Cost of Land Subdivision

As you probably guessed, dividing a land/building involves fragmenting the area you own into equal or unequal parts depending on your needs and preferences.

How much does it cost to subdivide land?

There is no standard cost for land subdividing as there is no standard process for this job. The costs are influenced by a lot of factors such as the number of lots you want to create (it is cheaper to split the land in two instead of subdividing it into dozens of lots), the surveying and platting costs, any improvements required for the property and the local application and/or hearing fees.

If you need to subdivide your land into two lots then you should plan on spending on the following:

  1. anywhere between $510 and $1,550 on the local fees, depending on the number of lots you want to create and your geographical location. For more than two lots the fees will be anywhere between $2,100 and $10,500.
  2. anywhere between $510 and $2,600 for a surveyor who comes to evaluate a mid-size property. This cost could reach tens of thousands for large properties.
  3. anywhere between $10,000 and $30,500 for property improvements such as creating access to utilities, sewer, and roads.

Subdivide land details

In most cases, homeowners decide to subdivide a land because of two reasons, either to share the property between family members or to sell a part of it for profit. On the other hand, real estate investors choose to subdivide land in order to increase its value.

You might also like our articles about the cost of an acre of land, a will, or to level a yard.

The way a property is subdivided is not universal and the same for every state. The laws and rules are different in every district, town, city, and state, and the approval of your request depends on the local officials. In general, their decision is based on some aspects such as the access to services like sewer and water, the location of the property, the location of any buildings or homes on the property, the local zoning laws, and the shape and size of the property.

How to subdivide a property

Steps to follow in order to subdivide a land

Once you decided you want to subdivide a land you will have to follow a few steps.

First of all, you will have to call your local development, zoning, or planning office and ask about the local laws regarding the subdivision process. There are districts, towns, and cities that post this information on their official website page, so you will not have to talk to them on the phone. This way you will find out if your property is qualified for subdivision.

How to Subdivide LandThe second step is to talk with a subdivision specialist, property lawyer, or town planner. It is very important to evaluate your options before subdividing because the costs and restrictions have increased very much in the last few years.

After that, you will have to hire an engineering or surveying firm to survey the land and draw up a plat. This plat is a map of the land which identifies the easements, the flood zones, the access rights-of-way, and the property boundaries. Also, the firm can tell you is you are eligible for subdivision or not.

Once the plat is done you can submit your application and wait for the official response. In general, the application has to be submitted with a certificate of title, a plat map, and an application fee.

The council will give you a response, but there are areas where a planning board will decide whether to approve your application during a routine meeting. Also, a public hearing is necessary for some areas.

If your application has been approved then you can start to install new accesses and services. Also, the surveying company will place new boundary pegs.

After approval from the planning board, you can request a certification that certifies that all the conditions have been met.

Finally, your property is subdivided and now you should obtain new titles or property.

Note: You may be able to get approval to subdivide your property even though this doesn’t qualify for it. You have to fill a planning or zoning variance. The majority of the development offices and/or planning offices make exceptions if there is a reasonable motivation. Ask your surveyor or local official about these exceptions.

How long does the subdivision process take?

In general, the subdivision process takes anywhere between nine months and one year for a two-lot subdivision from start until obtaining the title. It all depends on the geographical location, the size of the lot, and how much engineering work is required.

Important things to consider

Usually, the municipal or state surveying services are less expensive than the private firms, so check if your city offers them.

It is recommended to work with a professional if you have to divide a large property.

Take into consideration talking with an attorney who is specialized in zoning laws if your surveyor or local official says that your property is not eligible for subdivision.

The value of land increases as it is divided into smaller lots. However, an area of quarter-acre or half-acre is not desirable because it is too small.

Alec Pow
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