Out of every sector of commercial real estate investment, vacant land can be the most complex. Although it’s literally just dirt on the ground, and bought for much cheaper than its CRE sector counterparts, buying land can be a very lucrative investment. An investment that requires a lot of due diligence prior to purchase. From issues with zoning, easements and access to previous use and land entitlement, buying land in Baton Rouge, or anywhere else, should be done through a licensed commercial real estate Advisor. Below we outline the three questions you should be able to answer before you sign on the dotted line and purchase a land parcel.
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What Are the Land Zoning Requirements?
If you are going to only know one thing about buying land in Baton Rouge let it be the zoning restrictions. Say Jim finds a vacant land parcel that is perfect for his self-storage facility development. Only one problem, the land Jim just bought is zoned for residential use only. Jim now owns land he can’t use. Don’t be like Jim.
Zoning is risky, bottom line. It’s a process with a lot of restrictions, a lot checks and balances, a lot of local politics…and one that takes a lot of time. People build and develop land everyday, so it’s not as if it can’t be done, just be realistic with your expectations and do your research!
First thing is to ask your CRE Advisor (since we assume you are not attempting to buy land in Baton Rouge solo), second is to contact the City-Parish Planning Commission. When you determine the legal use of the land, you will know if it’s for you. For some light reading, here is the CPPC’s 71-page land development guide.
What’s Your Investment Type?
Commercial real estate as an investment is a smart move no matter which sector you buy in. From industrial to retail, CRE assets consistently produce strong returns. When buying land in Baton Rouge, keep in mind that although it’s a safe investment, and can often be purchased at a lower price point, it is not without risk and not for the impatient.
If you are looking to buy a commercial asset and flip it in a few years, land is not the sector for you. Land is the type of investment you hold onto and watch appreciate over time. Typically it can take over 10 years to profit from a land investment, but it although it is for the patient, it is also a very safe bet for your bank account.
Where is the Land?
Yes we literally just asked you if you know where the land is. Ok, while we know you are (hopefully) aware of the physical location of the land investment you are looking to purchase, do you know what’s around it?
A property can be zoned correctly, but that doesn’t ensure that it can structural sustain the type of asset you are looking to build. Landscapes come in all shapes and sizes, they include cliffs, valleys, mountains dry lands, wetlands…you catch the drift. So make sure that you have the proper land to build that warehouse and that it won’t be under water in a flood zone or done so at a 30-degree angle.
Say you are lucky enough to finally obtain your building permit and are ready to break ground. How will construction crews get to the asset? Will they have to go through someone else’s property to reach yours? This is called an easement and you better know the ones that exist for the land you are planning to buy. This information can be found with a tile search and survey.
Have More Questions on Buying Land in Baton Rouge? We Have Answers.
Our Advisors have completed numerous land transactions across the Baton Rouge market. They are knowledgeable about the local ordinances and issues affecting the sale and purchase of land assets and can help ensure a successful, and lucrative, investment. Contact one of them today with any questions you may have.
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About Us – The team at SVN/Graham, Langlois and Legendre has over 99-years of combined experiencing helping clients across the Baton Rouge area get the most value out of their CRE investment. Contact one of them today with any questions you may have and start seeing the returns in a market that will make sure to give today, tomorrow and for the extended future. To reach us, you can call us at 225-367-1515 or you can send us a message on our website. You can also follow us on Twitter at @svngll or on Facebook.