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Property Development 101: 5 Tips for Doing it Right

Posted by South Dakota Housing Authority on Jul 1, 2016 5:53:49 PM

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Whether you’re a fledgling developer or a long-time pro, there are a few essential parts of every development project, particularly when you’re looking to build affordable, comfortable housing.

Remember the basics with these five tips on developing the right way.

Do your homework

Before you even begin to think about developing a property in a given community, you should certainly make sure the property will be well-received. If there’s no need that reflects a demand for the property you have in mind, it might not be the right time or location to develop. Check with municipal leadership on what data they have on building projects in the area.

Get buy-in

Your eventual go-ahead on your building project will likely need to be okayed by multiple government bodies. Before you get too far in the process, clue your local elected officials into your proposed ideas. If you get governmental buy-in from councils and commissions early on, it’ll make a confident “yea” vote down the road much easier for the representatives in power. Plus, they may have some advice on how best to pursue your development project, in terms of community need.

Fit in

Every developer wants to put his or her unique stamp on each project. But don’t let it get out of hand. Try to develop a property that will be welcomed with open arms by community members and leadership. If the design is too boisterous or too plain and it doesn’t fit in with the neighborhood in which it’s being built, there may be resistance or animosity toward your project. Don’t be an eyesore!

Stay budget-conscious

It’s easy to think that if you spend a little more than you intended to now, you’ll make it back later. But don’t let your budget get squishy for the sake of adding a few unplanned bells and whistles. You drafted a sound business plan before you started for a reason – don’t move too far from it, as it can negatively affect your bottom line in other crucial areas. Essentially, don’t spend your entire budget too early and set yourself up for repairs and remodeling down the road.

Choose your location wisely

While it may be tempting to jump at an opportunity to get your development project into a swanky neighborhood for the glory, it might not be your best opportunity for future growth and success. In fact, if you do your research and determine areas in your communities of choice that are poised to see near-term growth in retail, office development and connection to transportation routes, you can get in on the ground floor before the neighborhood booms.


Don’t forget that what you do affects the lives of community members and their families – if you do it right, it’ll have an impact on the everyday lives of your end customers.

Sources: Colorado Housing Finance Authority, The Formations Company

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