How to Develop Land: Top 3 Considerations when Picking

When it comes to life on 30A, the living is always easy, which is why so many choose it as the destination for building their dream home. There are several private, gated lots available in the many unique communities of this stretch of the Florida Panhandle, which means all you have to do is fine the right lot in the right town to fit your needs.

While there are many wonderful things to love about the stretch of Florida Panhandle known as 30A, one of the greatest things is that there is still plenty of room to grow. From vibrant Rosemary Beach to artsy Grayton Beach to hip Panama City Beach, there are luxury lots available in private, picturesque gated communities that have yet to be developed.  Thus, your dream home –whether it is a beach house, a bungalow, or a cottage– is only a sea breeze away.

Melissa Clements Real Estate Destin 30A-48Location

When developing, the first thing you must consider is location (some say to start with the builder, which is fine as well provided you know who you want to work with).  As noted, there are many lots available in the 30A communities with land open for development.  You’ll need to determine where you want your property.  Consider the following when picking a location:

  • How close do I want my neighbors / how private do I want my property?
  • Is this property appropriate for the type of real estate I wish to establish?
  • Are there any drainage or flooding issues on the property?
  • How important is beach access?
  • What will the view be from the property once the home is built?
  • What lots are available near mine / what will the property look / be like once it’s all developed?

Typically, if you are buying in an area that is part of a development (i.e., in a gated community or similar), then the builder will have models that are thematically consistent with the other properties. On the other hand, you may pick a development that will allow you to design and build from scratch.  Obviously, designing and building from scratch will be more expensive, but if it is your dream beach escape, then it is well worth it.


Needless to say, this brings up the next thing to consider when picking a lot for development, which is, what will the lot be used for?

  • Personal use: If the lot is going to be developed for your and your family’s use, then there is no harm in customizing it to the nth degree (especially if you don’t have any intent of ever selling). The location, design, and features should all be to your liking.
  • Investment use: If the lot is going to be developed for investment real estate, then you may want to stick closer to the builder’s plan for the development (if you’re in a development) because it’s more affordable. In this case, your main priorities will be getting a waterfront view and location that will have broad appeal (this might mean being in a community with easy access to golf and shopping or that is within walking distance to the beach).

Cost Last but not least is cost. Cost has been touched on briefly, but cost is a big consideration.  If you are buying the lot you select outright and then taking out a loan to develop it, then your lot can be part of the construction loan’s equity.  If not, then you will need to take out a loan that covers both the lot and the development provided you intend to develop immediately.blog3-3

If you do, then the cost of developing your lot may also play into your lot purchase plans. As noted, developing from scratch is going to be more expensive than using a builder’s plans.  There are many reasons for this.  In the scenario where you are using existing plans, the builder already has a rough idea of the cost of labor and materials and the time from project start to project finish.

When you are building from scratch, then these specifics are not as well defined.  Thus, if you’re planning to purchase a lot and develop custom luxury real estate, be prepared to demonstrate up front that you can afford it (in the form of money (usually at least 20%) down).

So, when you are on 30A looking for land, have an idea of why you’re buying, what you want to put on the land, the lot’s intended use, and how much you’re willing to spend to complete the project.  If you go in with a plan, you’ll be living the beach lifestyle in your dream home in no time.

Of all the beach lots in all the world, 30A has some of the finest; from Rosemary Beach to Panama City and everywhere in between, 30A is an ideal place for you to build a dream home. Imagine waking up every morning and watching turquoise waves roll in while you sip your morning coffee. Find the perfect lot to establish your fantasy home on with an experienced coastal living expert, Melissa Clements, who will help you turn those dreams into a beautiful reality.