Diversifying isn’t just for farmers – How your acres and outbuildings can make you money

25.02.2018 | By ShawMove

Turn your excess land and outbuildings into a commercial opportunity

Having too much land isn’t a problem most of us have, but if you’ve found that perfect country home only to discover it comes with a dozen acres, the thought of all that mowing could be enough to put you off.

But instead of being a potential millstone, why not look at that acreage as an opportunity to make money?

Traditionally, landlords have been squeezing rents and fees from people using their property since the Normans grabbed all those estates after the invasion.

Nowadays, diversification has become a part of rural life, farmers having to squeeze every last penny from their land and buildings, but homeowners lucky enough to be sitting on a few acres can do the same.

Let it be

Even if farming doesn’t appeal to you, a neighbouring farmers may be happy to do it for you and rent your field; or maybe you have space for drying and storing grain to let instead?

There are also more modern ways to make space pay. Solar farms and heat sourced ground pumps both need acreage, as does the annual demand for Christmas trees.

Make money from country sports

Country pursuits can also be lucrative; fishermen will pay to sit by your well-stocked pond all day and a clay pigeon experience only needs space and privacy to take wing. Even laser-based combat game businesses can set up with little more infrastructure than some hay bales.

And equine livery conversions of outbuildings and land into stables and paddocks have also increased in popularity.

Social housing

If you want to meet a real rural need and are prepared to jump through a lot of legal hoops, then developing part of your property for social housing can be rewarding in every sense.

Diversifying isn’t just for farmers - How your acres and outbuildings can make you money

  • Commercial real estate in the UK is worth £1.6 billion and adds 1% to our GDP, employing over a million people.
  • According to Farmers’ Weekly magazine, the value of farmland for development exceeded £1 million per acre in 2015.
  • A survey by estate agents Savills revealed average rents for arable land was £111 per acre and for livestock, £87 per acre, and rising.
  • A three-acre fishing lake could generate £10-20,000 a year depending on the type of fish on offer, but set-up fees are around £10,000 per acre of lake and it can cost up to £5000 to stock your lake.
  • You can typically charge around £40 for “D-I-Y” livery or between £70-120 for the full livery stable service once you’ve invested in infrastructure and paid overheads.
  • A typical day out clay pigeon shooting on a farm can cost £15-20 per 50-shot round, but add in some instruction and hospitality and you can charge £60-70.

A ShawMove property with acres of potential

ShawMove is marketing a beautiful property near the town of Hartfield in East Sussex that’s ideal for diversification.

Forest Springs is a modern three-bedroom home, currently on the market for £2.75 million, with every home comfort and with it comes 11 acres in the middle of the Ashdown Forest. As the name implies, the property has two large lakes, woodland, lawn and grassland.

The property also features outbuildings with fully functioning workshop, offices, annex accommodation, kitchen and toilet facilities. It clearly has scope to create commercial or even tourist revenue.If you’re tempted to change your lifestyle and want a rural property with the possibility of generating an income, contact ShawMove today.

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