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Field Guide to Land Investment

(Updated June 2014)

While land investment may not provide the instant gratification of a home purchase, this sort of venture can be quite lucrative. Land investors have different needs and concerns than those of typical real estate investors - zoning, planning, environmental issues are just a few of the challenges they must face. This Field Guide will help those who wish to take on this interesting branch of the real estate industry. (S. Hogan, Information and Web Content Specialist)

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

Investing Basics

There Are More Ways To Invest In Land Than You Think, (Investopedia, May 6, 2014).

The Best Long-Term Real Estate Investment: Farmland, (CNBC, Mar. 24, 2014).

America's Best Farmland Bargains, (Agriculture.com, Mar. 4, 2014).

The Next Real Estate Bubble: Farmland, (The American, Mar. 29, 2013).

Investing in Farmland: Cultivating a Diversification Opportunity [Interview with TIAA-CREF Senior Economist Tim Hopper], (altanswer.com, Mar. 26, 2013).

As Crop Prices Surge, Investment Firms and Farmers Vie for Land, (New York Times, Mar. 18, 2013).

Investing in Farmland: Is a Bubble Brewing? (MoneyMorning.com, Feb. 19, 2013).

Best Way to Buy Land for Retirement?, (realtor.com®, Feb. 14, 2011).

Land Appraisal

Metro Area Land Prices, [Quarterly, 1984-2012], (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy).

Real Farm: The Speculative Opportunity of Land Values, (Futures, Apr. 2014). Q

Land Prices by State [Quarterly, 1975 to present], (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy).

U.S. Land Gets More Expensive, (Wall Street Journal Online, Apr. 9, 2013).

Land Values: 2013 Summary, (National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2013).

Environmental Considerations

Check Your Flooding Risk, (Farmers Weekly, Apr. 18, 2014). Q

Nutrient Balance & the Future of Land, (Croplife, Feb. 2013). Q

Flood-Prone Land Likely to Increase by 45%, (REALTOR® Magazine, Daily Real Estate News, July 25, 2011).

LEED-ND: What the Skeptics Say, (Planning, Dec. 2010).  Q

Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment that Respects Rights, Livelihoods and Resources, (Worldbank.org, Jan. 25, 2010).

Useful Websites

American Farm Bureau Federation

Landowner Assistance & Stewardship, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Smart Growth Program, (Government Affairs department, National Association of REALTORS®).

REALTORS® Land Institute

U.S. Forest Service

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Back to Basics Handbook: A Guide to Buying and Working Land, Raising Livestock, Enjoying Your Harvest, Household Skills and Crafts, and More (Adobe eReader)

Be a successful green land developer (Adobe eReader)

The dynamics of property location (Adobe eReader)

Land use law for sustainable development (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Smart Growth Manual, (New York, NY : McGraw Hill, 2010). HT 392 D85sg

Fundamentals of land development: a real-world guide to profitable large-scale development, (Hoboken, NJ : J. Wiley & Sons, 2008). NAC 1800 J62f

Essentials of real estate investment, (Chicago, IL : Dearborn Real Estate Education, 2007). HG 4521 Si7 Ed. 8

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Agricultural/Farm Land

Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.