A tough loss

Just lost out on a deal that I wanted to do, despite being the highest bidder.

So, how did I lose?

Well, this was a development deal. And the land was super-hilly. So I wanted to have five days to get a geologist, an engineer and an architect out to take a look at the site and make sure it was buildable (well, anything is buildable if you’re willing to spend the dough… I mean “buildable” in the sense of “…and still make money”).

The other guys, whom I’m sure are also developers, were willing to offer almost my price but with no contingency period.

In other words, after examining the property once, for like an hour, they were willing to bet a big chunk of cash that they can develop the lot.

And you know what? They’re almost certainly right. I’m going to watch them build a profitable small lot project or small apartment building over the next 18 months and be filled with rage.

But our business is really about, to the extent possible, removing risk.  And this was one risk that we just wouldn’t take.

P.S.: Obviously, there’s a price at which I would be have non-contingent, too. But this was not a steal.