In today’s economy, it is important to spend your money wisely, but if you are not careful, the phrase “you get what you pay for” can teach a hard lesson. Whether you are planning on design and construction of a new hospital, higher education facility, municipal building, commercial building, or residential development, it is paramount to go through the due diligence process on the site before buying a new property. Selecting the right site can make all the difference in the success of your project.

Understanding the opportunities and constraints of a property upfront can help avoid problems later on during the design and construction phases. Low initial price on a parcel can make it look appealing, however if the site is burdened with constraints/issues such as floodplains, wetlands, zoning commitments, bad soils, environmental issues, lack of utility services or other development land mines, the result can be very costly to a project. If a property is less than market value in terms of cost per acre, then you need to do the research to understand why. More times than not, it is worth the extra investment upfront for a more development friendly property, rather than buying the cheapest property and incurring extra expenses and time delay to extend utilities to the site or remediate environmental issues. Another consideration is the amount of developable land on a parcel. You may get a low price for a 10-acre parcel near a creek, however if 4-acres are in the floodplain, then you are only getting 6-acres that are developable and still have to pay property tax on the entire parcel.

At JPS Consulting Engineers, we offer a full range of land development services such as site planning, civil engineering, and landscape architecture. We can help you understand what the limitations of a property are before buying, which can save you a lot in the long run.

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