How to Subdivide Real Estate

By Legal Editor

Land developers and real estate brokers subdivide real estate quite often. To the rest of us it may seem too complicated to try. It's really not as difficult as it may seem if you start with a few guidelines.

Obtain the real estate land or property. You might already own a large piece of property covering several acres or you've found the property you wish to purchase. You may have a farm or ranch and you want to sell off a section of the land for real estate development or you may want to subdivide a large section of land you own, part of an even larger piece of land or real estate.

Research the county records to find out all the zoning ordinances, county and city utilities, where the water and gas lines are or where they can be. Work with your title abstract company to start a title search of the property if you do not already own the property. This will also give you information about whether all the taxes are current. In addition, you will be able to know if there are any judgments or liens filed against the property. Work with the title abstract company to check your title work before you actually purchase the property. (If you decide not to purchase that particular property, you will still owe the title abstract company for the title work.)

Survey the property. Your first survey is done as a part of your purchase process and will be done by a certified land surveyor. This surveyor checks their findings, dimensions and measurements against the county records to come up with a blue line survey that will give the legal description of your property. If you already own this property, you will have a survey completed on just the portion of land you are going to subdivide from the entire property that you own.

Determine how you are going to want to subdivide your property or parcel off a section of the property. If you want to break the entire piece of property into individual lots, you will work with the surveyor again, to do the measurements, stake out the individual lot sizes, where the streets would run through, allow lot coverage for utility easements, drainage areas or park areas. Each lot may not be the same exact size, due to circle drives, corners or areas reserved for parks.

Plat the property once you and the surveyor have worked out a plan of development showing the entire property subdivided into lots and have the plat filed in the county tax office. This also informs the tax office that the property is being developed and will be changed from being taxed as acreage to individual lot assessments in the near future.

Sell the individual lots in the manner you chose to market them. Again, you will use a title abstract company to do the title work. Each lot sold will go through a closing process. Individual surveys of each lot should be done as a part of the closing as well as individual Deeds for each lot conveying the ownership to the new buyer. The title abstract company will take care of collecting all the monies, disbursing all the funds and filing all the legal documents for both seller and buyer.