If you are thinking about purchasing raw land, then you probably want to know how to use the land, either for business, investment, or personal use.
Raw land is often used for personal use as a place to camp, hunt or store items. You can also rent the property or mineral rights. You can even put solar panels on it. Finally, you may choose to develop the land yourself as a business or residential area.
This article includes tons of common and unique things to put on raw land and ways that you can use raw land. Many of the options we included are creative, but there is something for almost any land owner.
We have experience in land acquisition and help people with their land buying and selling needs. We own land across the country and also have zoning expertise as well as personal adventuring experience.
Let’s look at some of the great ways that you can use your raw land. Many of them are great for personal use, while others are business or investment opportunities. In fact, a lot of them provide you with personal uses while simultaneously generating some income.
Table of Contents
Camping and Recreation
This is one of the most common uses of raw land for personal use. A lot of people like to use their raw land to go camping, fishing, hunting, four wheeling, and more. You will never have to find a space to park your RV and no more paying rent!
Plus, since you own the land, you can make it suit your every desire. You can make it perfect for playing baseball or you can leave it wild and perfect for animals and hiking. We have found that a lot of people use their land for hunting as it builds in value or until a development company wants to buy it. Then, they move on to other lands for personal and recreational use and do the same thing.
If you have a bunch of junk cluttering up your primary property, you can use the raw land to store those things. This is great for people who have accumulated a lot of big things like extra vehicles, lumbar, or other building materials. Those can be a hassle to mess with and it will likely cost you too much money to rent out a storage location, but with your own land you can take care of it yourself.
Some people have enough raw land to even rent out portions of it to other people for storage. You can even build large sheds. Just keep in mind that you will have to compete with any storage facilities in your area.
If you have land, then you can raise your own animals. While some animals are expensive to purchase and care for, others are not too pricey. You can try breeding dogs or raising pigs on the property. If it is your thing, you can also raise the pigs for their meat. Then, you can freeze the meat and it should last you a long, long time.
You could even try to raise goats for their milk to make your own goat cheese. Then, you can try your own goat cheese recipes or even sell the cheese at a local farmer’s market. Or, if that is not your thing, you can always go the bird route and raise chickens. Then, you can sell their eggs.
If you have enough raw land, you can build a stock pond. Then you will never have to worry about another fisherman stealing your fish or taking your prime spot! Plus, it can be thoroughly relaxing just walking around water. While this is a little more expensive than others on the list, it may help to increase the value of the property and you may even find that people are willing to pay to fish or camp by the water.
You can also set up a shooting range on the raw land that you own. If you like to shoot, then this can be a great way to get away and relax while participating in a great hobby. Plus, you can make it however you want. This means that you add features that work for you and tailor to the type of guns and shooting you like to do.
Drive-in theaters are not as numerous as they once were, but they can still be a great way to take in an exciting movie. If you build your own, then you can host movie parties among your friends and family. Or you could even open them up to the community and have them pay a small fee for viewing, popcorn, and drinks. Whether you use it to generate extra income or just want to use it for yourself, this can be a fun, innovative way to use raw land.
Gardening does not require a ton of land, but having land means that you have more space to grow more vegetables, flowers, or anything else that may grow in your area. Plus, it can be difficult to grow watermelons without a ton of land if you want them to be large.
In fact, you can even start a community garden for your entire community. There are probably people who live in apartments or houses with small yards that would love to grow some stuff on your property. You can ask them to donate if they have the extra money. You can also sell any veggies that you grow at the local farmer’s market.
A lot of people find that raising bees is fun, interesting, and relaxing. It can take a while to learn, but it can also be a very rewarding experience. Plus, you can use the honey on your morning biscuits or even sell it to the people in your community! School’s and other groups may even like to take a tour of your hives as a field trip.
If you have children, then you may want to build them a playground on your raw land. This can be a lot of fun because you also get to design and construct it. You may want to have your kids brainstorm ideas for the types of things that they want. If you have big enough trees, you may even want to build a treehouse. I sure wish I had the trees and room to have one as a kid!
A playground does not have to be solely for children either. You can build an obstacle course for adults. A lot of groups like to use this type of thing for team building exercises. You could rent it out for the day and probably charge quite a bit of money if there is nothing similar in your area.
Raw land can be a great investment that you can develop or sell to developers. You can develop it for your own home as well. Once you develop the land and build a home on it, then you can live there or sell the home for a profit or even rent it out. The potential opportunities are virtually endless.
You can also develop the land as a commercial or business property. A strip mall or office building can then be rented out to generate passive income. Just remember to check into zoning laws in your area.
Any space can potentially be advertising space as long as other people see it. For example, you can construct a billboard on the property and then rent it out. Some local or even national businesses may be happy to shell out some money if the billboard is located in a high traffic area.
Depending on where the raw land is located, you may be able to generate some money by turning it into a parking lot. If there are any attractions nearby, you can charge a small fee to allow people to park on the land. This is easy to do and if the land is not too rocky and does not have too much vegetation, there is likely not much you will have to do to begin this venture.
You may be able to make some money by harvesting the timber on your land. While the value will depend on several factors, it is possible. This is especially true if you have a lot of wooded land, especially if you have valuable types of trees.
Children love a good pumpkin patch in the fall. If there is not one already in your community, then you can start your own! You can have different attractions like a corn maze, a pumpkin carving or painting station, and concessions. This can generate money while making the families in your community happy! Plus it can be a lot of fun to organize.
You can also turn the pumpkin patch attraction into a Christmas attraction fairly easily. Just get some lights and decorations and change the concessions into hot chocolate. You can even dress up as Santa and invite the community to join you for chestnuts.
A lot of people turn raw land into pastures and stables to raise horses. Horses can be a fun hobby. You can ride them around the property or even rent out the stables to people in the community who do not have enough land for a horse, but dream of owning one or more. This can be a great way to generate money. You may even love caring for the horses and find that it is an enjoyable hobby.
Yoga Classes (Or Other Classes)
People love to participate in yoga outside in nature. If this is something you enjoy, then you can make money by starting your own yoga class. You can get your own exercise while meeting new people with similar interests in your area. Plus, you can charge money to host the classes. What is there not to like about that?
You may even be able to teach guitar lessons, language classes, or start a book club on the property. The sky's the limit. While some of these will be preferable inside of a building, it doesn’t have to be an expensive building. Many options may even work well outdoors as long as you do not live in an area that has severely harsh climates for most of the year.
A weekend petting zoo can be a lot of fun. Just get some animals that are friendly and let the children in the area come by to feed and pet them for a small fee. You can use sheep and goats, pigs, donkeys, and more.
You may even find that people are willing to rent the animals for a petting zoo at their home or even want the goats to eat up their grass when it starts to get too long. If you are an animal person, then this is a great option.
Bed and Breakfast
You can also turn your raw land into a bed and breakfast. While this takes more development than some of the other options, it can be fun and generate income. You can even use the house yourself while renting it out as a bed and breakfast. You may think that it wouldn’t be popular, but people love to spend a relaxing day at a good B&B, even if it is close to home.
If you own enough raw land, then this is a great choice. You can rent out the land for weddings, parties, birthdays, and more. All you need's a little organization and creativity (and maybe some tents, tables, and chairs). People are usually willing to pay a good amount of money for a quality venue for their wedding or other event.
If you have a lot of land, then farmers may want to use your land in addition to their own. They will take care of the land. You can sign a contract with them to secure a solid passive income for a year or even more. If it works out, you could secure a good passive income for life. Farmers are always interested in extra land if it has good soil and other farming features.
Some farmers may not want your land to grow more crops, but may need it for other reasons like storage or grazing. If you rent out the property for grazing, then the animals will take care of the grass and you still generate some money. While grazing land generally does not generate as much money as farming land, it will be passive and require little or no upkeep from you.
You can place solar panels on the land or even get paid to add wind turbines. Energy companies may be willing to pay you a decent amount because you are generating energy that they can use. You may even be able to work out a deal with them that allows you to use the energy and sell them the rest. This way you do not have to pay electricity bills, and you can make a little more income on the side.
Owning raw land means that you have the mineral rights. Sometimes, the minerals found on the land could be worth a substantial amount of money. You can rent the land out to oil companies and make a good amount of money if the land has some valuable resources on, in, or under it.
Make a Shop
You may want a shop where you can do wood work, mechanical jobs, or fix up and restore old cars. This can be a meaningful and fulfilling way to get into a new hobby. You may find that you would rather spend your free time at the shop on the raw land than at home where it can get boring quite quickly. You can even turn the things that you make into a profitable business.
If you live in the right climate, you can start a vineyard. While this has some front end costs, if you are a wine connoisseur it will likely be fun (and tasty!). You can invite the community for tastings and sell bottles of wine in the local area. Some groups may even be interested in vineyard tours. You can choose the types of grapes that you want to go and learn the entire process from planting to drinking.
Photography can be fun and having raw land gives you places to practice. You may even want to invite people for wedding or graduation pictures on the property. You can make the experience more enticing by planting a field of flowers. People love flowers and are often willing to take family pictures resting in the sea of blooms.
Even if you are not into photography yourself, professional photographers and filmmakers are often looking for new places to shoot. If the land has some unique elements, they may be willing to pay you a good sum to use the property for some expert shots. You may find that there is much more demand for this than you realize.
If you are into arts and crafts, you can build a studio designed to foster creativity. It can be used just for you, or you can open it up to the community. This can be great and relaxing and is a great way to spend your days or weekends. Crafts can be a great way to ease stress as well.
If you are not into crafts, you could still have a music studio or some other type of location designed specifically for your primary hobbies. Even if you like to read and write, you can create a cozy, quiet place to do some deep thinking and peruse through books better than you could at a public library.
Build a Stage
You can also build a stage and begin to book concerts or other performances on the raw land. You don;t have to charge much for the admittance tickets and can generate money while also seeing cool shows. This can be a great way to generate weekend income while also doing something you would want to do anyways.
You may even want to build a racetrack for people to race their own cars (just be sure to check your local laws and regulations). This can be a great way to offer a service to the community because people will be less likely to race dangerously on the city streets.
Another option is to build a skatepark or roller rink. This can be a great place for people to come practice their skills safely and you can charge a small amount to provide a season pass to anybody that is interested.
You can also set up a flea market on the land. Once a month (or more often if there is a demand for it in your area), you can have people rent out spaces on the land to sell their goods. This is also a great way for you to sell your own stuff that you have laying around. People love going to flea markets because it gives them a reason to get out of the house and it can be fun looking at all the stuff that people have saved up throughout the years.
You can build a swimming pool on the land, and it could be a large one if the land is big enough and if you have the money to develop it. This can be a swimming pool for personal use or public use. If you choose public use, you can make some money during the Summer when the kids want to use it everyday!
You can provide a great place to practice baseball or any other sport that is played on a field like football or soccer. People will use it for practices and may even use it for games. While this is not one of the biggest ideas for making money, you can sell concessions (peanuts and Crackerjacks anyone?) during the games and practices and may make more money than you realize.
If you have a kid that plays a sport, this can be a great way to offer a way to practice more often. This can foster their skills and encourage them to pursue their dreams of playing in college someday.
Paintball is fun to play outside with a lot of obstacles. A lot of people want to pursue paintball as a hobby, but do not have an affordable or easy way to do so. Having raw land available can give you, your friends, and your family a place to play. Plus, as you accumulate more and more paintball equipment, you may find that it is profitable to rent out the space and the materials. People from all around may soon be interested in spending their Saturday on your land to shoot some splattering paintballs at each other.
While some of the ideas listed on this article produce things to sell at a farmer’s market, not every area has a farmer’s market to use. You can use your land to rent out spaces for locals to sell their flowers, fruits, vegetables, crafts, and more. Plus, you can sell things at it too. This can be a great way to integrate yourself into a new community if you are planning on purchasing raw land in an area that you do not live in.
If a cellular company is expanding into your area, you may want to think about offering them the property to build their tower on. They may be willing to pay a large sum to do so, especially if you are located in a prime spot like in between a couple of cities or high on a ridge or hill.
You can also use your raw land as a junkyard. People often want to get rid of their things, but know that someone else may want them. Or you could even use the land as a landfill and charge a small fee for dumping into it. Just remember that your neighbors will probably not like that you chose these paths and that there may be some legal tape or regulations that you need to be aware of.
You can also develop the land to use as a park for the community. There are tons of different kinds of parks. You could build playgrounds or a disc golf course (or even a real golf course if you want to put the money towards that). Hiking trails are also a popular attraction for people in most areas. If there is not a good, large park in the community already, people may be really grateful that you decided to build one with your empty, raw land.
If you like to do landscaping and gardening, then you could start your own botanical garden. This can give people a lovely place to walk around to relax and give you something to work towards. You can also offer classes on preservation and sustainability as well as encourage the promotion of healthy wildlife and local flora and fauna. You can even add a butterfly sanctuary or a greenhouse. People will likely be willing to pay a small fee to enter, or you can choose to offer it for free if you just want to do it as a personal hobby.
Food trucks are increasingly popular, but sometimes people do not know where they should park them. They may move them from place to place without much success or they may have too much competition in the city where they usually decide to park the truck. You can open up a portion of your raw land for people to park their food trucks and charge a small fee. You could even open your own food truck. Plus, you may get to try new foods from each of the trucks!
Companies, the municipality, farmers, or others may want to use your property to provide easier access to landlocked properties or as an alternative route to ease traffic congestion. If they want the access bad enough, they may be willing to pay you a high price for just a portion of your land. They may even still let you open up roadside markets or place billboards close to the thoroughfare so that you can continue to use the land.
A lot of people want their dogs to have fun and get exercise, but have no good place to go in order to provide it for their pets. Opening a dog park can be an easy way to give dog owners a place where they can take their beloved animals. While this is not a money-making idea, at least not primarily, it can still be a great way to use the land. You can even combine this idea with other ones if your land is large enough.
If you are looking to live on your property, but don’t want to spend a lot of money to do so, a mobile home may be a good option. Whether you will treat it as a primary residence or a Summer spot, this can be a great choice. Then, you can expand the development and rent out or sell other mobile homes around the property. This can be a great way to form your own community and generate more income. You can even do this if you do not plan on living there yourself.
Drill a Well
A well can provide you and your neighbors with clean drinking water. You could even monetize the water if you wanted to. However, just adding a single well to raw land can also greatly increase its overall value.
You can build your own hobbit hole on your land. An earth-bermed house is one that is partially underground and they save a lot on energy costs (especially if you combine this idea with solar panels!). They are really cool and fit well into the natural areas surrounding the home. This is a great way to make a unique bed and breakfast property as well, or you could choose to live in the house yourself.
If you live in a gorgeous area of the country, then you can add a scenic overlook on your property. This is usually a great way to provide locals and travelers a look at the natural beauty surrounding your land. While it is not easy to make a lot of money this way, it can stil be good. However, if your property does offer an astounding view or the most unique view in your area (or if it overlooks a famous monument or attraction), then you may be able to charge a fee for access. You can also add pay per view binoculars to the overlook spot.
Beer drinking is something a lot of people all over the world like, but microbrewing is also a fun hobby for a beer connoisseur. You can even have tastings or sell the beer at the farmer’s market (maybe the farmer’s market you started on the raw land). It does not take much upfront costs to learn how to brew a small amount of beer and you can grow to bigger production from there if it is something you truly enjoy (or if it turns out that it is very profitable and you are very good at it).
Okay, a golf course will take more time and money than most of the items on this list, but it can also generate a ton of income. Plus, what golfing hobbyist doesn’t want to design their own course? If you don’t want to do it yourself, you may be able to sell the land to a professional golf course developer as well.
If you are not ready to take such a big step, you can also make a driving range on the raw land. This way you can practice on your own property and not have to worry about paying fees or waiting your turn. You can even invite some friends over to practice your swings and shoot the breeze.
Christmas Tree Farm
So we already went over using your land for a Fall pumpkin patch, but how about a Winter Christmas tree farm. A lot of people buy a new tree every year and if there is not a dependable tree farm in your area, then you may be able to offer them to the community and make money providing children with happy memories.
It doesn’t take much effort to start a Christmas tree farm and you should make your upfront costs back quickly as long as the community is aware of the business. If you live in the right part of the country, you can even have your customers chop down their own trees! This gives them the entire Christmas tree experience and is less work for you.
You can also open up your land to become campgrounds for other people, not only yourself. While you would still be able to use the land for your recreational activities, you could also generate some money offering tent camping or RV parking spots for those who are looking for a camping experience to cherish.
If you live in a place that is known for the wildlife or camping climate, then this could generate a lot of money. People traveling from other locations may be interested in staying for a few nights and locals will also have an easy place to get away for the weekend.
If your land is located on a lake or other body of water, then you can offer it as a boat launch. If the land is big enough, then you can still use the land for a home or vacation property for yourself while also providing the area with easier access to the water.
You can also use the property as an animal or a human sanctuary. If there is a lot of wildlife in your area, then the property could be put to good use to offer them freedom while protecting them from development and urban expansion (and from hunting). This can be a great way to do good for the environment.
You can also use it as a human sanctuary or mental health retreat. People often like to spend time away from electricity and their devices to improve their mental health. You can offer classes or just off the grid living without doing much to people looking for a way to escape their mundane, yet stressful, lives.
Storm or Fallout Shelter
While you may not be worried about the apocalypse, there are people who are and would be willing to rent a well-kept fallout shelter. Even if not, some people may like to rent out the shelter for other uses. They may just want to stay there as a way to escape for a couple days. Plus, if you live in tornado alley, it may be good to have a shelter close to your home anyways.
A lot of companies require a lot of space for proper training. For businesses that work on landscaping, lumbar, fitness, or even drone controlling, you can provide them a place where they can train new employees. While they may not need it all the time, they may pay a significant amount of money to use it for a few weeks each year.
You can also choose to donate your land to a cause that you believe in. A local church may like to have the land to expand or relocate or you may find that a preservation group in the area is looking for more property. The city itself may want the land to build roads, a school, or other community properties. Plus, you can get a tax break for donating the land!
Finally, one that you may have already thought of. You can always sell the land and may make some money doing so. This is the reason that land is such a good investment. You can wait for the value to increase as nearby land becomes more and more developed or you can increase the value by developing the land or adding features yourself.
The land is unlikely to decrease in value and you can use it yourself until you do end up finding a buyer. Then, you can even buy more land and do it all over again trying new methods or uses each and every time.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down because of COVID-19. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United 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