Investment gurus and real estate aficionados often talk about “land in the path of development.” But what does that phrase refer to? Land in the path of development is not just any land that is proximal to any major center of human activity. It is ideal land that is ready to grow. Here’s why.

1. The topography is right.

Land in the path of development is, first and foremost, level and buildable. Mountainous areas and swampland, no matter how near they may be to urban centers, are not ideal for development.

2. It has a water supply.

There need not be a well on the property, but land in the path of development must be easily irrigated or supplied with water. This water supply must be able to satisfy modern levels of water demand for years to come.

3. It must by accessible by rail, freeway, or air.

A road might not yet exist, but there must be a feasible way to put one there.

4. There must be a way to install growth-enabling utilities.

It is worthwhile to pay a speculator or an engineer for a professional opinion. Companies might be planning to expand into this area, but they make mistakes and run into anticipated barriers. Make sure that expansion into the land is realistic.

5. Education facilities – colleges and primary schools – must be in place.

While the land is being developed, the existing education system should be able to serve the region, at least until it can expand further.

6. It must be near a metropolis.

Urban centers grow and reach into more rural or undeveloped areas. Land in the path of development is near a center of financial and social activity, ideally a large metropolis.

7. Industries in the area should be planning growth.

When industries and commercial ventures do well, they grow, and they expand into the inexpensive land nearby. Research the businesses in the area. If they are planning to expand, the land you are considering is in the path of development.

8. Commercial and residential development should be on the move.

Small outward shifts – homes being built on the borders of suburbs, commercial storefronts moving into more residential areas – are also signs that land outside these areas is in the path of development.

9. Verifiable sources provide the information.

Do not trust speculative comments or residents’ best guesses. If trustworthy, legitimate sources can verify the aspects of the land that indicate its position in the path of development, you may consider investing in it.

10. Finally, master plans for a community should already be in place.

Is the city already planning to build streets and electrical systems beyond its existing borders? Are energy companies planning to move their services outward as well? If these community-building plans have been plotted, it’s a matter of time before the land in the path of development becomes developed land.

When we can identify these features, we consider an area “land in the path of development.” Ask us about land in the path of development in California today.