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What you need to know about buying land

House project on the meadow. Concept of dreams about a new home. Contours of the house in 3d on a meadow.

Land can be a great investment, especially in regions like the Texas Panhandle, where windswept plains and expansive open spaces abound. Before you go on and buy a piece of land in Dumas, TX and Moore County, here are a couple of things you need to consider.

Your goals

First off: what do you intend to do with the land? Sure, it’s to add to your investment portfolio, but you need a plan beyond that. Here are five approaches to weigh:

  • Buy and sell: You buy land below market value then sell it for more with minimal or zero work on the land.
  • Buy, zone it for a specific use, and sell: The plot of land you want to buy may be zoned for something else. In this scenario, you buy the land, go through the entitlement process to change the zoning, then sell.
  • Buy, develop, then sell: You buy the land, build improvements or even a complete structure (a house or a commercial space), then sell it to an interested buyer.
  • Buy and keep it: You buy land in hopes that it will appreciate over time or sell it to a developer when the community becomes more popular.
  • Buy, develop, then keep: Unlike the third strategy, you’ll be making improvements to the land for yourself. Either you build a house you’ll live in or rent out, build a farm you’ll manage, or cultivate the land and make a profit off it.

Potential for development

In theory, you can do just about anything on raw land. In reality, however, what you can do with the land depends on local zoning specifications and other regulations. Just to give you an insight of the amount of potential a plot of land has, here are a couple of things you can develop in the property:

  • Single-family or multi-family home
  • Mixed retail and residential space
  • Office space
  • Retail space
  • Recreational space (hotel, resort, mall)
  • Farm
  • Ranch
  • Parking lot
  • In Dumas, three of the most popular options is to build a single-family home on the lot or develop it into a working farm or ranch. Of course, you can also leave the land as is until you find a use for it. One of the great things about raw land is that it requires little maintenance.

    Utilities

    If your plan with the land involves development, access to utilities is a must. Is there running water available? Is the land connected to a sewer? Is there gas, electricity, Internet, and cable in the area?

    Buying land in the middle of nowhere, with zero access to utilities, may require additional expenses on your part. Worst case scenario is that you can’t get any of these utilities, which can dampen your plans for development. Hence, double-check with the seller and invite a land inspector to assess the plot.

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