If you live and work in an urban or heavily populated suburban area, how can you decide where to buy land? Land nearby is probably expensive or unavailable, and you might not travel to the more remote places in your state (where large areas of land are often available for sale). People who want to make money on their land purchases (not just hold on to large amounts of wealth without paying heavy taxes) can pay attention to three cardinal principles of where to buy land:

Where to Buy Land – Rule #1: By the Water.

Oceans are not wet deserts; they are the travel spaces that connect cities, countries, and the world. The world’s industrial and financial centers are all port cities or communities near the ocean, and there is a good reason for that. The more interconnected people become, the more valuable land near the water will be. On the west coast, ports are expanding at astonishing rates, because America’s most profitable exports (largely technology- and entertainment-related) come from there. When considering where to buy land,

2. Where to Buy Land – Rule #2: Near Industrial Centers.

There are two benefits to owning land near business and industrial centers.

First, successful industries are not static – they grow. Their survival depends on expansion, and businesses expand contagiously wherever they can in order to profit. Undeveloped land near industrial centers, therefore, becomes ever more valuable as industrial expansion creeps closer to its borders. By its nature, industry expands outward.

Second, people move near industrial centers, because they find jobs there. As suburban and residential areas surrounding industrial centers become more populous, people build outward and create larger residential areas. This way, more people can access the opportunities within urban centers (and, in turn, stimulate even more growth).

If you have ever shopped around for land, you’ve seen the difference in the value of an acre of undeveloped land and an acre of residential land, even if it is relatively rural. As people move in closer together and industrial centers expand, the land surrounding those areas skyrockets in value.

3. Where to Buy Land – Rule #3: In the Path of Development.

Finding land in the path of development means doing your research. A small, $20,000 land parcel can be more valuable than a $500,000 one – it all depends on learning where developers are planning to move next. A solar energy provider is expanding? That’s where to buy land. A suburban area is blossoming, and industry leaders are looking to move into the less populous sections? That’s where to buy land. Perhaps surprisingly, this kind of relevant information is available, and with patience and advice from an experienced investor, you can find land in the path of development to pay for your retirement or your children’s education.

Finally, remember that you don’t need to live nearby to know where to buy land – you just need to be well informed. Property in California belongs to people all over the country and the world. Don’t feel restricted by your address: anyone anywhere can discover where to buy land in the most lucrative areas.