What to Consider Before Developing Land

 In Industry Insights and Trends

Where some people might see an empty lot, others see a future home or business. This is the role a Nashville real estate development firm plays in the general landscape of a city. They are always thinking of the next step—seeing the possibilities. This process takes many steps and many skills. The ability to see into the future might seem like one of these skills, but it’s really a combination of various methods of preparation—and perhaps a little luck.

But where there’s adequate preparation, luck isn’t necessary. Real estate development firms in Nashville like Southeast Venture have already made their mark on the city. They’ve realized the potential of areas like the 12 South Flats, Eastside Heights, and Silos Bend.

But how does this process start? What do you look for before you start the work of developing a piece of land? We’ve compiled some important considerations to pay attention to when putting together the concept.

Southeast Venture has been developing real estate in Nashville for decades. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

What is Land Development?

Land development is the process of purchasing a piece of land with the intent to mold it to fit your particular needs. This could include many different processes depending on which type of land you purchase and what you intend to do with it. Today, let’s focus on real estate development. This means the land is purchased with the idea of turning it into either commercial real estate or residential real estate.

There are essentially two main kinds of overarching processes for land development: Repurposing pre-developed land and molding a raw landscape into something workable.

Let’s start with repurposing pre-developed land. This is land that already holds a structure. Maybe the structure is dilapidated or otherwise unfit for the purposes you would like it to fulfill. In this case, the pre-existing structure would need to be brought down. Then the land would have to be tilled until it was essentially back to the way it was before the structure existed. From here, a new structure can begin to be built.

A raw landscape poses much more considerations, but it also has the most possibility. Assuming the land doesn’t have difficult flaws, it can be shaped into almost anything you would like. Bulldozers and other heavy machinery can be brought in to remove unnecessary trees, flatten rises in the soil, or even fill in divots. Large rocks or other problems in the landscape can all be removed and reworked until you have the appropriate area to begin building the structure that was your original goal.

So what do you look for in these possible sites for development?

Good Signs

The first thing you want to consider is if the area will allow you to do what you want to do. You can’t always set up a site within a neighborhood and build whatever you want. There are rules and limits to what is allowed. So check with the municipality to see if your planned build is allowed.

Once that is decided, you need to consider if the area around the site will support your plan. For example, if you are planning on developing a piece of land to become an apartment complex. Consider if there is a demand for more housing in the area. If not, you should probably look elsewhere.

Imagine your worksite at completion. Does it have access to all the proper utilities it needs to function? Electricity, plumbing, and gas don’t often reach too far out of the city if nothing else is around. You need to be sure you can get what you need if you build outside of the city center.

Does the area have the potential for growth? The basic idea with any investment is that it will appreciate in value as time goes on. This means the area in which it is built shows up upward trend for people and businesses moving in. A high growth area will have a much better chance at giving you a positive return down the line.

Bad Signs

The piece of land itself can have some major drawbacks no matter how hospitable the neighborhood is. For instance, severe sloping on a property might be good for sledding, but it makes building quite difficult. Adjustments can be made to the landscape but a large and drastic slope is very difficult—and expensive—to deal with.

Take a moment to consider the land around you. Does your lot seem to be a bit lower than everything else? If so, you might be in an area prone to flooding. Water is the enemy of any structure’s foundation. Frequent flooding can lead to mold, and a weakening of the structure.

Another consideration for your potential lot is if it has any easements. According to NoLo:

An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s land for a particular purpose. For example, the municipal water company may have an easement to run water pipes under your property.

Easements are connected to the land and have nothing to do with who owns the land. So if you were to purchase a land with an easement, you have no say in what they do with it. This doesn’t always mean the land should be avoided, but you should be aware of these factors before you make a purchase.

Call a Professional

This process can be as exciting as it is convoluted. It is highly recommended to enlist the help of professionals. Southeast Venture started developing land back in 1981. They have since developed over 1.2 million square feet of land.

Are you considering a piece of land in Nashville? Visit Southeast Venture, a Nashville real estate development company with years of experience to see how they can help you today.