Over the long term, land banking has made many multi-millionaires.
Individual investors, corporations, universities, and government agencies have all participated in land banking as an investment strategy. In 1775, our first president, George Washington became the largest land owner and wealthiest person in Virginia. Following are some famous quotes about land ownership:
“Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate”
- Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919) was the second richest man in history after John D. Rockefeller. He earned his fortune from steel, railroads, and land. He was a major philanthropist.
“Buying real estate is not only the best way, the quickest way, but the only way to become wealthy.”
- Marshall Field
Marshall Field (1834 – 1906) was the founder of the Marshall Field and Company department stores. Together with John D. Rockefeller, they founded the University of Chicago. He made his fortune in retailing and real estate.
“Buy on the fringe and wait. Buy land near a growing city! Buy real estate when other people want to sell. Hold what you buy!”
- John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor (1763 – 1848) was a merchant and real estate investor who became the first millionaire in the United States. When he died, he was the wealthiest person in the U.S. and is the fourth richest person in American History.
“Sell the land? No – no - we will never sell the land. It is the end of a family –when they begin to sell the land. Out of the land we came and into it we must go – and if you will hold your land you can live – no one can rob you of land. If you sell the land, it is the end.”
- Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck (1892 – 1973) was the author of the book, The Good Earth, published in 1931. It was about peasant life in China before World War II. The quote above is from the main character Wang Lung who overhears his sons talking about selling the land he acquired over his lifetime.
“No investment on earth is so safe, so sure, so certain to enrich its owners as undeveloped realty. I always advise my friends to place their savings in realty near a growing city. There is no such savings bank anywhere.”
- Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland (1837 – 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States.
“I have always liked real estate; farm land, pasture land, timber land and city property. I have had experience with all of them. I guess I just naturally like ‘The Good Earth’; the foundation of all our wealth.”
- Jesse H. Jones
Jesse H. Jones (1874 – 1956) was U.S. Secretary of Commerce and head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Prior to holding these positions, he was a banker and real estate investor.
“Find out where the people are going and buy the land before they get there.”
- Will Rogers
Will Rogers (1879 – 1935) was a cowboy, humorist, and actor who made much of his legacy by investing in land.
“Real estate is the best investment for small savings. More money is made from the rise in real estate values than from all other causes combined.”
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan (1860 – 1925) was a candidate for President of the United States three times, former United States Congressman, and Secretary of State.
“Every person who invests in well selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919) was the 26th President of the Untied States. He was a strong supporter of conservation and had been a rancher before becoming president.
“The major fortunes in America have been made in land.”
- John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller (1839 – 1937) was an industrialist and major philanthropist who made his fortune in oil and land. He is believed to be the richest person in history.
“It will come to you, this love of the land. There’s no gettin’ away from it if you’re Irish.”
“Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightn’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.”
- Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell (1900 – 1949) was the author of the book “Gone with the Wind.” The quotation above is from Gerald O’Hara, the father of Scarlett O’Hara.
“Buy land. They’re not making it anymore.”
- Mark Twain
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835 – 1910) was the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He recognized the value of buying land.
“The best investment on earth is earth.”
- Louis J. Glickman
Louis J. Glickman (1905 – 1999) was a wealthy New York real estate investor and philanthropist who made his fortune in real estate.
“Real estate is an imperishable asset, ever increasing in value. It is the most solid security that human ingenuity has devised. It is the basis of all security and about the only indestructible security.”
- Russell Sage
Russell Sage (1816 – 1906) was a financier, railroad executive and member of the U.S. House of Representatives who amassed a fortune by investing in land.
“Real Estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away, purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) was the 32nd President of the United States and the most wealthy president in U.S. history. His inherited wealth came from real estate investing and the sale of opium in China.