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Definition of "Undeveloped Land"

forest image by DOLPHIN from

Undeveloped land is usually an area that lacks the infrastructure, services and buildings that are often characterized as urban development. Often, undeveloped land is improved in the sense that buildings and infrastructure have altered its wild state. More rigorous definitions of undeveloped land may exclude working farms, ranges and forests, and include only wilderness preserves and natural areas.

Farm Land

farm image by Richard McGuirk from

Farm land is often included in the definition of undeveloped land. Under this definition, land is developed for urban uses like houses, businesses and industrial facilities. Urban development usually requires services like municipal water and sewer systems in order to support larger populations. Farm land isn't usually equipped with urban services, largely because fewer people live there.

Forest and Range Land

A considerable amount of undeveloped land is held by the government. This land is not equipped with the urban services needed to support houses and businesses. The government--through agencies like the Bureau of Land Management--conserves this land for the economic value of timber and pasture.

Preserves and Wilderness Areas

Other undeveloped land is set aside in its natural state. A stricter definition of undeveloped land may include only these areas. This land is managed to conserve recreational and ecological value, but is not usually used for its natural resources. Legislation like the Wilderness Act and National Park Service Organic Act sets aside this land for perpetual protection.

Tips On Selling Undeveloped Land

The details involved in developing land can be more significant than one might think. Land owners will be smart to to do as much research as possible in order to have answers to potential buyers' questions. Additionally, water availability, access to electricity, sewage and solid waste disposal, zoning issues and local amenities must be considered. If the subject parcel is good sized, for example several acres, a local developer may be interested in buying it. Often developers will take raw land and turn it into either a subdivision for single family dwellings, or perhaps a shopping center depending on zoning and county regulations. If development is headed towards the property, you might see a high degree of interest. Often, real estate agents will actually market this potential home for the vacant lot as a "to be built" dwelling, and when a buyer is interested, the builder can begin construction after purchasing the land. The lack of financing options for raw and undeveloped land may lead a land owner to sell the parcel using owner financing methods.

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