Keep an Open Mind When Sizing Up Land Options
Is land acquisition squeezing your home building business expansion? Keep an open mind when sizing up your options, say experts in land development.
Even a “gray field” like an underutilized parking garage can be an opportunity in a market where long commutes and gas prices are giving way to so-called new urbanist thinking.
“There are a lot of opportunities that might not look like opportunities to you,” says Ed Hord, FAIA, of Hord Coplan Macht, Inc., an architecture and landscape architecture firm based in Baltimore.
Hord designed 40 loft units (with 68 parking spaces) in Baltimore. The lofts are sited in the middle of busy section of Baltimore nestled between an interstate highway (I-83) and AMTRAK rail lines. The building is adjacent to the city’s Penn Station, which has commuter rail service to Washington, D.C. where many would-be buyers have been priced out of the market.
Hord says that budget-minded consumers are doing the math and finding they can live without the suburban dream and an estimated premium in household costs — including home heating, landscape maintenance and extra gas for commuting and errands — that has added more than $300 per month to their household expenses in the last year.
“I think you can find some real stress out there in ex-urbia,” Hord says.
Nonetheless some consumers still will pay that extra green to have, well, extra green (space, that is). And there are still large parcels of land to be had, so you don’t have to limit yourself to infill development.
Where Can You Find Large Parcels?
John McDonald of McDonald, Head & Associates, a Salt Lake City-based consulting firm that has worked with investors, developers and builders since the 1980s, says a quick survey of public records in the hot (Clark County) Las Vegas market recently found 438 parcels of between five and 10 acres; 98 parcels of 10-15 acres; 917 parcels of two to three acres; and more than 2,000 parcels of one to five acres.
How to Find New Development Opportunities
To find new development opportunities, read the new "Business Management Resource" and other materials provided for production builders through the sponsorship of American Home Bank at www.nahb.org/PB (These resources available to NAHB members only).
NAHB Has More Than 250 Resources to Help You Run Your Business More Profitably
Go to NAHB's Business Management Tools Web pages (available to members only) for instant access to more than 250 timesaving, moneymaking and cost-cutting business resources to help you run your business more profitably. Get guidance on accounting and financial management, business strategy, computers and information technology, customer service, human resources and more.
Resources are added weekly, so bookmark www.nahb.org/biztools to go directly to these vital business management resources.
Local and state home builders associations can link directly to www.nahb.org/biztools from their Web site and give their members instant access to these resources. It will make your HBA's Web site the place to go for the information and guidance that members need to succeed.
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NAHB’s Business of Building e/Source is your monthly electronic guide to the hot issues and emerging trends in home building business management. You’ll find practical advice, tricks of the trade and sound business guidance — all delivered monthly, straight to your desktop, in a quick and easy-to-read format. Business of Building e/Source is available free to NAHB members and their employees.
To subscribe, visit www.nahb.org/BoB on the Members Only side of the NAHB Web site.
NAHB Technology Solutions Directory Now Online
NAHB’s Technology Solutions Directory — an easy-to-use directory that enables builders, remodelers, contractors and other industry professionals to find information on software and IT solutions and services for their businesses — is now online. The directory is sponsored by the Business Management & Information Technology Committee.
Software and technology solutions providers interested in being listed can sign up for:
- Enhanced Listing — Listing includes company name, URL, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number, company/product description, company logo. Click here for more information.
- Standard Listing — Listing includes company name and phone number. Click here for more information.
For more information, e-mail Wil Heslop at NAHB.
The Technology Solutions Directory is solely for educational and informational purposes. Nothing in the directory should be construed as policy, an endorsement, warranty or guaranty by the National Association of Home Builders of the listed software, IT service or the software/IT vendor. The National Association of Home Builders expressly disclaims any responsibility for any damages arising from the use, application or reliance on any information contained in this directory.
‘Land Development’ Available at BuilderBooks.com
“Land Development,” available through BuilderBooks.com, provides readers with the knowledge of the interrelated factors that contribute to a successful land development project, including market study and analysis, financing, site selection, residential streets and more. Clearly written, logically organized and illustrated, this is an indispensable resource for any developer or builder. To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.