Highest and best use of property - development potential?

2 Replies

How does one go about determining the highest and best use of a particular piece of real estate?   I purchased a 10 acre tract in non-restricted, non-zoned area on a rather popular road connecting two rural cities just 25 minutes from main city (in the Austin metropolitan area).  It has a house and swimming pool on one side of the lot.  It is a rectangular lot with the long side on the major public road and another public road going down the other side of the property, and another public road coming from the other side of the major road.  It has 3phase electric on the property and surrounded by water lines along the 2 roads surrounding the property.  I'm usually just a house flipper, but I realize this lot may have potential for development or other uses and wondering who or what type of people I should consult with before deciding on how to maximize profits on this property.  (RV park, housing development, commercial, renovate as a house on 10 acres? etc..)  Any advice will be appreciated.

It sounds like you have a property with lots of possibilities! Is there public sewer on the property? That will be important for lots of the best uses. It sounds like there isn't any zoning but you will want to make sure there aren't any deed restrictions or other ordinances that could limit it's uses. 

In order to come up with highest and best, try speaking with a few different Realtors and seeing what they come up with. Make sure to call a few that work with commercial, multifamily, land, etc... so you get some different ideas. Also speak with a local surveyor/engineer to see what usage they could see in the property. 

Your other option is to have an appraisal done, and the appraiser should find highest and best use for the land. In some cases they will only find what is obvious so this may or may not help. 

With highest and best it can come down to eliminating what can't work, and having a vision on what could work. 

Good Luck! Aaron

There is no public sewer available to the property.  I think I will speak to a commercial and residential realtor and see what they might say.  However, they would probably look at it from the standpoint of being able to re-sell it. What if it were better to develop into an RV Park, or multi-family housing or some type of commercial property... something that would be more like a "develop" and  "hold" scenario for a while - I guess that's where an appraiser might come in handy. And then of course running the numbers and what make sense from that standpoint.  I just have to start talking to people and figuring it all out.  Thanks so much for your input.  It's nice to hear ideas from others.