Ryan Hoggan's raw land investing tips

Top Investor Ryan Hoggan Shares What He Looks For In Land Development Deals

Ryan Hoggan is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our day and age. He’s had wild success through traditional investing and through investing in alternative spaces like crypto and NFTs. Now he’s set his site on real estate. 

Ryan Hoggan has quickly made a name for himself in real estate and land development and has proven that many of his traditional investment and entrepreneur skills transfer very well. I wanted to sit down and have a discussion with Ryan Hoggan about what he looks for when purchasing land for a land development project and what he weighs in his mind when making crucial decisions. 

He agreed to do an interview with me, so now I can share his thought land development strategies with you. 

How early do you start thinking about the market and the economy? What I mean is, when do you start to weigh costs and profits? 

These are actually the first things I think about. I always estimate costs and profit before I begin a project. I think that’s real estate 101, and it doesn’t change at all with land development. You need to think about the market and how feasible your project is in the current market, especially if the prices are inflated. You don’t want to buy right when the bubble bursts. 

Is there any way to get a very accurate estimate of a project’s cost? 

Sure, have contractors bid on the project. Of course, you can’t do this until you’ve acquired the land, so you can only go off of estimates before that. Now, I like to talk to and build a network of consultants I can reach out to whenever I need a good estimate. It’ll vary by the area, but most of the time, if you have someone experienced in your circle, your estimates are going to be much more accurate. 

Is there anything you’ve seen your peers overlook that you think is important to always think about?

Zoning. I see so many investors completely underestimating what zoning laws will do to their perfect project. I’ve seen people purchase land without thinking about zoning laws, only to realize they’re not allowed to build the multifamily property they had in mind. Always check zoning, even if you’re just going to sit on the land and not develop anything. It’ll have a huge impact on your profits. 

So when starting a new land development project or seeing some raw land for sale. What goes through your mind before deciding whether you’ll buy or not? 

I look at the local market. Whether people are buying houses or not. Whether most people are renting, what they’re paying in rent, things like that. Next, I’ll talk with some local real estate agents to gauge their thoughts and how the market seems, in general. 

I’ll talk to contractors to get some estimates on my ideas, and finally, I’ll run through my estimated profits and expenses. If everything looks good, I move forward and start making moves. 

Does appreciation come into mind when you’re looking at land?

Of course. As I said before, you don’t want to buy when the bubble is going to burst. Real estate is always a local market; some local markets are in a bubble, while others are the opposite. I think it takes experience and research to know which market a piece of land falls in.

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