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(Updated June 2015)

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, Manager, Library & Archives)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Investing Basics

Land Rush Is Heating Up Across All Commercial Sectors, (National Real Estate Investor, Apr. 22, 2015).

Timberland Investment Regions and Considerations in the U.S. North, (LandThink, Apr. 21, 2015).

Timber! Why the rich are buying trees, (CNN Money, Nov. 24, 2014).

Landowners and the 2014 Farm Bill, (LandThink, Nov. 18, 2014).

More Individuals Are Looking to Invest in Farmland and Timberland, (Wall Street Journal, Jul. 18, 2014).

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).

Land Appraisal

How Much Is the U.S. Worth?, (Wall Street Journal, Apr. 22, 2015).

The Real Role of Land Values in the United States, (CityLab, Apr. 10, 2015).

New Estimates of Value of Land of the United States, (Bureau of Economic Analysis, Apr. 3, 2015).

Land Values: 2014 Summary, (National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2014).

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

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

Environmental Considerations

Enhancing the True Value of Land – Water Resources, (LandThink, Mar. 24, 2015).

Before Buying Vacant Land: Getting an Environmental Assessment, (NOLO, 2015).

Soil Science: A Quick Primer for Land Professionals, (Terra Firma, Winter 2015, p. 19).

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

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:

Finding Good Farmland (Adobe eReader, Kindle)

Buying Country Land (Adobe eReader)

The Dynamics of Property Location (Adobe eReader)

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 Services. 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 Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Land Development, (Washington, DC: BuilderBooks, 2006). HD 259.K66 2006

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

Information Services 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.