The Ins & Outs of Buying Land in California according to California vacant land expert, Endre Barath, Jr.
Over the past 27 plus years, I have been listing and selling land in California all the while noticing a great many trends. I should mention that my experience is and has been centered in greater Los Angeles and its vicinity.
First and foremost, the building department has become more difficult in providing approvals. In my early days of selling land, the Los Angeles approval process generally took eight months to reach RTI (Ready To Issue, as in permits) status also known as when you could start shoveling the dirt. As time went on, this increased to a 15 to 24 month process. Then I thought we were turning into a third world country "waiting for the envelope to be passed" before approvals were granted. If you think I'm over-exaggerating, there were a few bribery cases in the news recently and I will just leave it at that.
When the great recession of 2007/2008 arrived, land sales pretty much ground to a halt. The majority of Buyers simply paused purchasing land other than the few savvy buyers who took advantage of the lack of activity and purchased parcels of land at bargain prices.
As time went by, I found there are generally four types of buyers (1) Buyers with little money wanting to build a home because they weren't able to afford to buy a home to their liking in the areas they desired; (2) savvy developers who saw the upside to build and sell a new home; (3) international speculators who would buy land with the understanding that they would eventually sell it for more having invested little upkeep and little taxes; and (4) Buyers who had the patience to go through the approval process and be able to sell for top dollar since the next Buyer would not have to go through the approval process.
Clearly, all four types of Buyers saw an upside to buying vacant land here in California. The key is to have a plan and work with a Realtor who is a Vacant Land Specialist to help you achieve your goal.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down, I have noticed a huge impact on land sales. Perhaps more importantly, I noticed that agricultural land segment sales have slowed. Despite having water nearby, the agricultural land sales volume has decreased, and I anticipate there will have to be a drastic price adjustment before the volume of sales will increase.
I see the future of land sales starting to look brighter than during the great recession of 2007/2008. Part of this I attribute to the migration from urban areas due to the Pandemic makes suburban living desirable once again. Hence, I anticipate developers will start to build homes 50 miles or more from the urban centers or hubs. I have noticed that it is harder to sell a DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles) condominium today than it was three years ago. This is in direct correlation to the figures I have seen about people reconsidering trading in their crowded urban lifestyles for areas with more space.
The bottom line is you can never go wrong with buying Land in the greater Los Angeles area or California in general.
Wishing you a safe and healthy life and I look forward to your comments. If you are looking for a knowledgeable, focused and goal-oriented Realtor in the Beverly Hills area who will help you achieve your Real Estate goals, please reach out to me directly! If you are looking for a pet friendly Beverly Hills Realtor who can handle and sell the most difficult properties that no one else could, please reach out to me directly!! If you are considering buying or selling a home, a luxury home, luxury investment real estate, luxury vacation homes, or luxury beach properties in Southern California, Los Angeles, Century City, Westwood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Venice or Malibu, feel free to contact me at 310.486.1002 ( m) firstname.lastname@example.org or visit one of my websites at https://www.endrebarath.com I contribute a portion of my commission to local animal rescue organizations. Endre Barath, Jr. Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties DRE#01238708
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