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Guest Lecture Synopsis

February 11, 2013

The guest lecture on January 28 focused on a local development project and all the hurdles involved in making the project a reality. The aspects of the lecture that will stick with me the most is the difficulties that can arise in a seemingly simple project and the importance of details to the profitability of a project. For example, the lecturers discussed how they managed to classify the parcel’s use as agricultural until they are able to sell the propery. If they had been forced to classify the land as commercial, the resulting tax bill would have eaten tremendously into the overall profit of the project. Another potential dealbreaking issue that arose involved a relatively small oil leak. This issue could have been much worse and completely ruined the profitability of the development. The investor was realtively lucky given the circumstances, although I doubt it seemed that way at the time. If I had to take just one lesson away from this lecture, it would be to make sure I have an excellent real estate lawyer if I were ever to attempt to develop a parcel of land. In some cases, the quality of legal advice may be almost as important as the quality of the real estate itself.

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