What You Need to Know About Buying Land for Commercial Development: Do your homework before you purchase

Finding the ultimate location for a commercial development isn’t easy. If you’ve never purchased land for commercial use, it takes a good deal of planning and research—and, the process takes more time than purchasing residential real estate.

An experienced commercial real estate broker or even your general contractor can be a big help in guiding you through the process. But, you also should do your own homework on purchasing land. Here are a few things to know:

Zoning and Market Data

Before making a land purchase, check the property’s zoning to make sure it is not zoned differently from how you plan to use it. Getting land rezoned can be nearly impossible in some municipalities. Also, check out the area’s market data to see what other projects are in development. This could affect the land’s value now and in the future.

Utilities and Emergency Services

Particularly an issue in rural areas, but depending on the location, utilities may or may not be available. However, utility companies will normally provide services for fee. The same goes for emergency services. How accessible local emergency services are could create a health and safety issue for your future development.

Surveys

Always order a survey of the land from a reputable and experienced survey company. The survey will locate all property lines and show any encroachments and easements. It’s important to know who has access to your property because it could affect where on it you can build. Also, find out who your neighbors are. How they use the land and the type of maintenance and upkeep they do will affect your property value.

Environmental Studies

An environmental study of the land will inspect it for any environmental hazards. Some municipalities also require land buyers to get an inspection to ensure that development will not cause an environmental problem, like disrupt an animal habitat. Also, be sure to check that the land isn’t located within a flood plain or flood way.

Property Value

If you’re financing the property, your lender will require that you get an appraisal of the land to estimate its true value. Even if you’re paying cash, you should still get an appraisal to confirm that it’s actually worth the price you’re offering.

If you’re planning a commercial real estate development, give us a call or send us a quick email. Seacoast Construction is highly experienced in working on South Florida developments.

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