7 Worst Land Investment Tips Experts Have Ever Heard | askBAMLand

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Ever heard of a "surefire" land investment that sounded too good to be true?

Spoiler alert: it probably was.

The world of land investment is riddled with hearsay and hyperbole that can trip up even the savviest investors.

Land investment is an art sprinkled with pitfalls, and buying into the wrong advice can lead to financial fiascoes.

While there's no one-size-fits-all strategy, steering clear of certain 'tips' is universal wisdom.

Investing in land isn't just about spotting the right opportunity; it's about dodging the missteps that dress up as sage counsel.

We're here to sift through the noise and dish out real insights, saving your wallet and your sanity.

Key Takeaways

  • Beware of too-good-to-be-true advice
  • Due diligence is a non-negotiable step
  • Zoning laws and regulations matter

Table of Contents

Location Doesn't Matter

Hey, have you ever heard someone say that when it comes to land investment, location isn't important?

Well, let's get this straight: that's one piece of advice you should never follow.

Would you buy a house without checking out the neighborhood?

No way, right?

The same goes for land; its value is heavily influenced by where it sits on the map.

  • Accessibility: If you're eyeing a piece of land that's in the middle of nowhere, it's like trying to sell ice to penguins. How will you or potential buyers get there? No roads, no deal!
  • Amenities: You wouldn't want to be stranded on a deserted island without Wi-Fi, would you? The same goes for land investments. The closer to schools, hospitals, and supermarkets, the better.
  • Development Potential: Imagine two plots of land—one next to a bustling tech hub, and the other by a forgotten ghost town. Usually, the first has a better chance of development, affecting its future worth.

Let's face it, if location didn't matter, we'd all be millionaires flipping land in the wild yonder.

But we're not, and here's why:

Factor Why It's Essential
Proximity to Cities Generally, the closer to the action, the higher the land's value.
Infrastructure Utilities and road access turn a "meh" plot into potential gold.
Zoning Laws Can you build a skyscraper or are you stuck with a barn? Big difference!

Remember, when it comes to land, not just any spot will hit the jackpot.

Pay attention, do your homework, and don't get bamboozled by the myth that location doesn't count.

Trust me, it does—a whole lot!

Always Buy the Cheapest Land Available

Ever heard the saying "you get what you pay for"?

Well, it rings particularly true in the world of land investment.

Let’s say you’ve found a $799 per acre gem in Valencia County, New Mexico – sounds like quite the steal, right?

But wait, before you break out the bubbly, let’s dig a bit deeper.

  • Price vs. Value: Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it’s valuable. Cheap land may lack the potential for growth or might come with unforeseen issues.
  • Research is Key: You wouldn't buy a car without checking under the hood, so why treat land any different? Look into zoning laws, possible environmental restrictions, and geological features.
  • Location, Location, Location: Finding land at a throwaway price outside of Albuquerque might be thrilling, but consider the surroundings. Is the cheap plot too remote? Are there utilities or roads? A plot without basic amenities could end up costing you more in the long run.
  • Expert Advice: Connect with a savvy local real estate agent. Their experience could be the difference between a deal and a dud.

Consider this – buying cheap land without the proper homework is like buying a chocolate bar just because it’s on sale, only to discover it’s past its expiration date.

Your investment should be sweet, not bitter!

Keep these thoughts in mind, and you'll make smarter choices, not just cheaper ones.

Remember, the savvy investor looks for value, not just a low price tag.

So, the next time you see a land deal that’s dirt cheap, ask yourself, is it really worth it?

You Don't Need to Do Due Diligence

Have you heard the one about the investor who skipped due diligence and lived happily ever after?


That's because it's no joke—overlooking due diligence is a sure-fire way to court disaster in land investing.

Why play roulette with your hard-earned cash when you could simply sidestep the regrets?

Here's the scoop:

  • Legal Troubles: Imagine thinking you've scored the deal of the century, only to find out there's a maze of legal issues waiting to pounce. Can you say “Hello, litigation”?
  • Zoning Zingers: Sure, you dream of building a cluster of cozy cottages, but what if the land's zoned for industrial use? That'd throw a wrench in the works, right?
  • Title Tangles: A clear title is like a clean bill of health for your land. A title snag could turn your investment dreams to dust.

Remember, even if a plot looks perfect, it's what's underneath that counts.

It’s like checking for termites before buying a house—better safe than sorry!

Due Diligence Checklist:

  1. Trace the title back, at least 30 years.
  2. Check up on those tax records.

By doing your homework, you sidestep the traps and pave your path to a sound investment.

Why flirt with risk when due diligence can lead to clear skies and smooth sailing?

Stay curious, stay cautious, and let due diligence be your trusty compass in the world of land investing.

Ignore Zoning Laws

Have you ever heard about zoning laws?

They’re like the rulebook for your property, and brushing them aside could land you in a world of trouble.

Think of zoning laws as a set of guidelines that tell you what you can and cannot do with your land.

Sounds essential, right?

Absolutely—and for good reason.

Let’s say you’ve found the perfect piece of land to open up a cute little bistro.

You might want to double-check the zoning first.


Because, surprise, it could be zoned for residential use only!

And here's the kicker: approximately 75% of housing land in U.S. cities is zoned for single-family homes.

That's a lot of land where your dream bistro just can't happen.

Ignoring zoning can pinch your wallet too—hello, fines!

Not to mention, you might end up unable to use your land as you've planned, which is no picnic either.

Think of it this way: zoning laws are there to keep cities and neighborhoods orderly and predictable.

Houston might march to the beat of its own drum with deed restrictions instead of traditional zoning, but the game's the same: compliance is key.


  • Zoning determines land use.
  • Approx. 75% of city housing land is zoned for single-family homes.
  • Non-compliance can lead to fines and restrictions.

Curious about what you can do?

Always check in with your local planning department.

They’re the helpful librarians of the land-use world; they’ve got all the zoning books and maps you could dream of.

Understanding zoning laws keeps you ahead of the game and out of hot water.

So, when in doubt, check it out—your dream project might just depend on it!

Land is Always a Good Investment Because They're Not Making More of It

Ever heard the saying, "Buy land, they're not making it anymore"?

Sure sounds like a no-brainer investment tip, doesn't it?

Mark Twain nailed it with this pithy advice—at least at face value.

You might be thinking, well, if it's a limited resource, it must just keep going up in value, right?

Let's unpack this a bit.

While it's a nice thought that your land investment is a surefire winner because land is finite, it's a more complex game than that.

Here's why:

  • Location, Location, Location: Just as in real estate, where your land is situated makes a colossal difference. You could own acres in the desert, but if no one's looking to build a mirage, could be, you're stuck with a sandbox.
  • Utility and Accessibility: Consider whether the land has, or can get, basic infrastructure—roads, water, electricity. If getting to your land requires a treasure map, it's not looking great for a payoff.
  • Zoning Laws: You've got dreams of building a shopping center on your new plot of land, but if it's zoned for agricultural use only, you might be selling apples instead of apparel.

Here's what you should remember: not all plots are poised for profit.

Haven't we always been told not to put all our eggs—in this case, dollars—in one basket?

Always consider the idea of diversification.

So, before you trade in your life savings for some soil, do a little digging (metaphorically speaking).

And hey, if you find a plot on the moon, remember, it's not just what you buy; it's what you make of it!

Wait for a Windfall

Ever found yourself daydreaming about a sudden windfall?

Maybe a distant relative left you a chunk of change or you finally won that long-shot lottery ticket.

Sounds like the ticket to land investment success, right?

Not so fast!

The idea might have a romantic ring to it, but waiting for a financial windfall to start investing in land is like waiting for rain in the desert—it might happen, but you certainly shouldn't plan your future on it.

Land investment is not a sprint to riches; it's more like a marathon that requires patience, strategy, and a good pair of running shoes (metaphorically speaking).

Here's why banking on a windfall could tumble your land investment dreams:

  • Unpredictability: Windfalls are the unicorns of the financial world—rare and unpredictable.
  • Emotional Decisions: If you do get a windfall, the sudden influx of cash can lead to hasty, emotion-driven decisions.
  • Market Timing: Trying to time the market is a well-known investing faux pas. Just because you've got the cash, doesn't mean it's the right time to buy.

Consider this your quick reality check:

  1. Investing without a windfall? That's where the real planning starts!
  2. Got a surprise sum? Great, but step back and think before you leap into land deals.
  3. Seeking long-term gain? Land can be a solid choice, but it's no get-rich-quick scheme.

Remember, the slow and steady often win the race—and in land investment, being well-prepared beats waiting for a financial downpour any day.

Now, go lace up those metaphorical shoes and start your investment journey with what you've got right now!

You Can Easily Change Land Use

Hey there!

Have you ever thought that buying a piece of land and changing its use is a breeze?

Well, let's think again.

It sounds appealing, right?

Buying agricultural land, dreaming about flipping it into a commercial goldmine—sounds like a plan.

But is it truly that straightforward?

Let's dig into that.

First things first, zoning laws.

These are the legal bindings that dictate what can and cannot be done on a plot of land.

Thinking of setting up a hip new cafe in the middle of a residential area?

Those plans might hit a wall—literally.

Navigating the bureaucracy can be quite the journey, too.

Public hearings, permits, paperwork... it's not exactly a walk in the park.

And get this: even if you do manage to cross all the Ts and dot all the Is, there's no guarantee of success.

Here's a quick rundown on what you might face:

  • Understanding Zoning Laws: Are you familiar with terms like "residential," "agricultural," or "commercial"? You've got to know the rulebook inside out.
  • Public Hearings and Permissions: Ever been to a city council meeting? You may need to become a regular.
  • Cost Implication: Have you got a wallet that's ready to open up—widely?
Challenges in Land Use Change What You Need to Know
Zoning Restrictions Specific rules that limit the use of land within certain areas.
Bureaucratic Procedures Often complex and lengthy processes to obtain necessary permits and approvals.
Cost of Rezoning Potential high costs involved in application fees, consultancy, and possible legal fees.
Risk of Rejection Even with all your efforts, the change you want may not be approved.

Changing land use isn't something to take lightly.

Diving into this process without a substantial understanding of what it entails can be like trying to navigate through a maze blindfolded.

Do your homework, weigh the costs, and remember: patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to altering land use.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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