Subdividing Your Backyard -Why Do It and What to Think About

Tackling a subdivision project can be complicated but may be worth it in the long run. From checking on zoning to scheduling a professional contour survey, there can be a lot to do. Keep reading to find out the details.


What Is It?

You’re interested in dividing your property, but what exactly does that mean? The basic project involves legally splitting a parcel off of your land to be sold as a separate lot. Once sold, it’s no longer your property and remains as a separate legal plot from then on.


Why Divide?

The most obvious reason that you might want to divide up your property is for some profit. When real estate demand is high, your land can be worth quite a bit and this is one way to cash in on that without having to actually sell your home and move.


How much you can make is too varied to give an estimate here, as it will depend on the local market and the costs you have to incur during the process. But it’s quite easy to have a situation that nets you a few thousand dollars in the end.


What to Think About?

The main question you need to ask yourself is how you will enjoy your property once you’ve divided a section off. If you intend on selling the remaining portion and moving anyway, it probably won’t matter but if you intend on continuing to live there, you should think about your enjoyment of the space. A house can (and likely will) be built on the property, meaning you can suddenly have neighbors much closer than you’re used to.


The second big issue that comes with subdividing your property is the amount of work and cost involved. There is far more to the project than drawing a new line on your land surveys and signing a couple of papers at the council office. While your first step does need to be the council office to find out about boundaries, zoning and other regulations involved, there can be a lot more to do than just paperwork.


A standard parcel needs to have a driveway, or at least a space where a driveway can be installed with access from the main road. That may or may not include a drainage culvert. Utilities may also have to be in place, or at least have the wires or pipes run to the property so the new owner can continue the process. The specifics will vary by area, and by local zoning issues. This is something you have to talk to your municipal officials about. You will also want to consider selling with or without a realtor.


Not only can it involve months of work and organizing on your part, you have to foot the bill for it all. Hopefully you will get your money back when you sell. Can you afford to cover these costs while you wait for that sale? Can you afford to lose any money if the sale of your new parcel doesn’t go as planned? These are the important questions you need to consider.

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