If you’ve driven around the Las Vegas Valley, you’ve most likely seen the half-built structures and abandoned construction sites littering the area. Many of these projects were halted in the last few years as part of what many are calling the Las Vegas real estate bust. Sadly, the economy did seem to founder what was a once robust growth spurt in our area, but things look to be getting back on track.

Several local developers have begun to purchase these now discounted projects, and they’re predicting some serious profits. The only thing that isn’t on their side is time.

It seems the process is quite lengthy, particularly since the first step involves research to find the seller – which is rarely the original investor. Many were foreclosed on by big banks, some were sold at auction, and others have had an extended list of owners since then. Those bought by LLCs are notoriously difficult to track.

The next step is to find out what debts and other burdens, such as liens, permits, and repairs, will come with the purchase. Some of these properties are mired in legal issues, and a few even have creditors that will battle the buyers in court. Many properties will need to be approved by a federal judge, due to a list of creditors, objections, and lawsuits.

Other considerations include how much damage has been caused by vandals and scrappers, a very common problem even for fenced-in areas. These amounts can run in the tens of thousands of dollars in damages, while the thief may have only recovered a few hundred dollars’ worth of scrap.

The good news is that our dry climate allows most of the steel to be reused, if need be, and the low humidity cuts down on rust and sun damage of these exposed construction sites. Investors are still interested in purchasing these distressed properties because the locations are so good and the possibilities endless. With a turning economy and interest rates still quite low, the problems seem to be worth the payoff.

Hopefully, our fair valley will soon be graced with shiny new structures and the skeletons of the past will be a distant memory.