If you are interested in real estate (as I am), then allow me to suggest that you consider exploring the world of farmland. It’s something I’ve done for a while and it’s an interesting rabbit hole to fall down. Not so much as an investor, but as someone interested in how agriculture works (but yes, there is an investor angle here too).
You can go as deep or as shallow as you like.
Your interest will go no further than an occasional visit to a farm for a harvest festival, hay ride, or Halloween corn maze. One of my local farms makes amazing pies — blueberry crumble, raspberry/peach and strawberry rhubarb are family favorites.
If you want to go deeper down the rabbit hole, you can track farmland values through the USDA. Explore regional differences in prices, or cropland and pasture rents. You can also play with local data sources (eg, the Col. Seneca Cooperative). You can search active listings of farmland and for sale online. It’s not quite Zillow-surfing, but it’s still interesting. You can follow farm-specific Twitter feed(I like farm policy)
If you want to become an investor in agricultural land, it becomes more complicated. Prices rise to record highs; Auctions are up +65% over last year, as are acres sold +106%, and dollar value +130%. So there may be some delay in this cycle. Also note that inflation raises the price of crops, and this causes land values and especially rents to rise. Prices may increase.
If you have a long-term view and want to own non-residential, non-office, productive real estate, this is an option worth exploring. A lot of work is required — don’t just drive up to Vermont and buy the first farm that says “For Sale.” (Farmers are quite aware of selling land).
Regardless, it’s a fun area to explore. . .