- July 2010: Vol. 22 No. 7

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Dirt Cheap: Why the Time to Buy Land Is Now

by Jason Perrin

Who would have thought 12 months ago that a real estate recovery was possible? The financial markets were in ruins, we were three years into a total residential and related mortgage market collapse and the commercial real estate markets were following closely behind. The idea of buying land at that time was almost out of the question. My, how things can change in a year.

The world is a very different place today and certain sectors of the real estate market are actually heating up again. Land, in particular, has turned the corner and is making a strong comeback. Public homebuilders, for example, are aggressively pursuing low-hanging fruit like finished and partially improved lots. Perfect market timing has probably passed but there are still many compelling reasons to get into the land market today.

Unlike many other classes of real estate, land has an inherent leverage effect. Because land is only a component of the cost or value structure of the end product such as a

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