How do churches go about acquiring land today? How does they compete for property when land prices are rise and fall? Even in tough economic times, competition for good sites is putting property out of financial reach at a time when more and more ministries need to expand their facilities. We have learned that if you can’t win at a particular game, the best strategy is to change the rules or reinvent the game so that you can win. And not only win at the game, but also give yourself an advantage over all the other players!
Most church leaders think calling a real estate agent or broker will get them the property they need. We have found that most brokers simply look at the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to see what is available, and then bring those listings to a meeting. The problem is, all the good deals never make it to the MLS. Real estate developers buy them up long before the brokers are ever aware the property is for sale. What is left in the MLS are sites that are unaffordable, undevelopable and undesirable.
With environmental issues becoming more and more of a concern these days, it is important that you conduct a thorough investigation into a property’s potential for development prior to closing escrow on the land. In addition, off-site and on-site development costs must be investigated along with utilities, zoning, use restrictions, and other issues may affect your overall use of the land. These need to be identified and considered before the purchase of any land.
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