How to Develop Land

2 Replies

Hello, I have a question on land development in Virginia. Personally, I already build 4-6 houses per year through my company. However lots are becoming more and more scarce. Especially affordable lots. Everyone wants top dollar lately (I know why). I plan to start buying large tracts of land to develop into a subdivision. I'd say enough that'll accommodate at least 15 homes to be built, so about 60 acres. I know about zoning and to check with the county before I purchase. However I'm looking to learn the pitfalls of trying to develop land, to build homes. Also ballpark amounts of money I'll spend before I even break ground for the first basement. Like civil engineering costs, county bond costs (let's say for 60 acres), impact fees, and any other costs associated with land development. Also, since I started searching, I see some listing agents say, "preliminary site plan already approved." What's a preliminary site plan and where does that fall in the permit process for developing land? Also how do proffers make deals more difficult? Thanks in advance. 

There is too much to tell you for you to learn from a free forum online. Free advice from strangers is probably not going to get you lift off in the developing World. Start reading books and listening to podcast, the most important start talking to local developers and try to build a relationship. Having someone you can call with a question or when you are in a pinch is a game changer.

a site plan is needed when a large tract of land is going to be developed. A civil engineer draws up the layout, and accounts for things like where the water lines are, where rainwater runoff will go, Etc. Then the developer takes it to the city to get it approved. To begin building, the Planning Commission needs to approve it. That is one step among many.