Let’s face it… the future is here. Widespread space exploration and colonization, the stuff of science fiction, is slowly becoming reality. We’ve walked on the moon, landed on an asteroid, flew the whole length of our solar system, and are finding new planets in other solar systems almost daily.
It wouldn’t be long before humanity starts legitimately exploring, and colonizing other planets and moons. The real estate industry needs to be ready to turn itself into the space real estate industry!
As far the visible real estate in space goes, our neighborhood Venus may not be the best real estate investment — sulfuric acid rain and 200 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth may really put a damper on profitable real estate investment values. After all, every probe we sent there either imploded, exploded, or disintegrated due to the 700+ degree temperatures. Tough sell, right? But hey, look at the bright side: home buyers are likely to get really low prices! If they can endure all of the aforementioned perils; they’re golden. Wonder what kind of homeowners insurance policy the space real estate industry will come up with to protect homeowners in Venus…
Now, Mars, our other next-door neighbor, seems to be a much more viable real estate investment. Between all the missions we’ve sent there over the years, there is more hardware on Mars than some Radio Shack stores. Several state and private space agencies are currently planning manned missions, and one even planning to put permanent citizens on Mars by the 2030s.
Getting in on the action when it comes to real estate in space is easy: if you’re thinking of buying a house in Mars, there are websites out there selling land for $40 an acre, a steal compared to Earthly land. Considering all the future planned exploration, mining and colonization, buying a house on the Red Planet may actually be a worthwhile investment.
But don’t break out the checkbook just yet, homeowners… unfortunately, there is no way to actually buy a home on Mars. A 1967 accord called the Outer Space Treaty basically prohibits private, or national ownership of any part of space, moon or territory of other planets, treating them as “benefits for all mankind.” Of course, that does not stop many savvy entrepreneurs from joining the real estate in space craze, claiming to be the “official owners” of Martian land, and selling it accordingly.
As of today, $40 will get you a shiny, official-looking certificate, and perhaps some sci-fi toys, none of which make you the legal owner of any real estate in space. However, if the Outer Space Treaty was to be abolished in the future, where on Mars would make for the best real estate investment?
Mars has no surface water, so a beach side property is out of the question. At an average temperature of -80°F, and barely any atmosphere, being around the equator is pretty much useless. The best place on Mars for you to buy a home would probably be around Olympus Mons – Mars’ giant dormant volcano. Why land around a volcano? Most likely, Olympus Mons is extinct, however, the old underground lava tubes round the volcano may serve as perfect living quarters, protecting future homeowners from radiation and planet-wide dust storms.
With so many benefits, Olympus Mons is a seller’s market in the making. Well, when we finally get to live in Mars, most likely ALL of it will be a seller’s market. But anyways, if you want to avoid a bidding war with other home buyers for the best real estate investment in Mars, your next best bet may be on the poles of Mars. Mars’ polar regions are covered in ice, and possibly water ice under the surface, making the polar region ideal for habitation. The areas are also suspected to have tremendous amounts of minable minerals and other natural resources. Staking your claim to pieces of land ideal for building refineries as part of a profitable future mining operation may prove to be an excellent investment.
For now, this is all just speculation. The Outer Space Treaty prevents us from buying a house or owning any extraterrestrial piece of land. Colonization of Mars has not even begun, however, once it does, we imagine territorial disputes are soon to follow, with it, the necessity to amend or abolish the Outer Space Treaty. Rest assured, that if the space Real Estate race was to start soon, RealEstateAgent.com would be right there with you, helping Earthlings and Martians alike find a real estate agent to guide you through the ever-changing soon-to-be interplanetary real estate industry.