The one huge advantage to investing in raw land as opposed to a property with accommodation for rent is not having to deal with tenants. The majority of tenants pay rent on time and don't wreck your house. But even great tenants have needs, like a new hot water tank on New Year's Eve, the drain tile which is plugged and flooding the basement, or giving notice the day after you went to Palm Springs for three months.
If you don't fancy yourself as a landlord, an excellent option is to buy building lots. Are you willing to pay the carrying costs such as financing and property taxes in order to have a worry free investment?
In areas surrounding major metropolitan cities such as Vancouver where prices have skyrocketed and the average family has no hope of buying a single-family home, the tendency is to look further afield and consider commuting. Alternatively, in this digital age, you could work from home. I personally am a fan of Mission and its surrounding area.
Some of these smaller towns still have vacant lots and if you're able to buy a couple of side-by-side larger lots, the possibility of subdividing two lots into three can be an excellent return on investment. A number of years ago this was very popular in Vancouver. People would buy two 50 foot lots and subdivide them into three 33 foot lots.
Yet another strategy is buying acreages on the outskirts of a growing municipality (not in the agricultural land reserve), with the hopes that that land will be rezoned as the municipality grows and requires more building lots.
There is an incredible amount of wealth looking for places to invest money in greater Vancouver. People that have worked hard and built empires need a place to build their castle. Some things never change! Estate acreages are becoming a hot commodity. Building a large house requires a large track of land. The bigger the parcel, the larger the castle. Not everyone wants to live in Shaughnessy; many prefer a more rural atmosphere. Lucky for you, there are still acreages available without the Shaughnessy price tag. As the number of these acreages drop because of high demand, these parcels will see some very healthy gains.
For the hands off investor who just wishes to buy and hold and doesn't mind paying yearly taxes, I believe that land is an excellent investment. It is real, not paper. Take a healthy profit in the future or leave a legacy for your children.