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Old 10-17-2015, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,066 posts, read 3,760,767 times
Reputation: 10032

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There's a rickety old 1950's house on 2.5 acres in a decent school zone -- a DFW burb where no new housing is available. I have never done anything in real estate beyond purchasing downtrodden condos and SFH's, rehabbed them and either sold or leased them.

My realtor of 20+ years died in July....

I have been looking for something to excite and inspire me; have been in a funk. I have the cash to purchase the place.

How would I even get started evaluating the property for possible subdividing and development?
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:55 AM
 
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,006,048 times
Reputation: 12053
First check the county records on the history of the property. Then look at the county development plan and talk to a planner within the county to see what he knows about that property or area. Also look at the deed and the last survey that was done.

Look for potential environmental hazards, zoning changes, nearby development.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,830 posts, read 7,065,415 times
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First do whatever research you can do online without talking to anyone in the city or county. Look for information on zoning and subdividing the property.

I recommend you first do this without talking to anyone. You never know when/if someone will talk to someone else. It could get back to the owners or even create some competition for the property.

If you know any surveyor types or others you can trust, start talking to them about costs. If not, skip this step until later.

Next I would secure the property via a contract. I would include a few contingencies related to the ability to subdivide the property, change the zoning, financials, etc.

At that point I'd start running the numbers to determine if it's doable and worth the time and effort involved. Don't forget if you subdivide the property into several residential lots, you will likely need to pay for new roads and utilities
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,066 posts, read 3,760,767 times
Reputation: 10032
Thanks to you both! I did contact my old realtor's associate who let me in to view a couple of properties while my realtor was sick. She sent me quite a bit of info, and the burb's website is also useful. I am going to walk the property with the realtor in a few days......

Any more ideas welcome!
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
7,703 posts, read 6,090,707 times
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if it's for sale already, in your opinion why hasn't someone with experience already bought it? Is it price? Is it the condition of the land? How easily can it be subdivided?
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,066 posts, read 3,760,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
if it's for sale already, in your opinion why hasn't someone with experience already bought it? Is it price? Is it the condition of the land? How easily can it be subdivided?
All good questions. Its on MLS and could be the difficulty in subdividing it. Just don't know.
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
38,886 posts, read 37,573,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrah View Post
First do whatever research you can do online without talking to anyone in the city or county. Look for information on zoning and subdividing the property.

I recommend you first do this without talking to anyone. You never know when/if someone will talk to someone else. It could get back to the owners or even create some competition for the property.

If you know any surveyor types or others you can trust, start talking to them about costs. If not, skip this step until later.

Next I would secure the property via a contract. I would include a few contingencies related to the ability to subdivide the property, change the zoning, financials, etc.

At that point I'd start running the numbers to determine if it's doable and worth the time and effort involved. Don't forget if you subdivide the property into several residential lots, you will likely need to pay for new roads and utilities
You would put a contract on it BEFORE "running the numbers"???

OP, do not be afraid to contact the local zoning body, codes office, whichever is in charge of local zoning, and ASK THEM if the property can be subdivided and if so would it need to be rezoned, etc.

You may not even be able to do what you're thinking, and you would save yourself a lot of time and hassle.
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Old 10-18-2015, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,830 posts, read 7,065,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
You would put a contract on it BEFORE "running the numbers"???
What I wrote and what I intended--two different things, so I will amend it. Certainly one should run some "soft" numbers or estimates before moving forward. Research as much as can be done. Getting "hard" (or more realistic) numbers will take time and likely some considerable expense. I wouldn't start with those "hard" numbers until I had the property secured via contract.

I've been very involved in two situations as an interested and concerned citizen where zoning was changed and property was being subdivided and developed. I probably spent about a year going to meetings about these changes in two different cities. In one instance myself and my neighbors were effective in getting major changes to the development plan (which cost the developers more money) before it was approved. In the other instance our efforts were fruitless as state law allowed the zoning change since it involved a preferred industry.

The "hard" numbers might include (it will vary by location) hiring people to represent you in front of any zoning boards and getting a development plan in place. I've seen this done by lawyers, civil engineers, and surveyor companies. The development/subdivision plan will cost money. Then there will be the need to determine what utilities and roads will need to be added to the property if it is subdivided and the costs of that.

There will be unknown costs. As mentioned above, my neighbors and I caused developers to make significant changes to their plans. The poster doesn't know how neighbors will react or how the zoning and planning committees might react or what they will require.
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,066 posts, read 3,760,767 times
Reputation: 10032
This corner property faces a wide residential street (double yellow line) on the frontage. One on side is a private school, the other side is an elevated service road. Across the street are cul de saq's to other residential houses. So no houses are directly on the street. I don't think there will be challenges to having a subdivision there. Especially since the old house and land are out of character for this area. A subdivision would blend into the rest of the area.

The lot is deeper than wider. The frontage is elevated about 10 feet higher than street level. The frontage of the property faces west. Which means any homes in the plats (one road going thru) will either face north or south -- highly desirable here in the DFW area with blazing west sunsets that sear thru west windows.

The south side of the property borders the playing fields of a private school (K-12). The north side of the property borders an elevated freeway service road that adjoins a freeway overpass -- so no direct freeway viability. The east side of the property borders a Church, but the church's parking lot is on the other side of the church. Its a wooded property so hopefully all the borders could still keep trees.

I worry at this stage in my life I would be biting off more than I can chew. I would probably need a partner who is an experienced developer.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:56 AM
 
6,359 posts, read 7,307,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldKlas View Post
I worry at this stage in my life I would be biting off more than I can chew. I would probably need a partner who is an experienced developer.
My bet is that you can afford not to try your hand at developing this property. Keeping life simple is sometimes the best tact to take.
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