Advice for Building a Community

4 Replies

I bought my first property back in July and am waiting to rent it. In the meantime, I'm planning (in my mind and on paper) how to build a subdivision of middle class multi-family structures (patio homes, duplexes, etc.)

Any advice as to my first steps?

That is a HUGE topic.  Urban Land Institute publishes a number of books on doing this.  They're not cheap, but very informative.

Some things to consider, not in any particular order:

Demand - what sort of properties will sell?  To who?  At what price?  This is really the first big step.  If there's no demand, no need to go any further.

Infrastructure - roads, water, sewer, storm drainage.  These can be killers.  I have an investment in a development project that has been hamstrung for years dealing with these issues.

Zoning - what does the city or county want?  What will they allow?  What will the neighbors allow.

Building codes - what do you need to comply with.

Environmental - waste disposal areas, contamination, wetlands, endangered species.  Where I used to work in CA we had posters on how to detect and deal with (IIRC) kangaroo mice.  Including how to do mouth to mouth to resuscitate them.  No joke.

Money - how much are you bringing to the table?  Such projects often involve enough money that raising the money gets very complicated.  Often with multiple different participants for various slices of the total cost.

"If you build it they will come." is terrible advice.  Do your homework as Jon touched on.

@Stanley E.  I'd start by educating yourself - one book that I just finished that was useful (but larger than my apartment) is Real Estate Development: Principals and Process 3rd Edition 

Thanks Jon, Anthony, and Joe. This is all good info and it has been adopted. I think one other place to start would be to identify the area I would like to build and then research the market there. Would you agree?

Thanks again?

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