Four Elements of Value for Residential Land in Anne Arundel County
As a professional land broker who has sold more than $400 million worth of land for development and much of it in Anne Arundel County, Maryland I’d like to explain the four elements the bring value to a parcel of residential land in Anne Arundel County.
Anne Arundel County is one of the oddest counties that I’ve ever brokered land. In most other counties different types and prices of houses fit together like puzzle pieces - higher price homes over here, lower price houses in this corner, older townhomes in that not so nice neighborhood in the middle, the fancy waterfront property along the side. Not so in Anne Arundel County. In parts of Pasadena one will see waterfront homes selling in the low seven six figures immediately next to older homes that on a good day might sell for little more than a hundred thousand dollars. In Severn, I sold a large parcel of land where single family homes are selling in the $600,000 range and the property next to it contains more than 100 moderate rental townhomes. Throughout Anne Arundel County one can find McMansions next to seventy year old cape cods and turn of the century farmhouses.
Location doesn’t seem to have as much impact on value in Anne Arundel County as it does in most other counties. That’s not to say it doesn’t have any impact, its impact is just tempered by other variables.
Schools - What school district a given property is in has a huge impact on value. Customers are willing to pay a premium to be in the Severna Park, South Rivera or Broadneck high school service areas which in turn increases the land value for lots or subdivisions capable of servicing this need. Land that is serviced by the top schools is substantially more valuable than land that services lesser schools in Anne Arundel County. The problem is school capacity. Many of the top schools are at their maximum seating capacity as determined by the county school board which releases a capacity chart each July. If any school – elementary, middle or high is over capacity, then a potential subdivision is unable to proceed through the subdivision process until capacity is restored or six years, which is ever sooner. This means to the average landowner your land may take many years to go to settlement if your property is encumbered by a school moratorium. This is not to say that there aren’t seats available in the schools throughout the county, many schools are actually significantly under capacity, but woe to the government official who suggest moving kids from overcrowded schools to less crowded ones.
Zoning – Anne Arundel County uses a pretty straightward zoning classification system for residentially zoned land. Agriculturally zoned land which is all of the county beginning around Crownsville and extending south to Calvert County permits one house per twenty acres. R-1 permits one house per 40,000 square feet unless it is on septic in which case an additional “septic reserve area” of 40,000 square feet for each lot. R-2 permits one house per 20,000 square feet or two single family houses per acre. R-5 permits townhouses at a density of
Water Frontage & Access – Anne Arundel County from Bayberry to Galesville has more waterfront property than almost any other county in the United States. Because Anne Arundel County is serviced by several major highway networks it has become very desirable for folks working in both the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas.