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Acquiring your own private acreage is satisfying and gives you a sense of independence and pride. While there are many options when buying a parcel of land, raw land could be a good option, especially if you are not looking to buy and sell immediately.

Raw land is more affordable than developed land, making it a good investment if you are on a budget. You can get raw land at a reasonable price in most parts of the country, and it also appreciates with time. More so, raw land is less volatile than stocks.

It is natural to feel overwhelmed and puzzled if you think of the logistics of developing raw land. If you are unsure where to start, here is a guide that will help you develop the raw land smoothly, whether you are looking to build a home, use it as farmland or create a recreational facility.

1. Have A Plan

Before you even purchase the parcel of land, you should know what you want to do with it once you take ownership. Do you want to use it as farmland? Will you be building a home? Do you want to build a facility that will be your retirement investment?

Establish when you want to buy the land and how you want to use it. You will need this information when seeking financing from the bank too. Planning will help you get the right land for the job. For instance, if you are looking to set up a recreational hunting facility, you would want to buy land in a region with wildlife around.

You should ask yourself which kind of investment you are looking to make and the raw land that would be most ideal for it.

2. Familiarize Yourself With The Phases Of Development

There is a checklist every developer should go through to understand the property development process. The process features several steps you should be aware of for a smooth process. It can be broken down into three key phases; research and analysis, approvals, and development or construction phase.

Developers and the relevant public officials must understand the steps of the development process, including the timelines, the needed due diligence, and the costs involved with the specific development.

During the research phase, you gather and review information on the land you intend to develop. Some of the questions you could ask include: what is the net or gross size of developable property? What is the zoning for the land? Are there easements on the property? Is the land exposed to or characterized by soil erosion and geological hazards? What are the investment opportunities? And what can be done to the property?

The development approval process will succeed in research and analysis. You need several approvals to proceed to the developmental phase. The approval process is often local, but you could also require several federal permits. Confirm if you require an environmental impact statement or a federal environmental review.

Find out if you require subdivision, rezoning, and planning commission approvals. The approval process will depend on the location of the property. You may need multiple federal, state, and local permits in some jurisdictions, whereas a local permit will be enough in others.

The timelines for the approval process will also vary from months to several years.

Once your plan is approved and you have acquired the permits, you can proceed to the development phase.

3. Establish The Perfect Timing For Development

Timing is key when developing your newly acquired raw land. You have to consider multiple uncontrollable factors, such as an unstable economy. For instance, it would not make sense to develop the raw land if you can find developed land at the time at a lower price.

While during the fall and winter months, you can get building materials at a low price, it may not be an ideal time to build. On the other hand, Spring is a good time to build a home.

If you are developing farmland, you have to weigh in environmental and weather events that would potentially get in the way of achieving your agricultural goals. For instance, rain can slow down your project by weeks or even months if you are not adequately prepared.

If you intend to build barns or shelters for your farm supplies and machinery, you have to plan for the project when it is driest.

4. Prepare Yourself For Bottlenecks

Note that your development plan is likely not to be as efficient and smooth as anticipated. There will be bottlenecks throughout the development process, from research and analysis to construction.

Before you kick off your project, project potential drawbacks that may be hidden in the approvals phase or even on the surface of the land that can affect the project. Acknowledge that there is usually more to a property than meets the eye.

For instance, there could be boulders beneath the land’s surface that can prevent your building from being constructed as intended. You may anticipate finding water 300 feet when drilling a borehole and end up going up to 500 feet deep before you find water. Therefore, you should anticipate taking longer than anticipated to complete this part of your project.

Get as much information as you can during the analysis and research space regarding possible pitfalls. This way, you can avoid mistakes made by other developers and prepare to mitigate potential issues. Some of the common drawbacks to look out for include geological hazards, natural water bodies, steep slopes, and floodplains.

Work With a Real Estate Agent

Are you ready to start your raw land development project? Developing property can be a comprehensive process and hiring a professional can make things smoother and easier.

A real estate firm can help you understand the real estate requirements and processes. A real estate professional can also help you understand what it takes to develop raw land, including research, acquiring permits, and construction.

At Advantage Realty Land Management, we give you the support they need to acquire lucrative raw land and consult on potential ideal development projects. Contact us for more information.

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