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ASSESSING DIFFICULT SITES by Donald Brandes Bargain sites can make ideal development projects, but do your homework before you buy Large developers are getting larger and small (under 99 lots per year) developers are getting smaller, according to a recent survey of 2,300 builders conducted by the National Association of Homebuilders. The survey also found growing fears about rising development costs, increasing regulation, uncertain future housing demand, and the availability of financing. Given these concerns, how does the small guy compete against the larger developer? One evolving notion is to select land that appears less desirable, pay less for it, and make a good profit by building housing that adapts to the site in an economical fashion. In fact, these difficult sites are generally all