After the housing crisis, vacant land plots skyrocketed up to $70,000 in some cases. Now, land is much cheaper and according to this Fort Myers News-Press article, financing is slowly easing too.
“We started seeing that about a year ago, and it’s probably become more prevalent over the last six months,” said Randy Thibaut, owner and founder of Fort Myers-based Land Solutions Inc., which specializes in sales and development of large tracts.
“Individual homeowners are starting to buy home sites again, especially in the Cape,” he said. “Now we’re seeing in Lehigh Acres and east Fort Myers where people buy lots and hire their own builders in lieu of buying a new-home builder package.”
Cape Coral Developer Is Rolling Out Program to Make Financing Easier
Developer Roger Schutt, of Premier Properties of Cape Coral, says he’s rolling out program in which home buyers as well as builders can buy lots from Premier’s inventory and maybe even finance them with Premier.
This is a big deal because banks are still reluctant to lend money on a piece of vacant property, he said. “That’s unfortunate, because that suppresses the economy” by preventing home construction.
But with most of the shady home investors gone, times are not as reckless.
“In the boom we were paying $90,000 plus for a dry lot in Cape Coral that was not on city sewer,” he said. “That was not realistic, it was inflated by the frenzy, but if you can buy in the $20,000 range, that’s very affordable.”
Lot prices ballooned in the years before the crash, Schutt said. “In 2001 I might have bought a dry lot, no utilities, for $4,000. Two years later it was $11,000 or $12,000, more than doubled. Then in 2004 it was $30,000 and in ’05 it went to $75,000 and of course it went above that” before crashing in 2006.
But this time around it doesn’t look so risky, according to experts.
Will you take the plunge and build your own custom home on a vacant piece of paradise or will you wait to see what the market does in the next few months?