This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Holding out for the big $$$$ for land in Phoenix, Arizona

As someone who is interested in the history of the city of Phoenix, Arizona, I'm of course interested in how people invested in Real Estate. Some people got fabulously wealthy simply because the price of a chunk of land got more expensive over time.

Of course, this happens anywhere that there are buildings, and land. Some places, like San Francisco, or Los Angeles, have seen property values rise tremendously. It hasn't been that extreme in Phoenix, but it has happened. I met someone a few years ago whose parents owned some land that he inherited, and it turned out to be worth the big bucks, which he got. It all happened in a generation.

And sometimes it takes longer. I see empty lots all around Phoenix and I wonder what they're waiting for. Well, they're probably waiting for the big $$$$. And every once in a while I hear some say in a sneering way that someone must be "waiting for the big $$$$". And my first thought is "why not?" If you have land in Phoenix it might be worth the big $$$$ some day.

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Of course, land, like anything else that you hold onto to sell someday, is a liability. You have to pay for it. You may be paying for the land itself, or if the land has been paid for, you have to pay the property taxes, and insurance. There's no profit until you sell, and then it's over. And if you sell for a million dollars, and find out the next year that someone sold the same land for two million dollars, you may feel that you did the wrong thing. Land tends to become more valuable over time, and money tends to become less valuable (you know, inflation). So a lot of people look watch this kind of thing, and they wait.

Speaking for myself, I like the empty lots, and the remaining farmland in Phoenix. As an old Californian, I know that when what used to be an empty lot is now 200 luxury condos, it brings just that much more crowding, more traffic, more of the stuff I moved away from California to get away from. I don't want to live way out "in the middle of nowhere", but I've lived in places that are so crowded that there are precious few parking spaces, you have to wait in line for everything, and what I call "waiting for someone to breathe out so you can breathe in", also known as density.

So my take on people who are holding out for the big $$$$ for the land they own in the Phoenix area - I applaud you, keep waiting. I know that if you wait another ten or twenty years you will get a lot more money for your land, I guarantee it. And in the meantime Phoenix has a little bit more open space, and I have a little bit more room to breathe. Hold out for the big $$$$.