Leasing farm land as a house hack?

6 Replies

Has anyone bought a farm and leased the land to growers as a house hack? I’d love to live on a bunch of land, but my investor side cringes at paying for land that isn’t working for me. Any insight? Is it possible or worth it? We live in SW PA.

I know that in the midwest that isn't likely to work.  Land price is too high for what you can make on it as a farmer, so most of the time your cash rent won't even pay for the mortgage payment (it probably would eventually as crop prices rise over the years, but not to start).  I looked into it (my father farms part time) and there was no way to make the math work where he lives or where I live (Nebraska/Kansas).

You could hire someone to custom farm it for you, that will bring in more cash then renting it out. You can also lease out hunting rights to the land for additional income. I live in WI and rent my field for 125 acre for the year. Even when corn was 8$ bushel people were only getting 300 acre for large fields that were very productive. 

Depending on the property and need you could board horses. That would at least give you a monthly income.

I have not tried this but consider does it matter how much you make?  Why not buy the house youd like to live in with the land at a price point you can afford and then generate as much extra income as possible from the land. Not every house purchase needs to be a house hack and making a little extra on the land could just be a nice bonus for living where you want to live.  Just a thought.

There's actually another option to consider.  Sometimes farm houses come with a decent chunk of land that the homeowner doesn't really need or want.  So you may have a $300k house with $100k of farmland but when combined it's only a $350k property because the house hunter doesn't want to pay extra for the land and the farmer doesn't want the house with the land.  You can sometimes:

a)  sell the land to a neighboring farmer

b)  if close to a city, subdivide the land into acreages for people to buy and put a house on

So you might be able to save $50k on your house by selling the farmland for $100k and still get the farm life.  Not all farms are like that though, and you'd want to talk to neighboring farmers beforehand probably.

Originally posted by @Jeffrey Holst :

I have not tried this but consider does it matter how much you make?  Why not buy the house youd like to live in with the land at a price point you can afford and then generate as much extra income as possible from the land. Not every house purchase needs to be a house hack and making a little extra on the land could just be a nice bonus for living where you want to live.  Just a thought.

 That's probably a much better way to phrase it. I'm not expecting total cash flow but income to offset the cost of the land would be beneficial.

Originally posted by @Aaron Taylor :

There's actually another option to consider.  Sometimes farm houses come with a decent chunk of land that the homeowner doesn't really need or want.  So you may have a $300k house with $100k of farmland but when combined it's only a $350k property because the house hunter doesn't want to pay extra for the land and the farmer doesn't want the house with the land.  You can sometimes:

a)  sell the land to a neighboring farmer

b)  if close to a city, subdivide the land into acreages for people to buy and put a house on

So you might be able to save $50k on your house by selling the farmland for $100k and still get the farm life.  Not all farms are like that though, and you'd want to talk to neighboring farmers beforehand probably.

Interesting! I'll have to read through some listed farms to see. Not sure we'd actually move, but I love the thought of miving on more land.

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