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Maria Regis's profile image
  • from Edmonds, WA
  • Member since Aug 28, 2020

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Maria Regis's profile image
  • from Edmonds, WA
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Maria Regis
  • Edmonds, WA
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What to do with inherited land in 29 Palms

Maria Regis
  • Edmonds, WA
Posted May 4 2023, 11:55

My husband I are about to inherit just under 10 acres of undeveloped land, 6 minutes from downtown 29 Palms. It is zoned for single family residential and my understanding is that it has city water. 

We have a few long term rentals in the Southern U.S. and are about to start our first short term rental in WA but, we have no experience with development. I have read the city's vacation rental policy so it seems that short term rentals with this location are not an option (correct me if I'm wrong). 

What is the best course of action with this property in terms investment. Should we sell it as a whole? Split it into individual plots, if so how long does this process take in San Bernardino county? Should we develop it? 

Anyone with experience in the area that could provide some advice would be greatly appreciated! 

Colin Higgins's profile image
  • Real Estate Agent
  • from Sanford Florida
  • Member since Nov 10, 2022

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Colin Higgins's profile image
  • Real Estate Agent
  • from Sanford Florida
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Colin Higgins
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Sanford Florida
Replied May 5 2023, 11:33

As someone who lived in California, I would say keep it and develop it in one way or another. California urban outsprawl is unreal and god only knows what 29 palms might look like in 15 years. As long as it is not a financial burden to keep it. Something to consider would be a USDA solar farm grant if that area is considered rural enough and in need of energy. Just thinking outside of the box, you would have to research that more.

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  • The Woodlands, TX
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Don Konipol
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Replied May 5 2023, 12:23
Quote from @Maria Regis:

My husband I are about to inherit just under 10 acres of undeveloped land, 6 minutes from downtown 29 Palms. It is zoned for single family residential and my understanding is that it has city water. 

We have a few long term rentals in the Southern U.S. and are about to start our first short term rental in WA but, we have no experience with development. I have read the city's vacation rental policy so it seems that short term rentals with this location are not an option (correct me if I'm wrong). 

What is the best course of action with this property in terms investment. Should we sell it as a whole? Split it into individual plots, if so how long does this process take in San Bernardino county? Should we develop it? 

Anyone with experience in the area that could provide some advice would be greatly appreciated! 

One option is to partner with an experienced developer to (hopefully) gain some passive profits
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Dylan Speer's profile image
  • Investor
  • from Denver, CO
  • Member since Feb 7, 2023

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Dylan Speer's profile image
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Dylan Speer
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  • Denver, CO
Replied Jun 5 2023, 08:12

Have you considered exchanging into a DST? Or selling, paying the taxes, and investing in an oil and gas mineral rights royalty fund?

Barry Ruby's profile image
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  • from Boulder, CO
  • Member since Feb 25, 2018

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Barry Ruby's profile image
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  • from Boulder, CO
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Barry Ruby
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Barry Ruby
  • Developer
  • Boulder, CO
Replied Jun 5 2023, 08:42
Quote from @Maria Regis:

My husband I are about to inherit just under 10 acres of undeveloped land, 6 minutes from downtown 29 Palms. It is zoned for single family residential and my understanding is that it has city water. 

We have a few long term rentals in the Southern U.S. and are about to start our first short term rental in WA but, we have no experience with development. I have read the city's vacation rental policy so it seems that short term rentals with this location are not an option (correct me if I'm wrong). 

What is the best course of action with this property in terms investment. Should we sell it as a whole? Split it into individual plots, if so how long does this process take in San Bernardino county? Should we develop it? 

Anyone with experience in the area that could provide some advice would be greatly appreciated!  Hi there! Your first order of business should be to contact the County office that is in charge of zoning and permitting to establish the current zoning on the property to see if the things you are thinking about doing with it are permitted uses. If your planned uses comply with current zoning, your next step should be to determine the highest and best use of the property.

Hi there! Your 1st order of business should be to check with the county office and officials that control zoning and permitting.

If current zoning doesn't allow your planned uses, you should check with the planning department to see if they have a long-range plan and if they do, how that plan views the use(s) of your site. If your uses do not complement the long-range plan, getting the site rezoned to allow your uses would be a long shot at best. 

In the event your planned uses fail to meet current and long-range zoning, your most logical options would be to either build what can get permitted or divest yourself of the property.

Let me know if you need any help or clarification on the above.

Matt Devincenzo's profile image
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  • from Clairemont, California
  • Member since Nov 25, 2011

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Matt Devincenzo's profile image
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Matt Devincenzo
  • Investor
  • Clairemont, CA
Replied Jun 5 2023, 10:17

Socal (City of San Diego mostly) site and land use civil here...SB County is better than SD County as far as timelines from what I hear, but almost any proposal will take two years and possibly as many as 4-5 depending on the total scope. Development in Socal is no joke and many experienced builders who entitle project in other states (Lennar, KB, Shea etc) typically do not entitle here and simply buy shovel ready projects from hyper local developers who can get them entitled. That's not to say don't do it, but you should very much evaluate if the juice is worth the squeeze. Your best option may be something more straight forward like a sale with an owner carry back for someone who wants to build their own home on the land. 

If you do pursue this, any estimated cost you come up with you should double it and evaluate if you still wanted to consider the project. I absolutely have seen multiple projects cost double or triple what was projected initially. It often is because of the things you don't know about the site until you start the design, and then every consultant needs to revise their proposal for those changes which adds up quickly. 

Brandon Carlson's profile image
  • Real Estate Consultant
  • from Glendora, CA
  • Member since Aug 26, 2019

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Brandon Carlson's profile image
  • Real Estate Consultant
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Brandon Carlson
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Brandon Carlson
  • Real Estate Consultant
  • Glendora, CA
Replied Nov 9 2023, 13:05
Quote from @Maria Regis:

My husband I are about to inherit just under 10 acres of undeveloped land, 6 minutes from downtown 29 Palms. It is zoned for single family residential and my understanding is that it has city water. 

We have a few long term rentals in the Southern U.S. and are about to start our first short term rental in WA but, we have no experience with development. I have read the city's vacation rental policy so it seems that short term rentals with this location are not an option (correct me if I'm wrong). 

What is the best course of action with this property in terms investment. Should we sell it as a whole? Split it into individual plots, if so how long does this process take in San Bernardino county? Should we develop it? 

Anyone with experience in the area that could provide some advice would be greatly appreciated! 

Hi Maria. I own a property in 29 Palms and am familiar with developments. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.
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Kristi Kandel
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Kristi Kandel
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Replied Nov 10 2023, 09:42
Quote from @Maria Regis:

My husband I are about to inherit just under 10 acres of undeveloped land, 6 minutes from downtown 29 Palms. It is zoned for single family residential and my understanding is that it has city water. 

We have a few long term rentals in the Southern U.S. and are about to start our first short term rental in WA but, we have no experience with development. I have read the city's vacation rental policy so it seems that short term rentals with this location are not an option (correct me if I'm wrong). 

What is the best course of action with this property in terms investment. Should we sell it as a whole? Split it into individual plots, if so how long does this process take in San Bernardino county? Should we develop it? 

Anyone with experience in the area that could provide some advice would be greatly appreciated! 


 Hey Maria! I've been a developer the past 17 years with a majority of that work in CA and I'm pretty sure we put a Family Dollar in 29 Palms. That being said development requires stamina as the development process takes 2-3 years minimum and for 10 acres depending on the development you'd move forward with could take more like 3-8 years. 

I'm happy to jump on a call with you next week to discuss your property and see what your options might be based on the location and zoning. Right now SFH new construction is very tough to pencil in a lot of markets and you'd need higher density per acre to make something work. However, if the city is on board with more affordable housing then maybe a rezone isn't a stretch for the land.

Real estate developers need to identify the highest & best use for a piece of land or property, then gather the team & resources necessary to complete the project. They use educated assumptions based on personal & partner experience to predict the revenue/income the development will generate.

Development projects take years to complete and real estate developers should have expertise or strategic partners) in the following areas:

  • Building and maintaining relationships
  • Land acquisition
  • Market studies
  • Approvals and permits
  • Project financing and financial analysis
  • Building development
  • Building renovations