Anyone ever put a road in? - Posted by Steve D

Posted by Eric C on August 20, 2003 at 08:57:16:

Hi Steve -

Unfinished or incomplete subdivisions are everywhere – especially in Texas. Some areas are only now beginning to catch up to the “old” planned developments of the oil boom days.

You might want to take another look at Ray’s answer though. In the past, if roadways did not meet the current standards when completed, they had to be designated as “private” – a term which means, you’re responsible for maintenance( you may need some type of association to make property assessments for repairs), property taxes, and which could bar you from using some financing types when you resell the lots/houses/etc.

Until the roadway is standardized and the county/city/etc accepts it, … and that could be a very long time.

Please note, that my information is dated, but I have run into this more than once in Texas. It didn’t keep me from making money on the deals, but it did slow the project down quite a bit.

Also, I have this vague memory of Texas changing some of the regs on subs and requiring more planning for both water and sewer (which had to be approved)in order for the TNRCC (or whatever agency took over their mandate) to “bless” them.

The main thing is that all these things simply add up to more costs (for you);and while they probably won’t kill a deal, you might not make the margins you planned.

Good luck,

Eric C

PS - Sorry my information is old – soon to be corrected though! Even so, I can point you to at least a couple of subs complete with paved streets, etc that are still empty. If you can do it without raising too many flags (or showing your hand prematurely), its often a good idea to find out why the lots are still undeveloped/incomplete.

PPS - many counties now have planning authorities too (at least in TX). I’ve even seen an instance or two where a brave individual built out a small sub with a spec home or two only to find that some (or all) utilities would be denied until some changes (needed or not) were made. In other words, compliance was still an issue.

Anyone ever put a road in? - Posted by Steve D

Posted by Steve D on August 18, 2003 at 05:12:43:

I’ve build several properties in the past, and I’ve just come across a bunch of lots together, already platted, but roads need to be put in (I’m in Texas). Anyone have any idea how to go about that/costs involved etc?

Re: Anyone ever put a road in? - Posted by ray@lcorn

Posted by ray@lcorn on August 18, 2003 at 13:17:07:


First stop is the planning department. You need the specs for the type of road required. Many localities defer to the state’s roadbuilding standards, and some have no standards. Some localities have differing standards for different zoning districts, so be sure to get the right standards.

You need to know the required width of the street(s), the depth of base and finish material, and whether or not curb and gutter is required. In towns, sidewalks are often required as well.

Then you can call either a local engineer or excavating contractor. Either should be able to give you a ballpark price per foot for constructing a street to the appropriate standards. (Truth is, the engineer will probably call the contractor, but he should know the best one ot two to call.) If you have a topo map of the property it will be a more accurate estimate. if specific property topo isn’t available (it’s relatively expensive to do), then have the engineer work off the national GIS database. The contours aren’t as exact, but it will do for now.

How about utilities? If you have to put them in its best to do so at the same time you build the street(s).


Re: Anyone ever put a road in? - Posted by Steve D

Posted by Steve D on August 18, 2003 at 22:35:09:

Thanks for the quick response… I used an engineer to get an easement released down the road from these lots a couple of years ago, I may even still have the topo map he gave me then. These lots are just outside the city limits, so no zoning, no curbs, they will be septic, power is already there, so water is the only utility that’ll have to be run.

Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.