to generate passive income on the land without selling it because you can lease the land or sell the mineral rights, among other methods.
Where to Find Land For Sale?
Like other investment opportunities, you can find land for sale online. You can also look at local resources in your area to see where land is being bought or sold. If you are unsure where to start, you can also check country tax sales. This is where a country sells land when the owner becomes delinquent on their property taxes. This can be an affordable way to get started with your raw land investments. You can also fill out the contact form below if you are interested in buying or selling land. We would love to talk to you!
About THE AUTHOR
We loved family’s outdoor adventures so much we started a land business just to help others buy their own land. We’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans five western states. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling