I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something that I learned in one of my architecture courses: When you have a parcel of land, it is significantly more valuable than it will be once development begins.
I remember writing that idea down and summarily ignoring it and most of the course notes once the professor argued with me about how you didn’t need to discount future income but you had to discount future expenses — because that’s how he “proved” that the building in our example made more money the longer we carried our huge mortgage. But I digress.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase. I’ve recently graduated which makes me (in terms of my career) an empty parcel of land.
Obviously I have zoning restrictions — I can’t be a skyscraper (engineering), or a hospital (medicine) or a school (teacher) but I can be a retail store (business) or a bank (banker) or a courthouse (paralegal) or a whole range of other choices.
The problem is, once I’ve begun developing my parcel of land, it will be less valuable (easy) to develop anything else. If I start building a courthouse (as I did in 2010), it takes an enormous effort knock the foundation out and start anew. This is why I’m so frightened and am really taking my time in the job search — what if I build the wrong thing again? It’s much easier for me to build a bank later if I don’t have a 10000 square ft retail store foundation set — just like it’s easier to get zone changes (new degrees) now, than it will be once I’ve started development.
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