Subdividing Land for Property Development: Land Surveys Show if Your Plans Are Realistic

Posted on: 8 October 2021

The purchase of land and the promise of selling subdivisions can have you seeing dollar signs, but your plans hinge on what the land is really like. A land survey company will check out the area and look for boundary lines and other issues that affect what can be done with the land. Rocks, unstable areas, erosion and poor drainage – while all of these are fixable, they can delay your property construction and potentially force you to reduce the number of homes you had hoped to build.

Ease of Division

As the surveyors look at property boundaries and legal issues like easements, they'll also look at the terrain. Hills, cliffs, canyons, streams and other land features could make dividing the parcel more difficult. You could find that some of the land is too unstable to build on, in which case you'd have to redo your property plans to avoid that section of the land. You may find that a ravine you already knew was there has steeper sides than you thought, making any development in that spot difficult unless you move the subdivided parcels around. Or, you could luck out and find that the land is exactly what you need for the subdivisions you wanted to develop.

Adequate Space for Each Home

The homes you build should have adequate space. Driveways need to be a good size, walkways need to be able to accommodate people in wheelchairs, and houses shouldn't be built so close together that the occupants can shake hands from inside their homes. So, if the land survey finds that the legal property boundaries are a little smaller than you'd thought they were, you may need to redo your plans and reduce the units you'd hoped to build so that the ones that are constructed have adequate space. And, if the survey finds that the property boundaries are actually bigger than you thought, you can go back and add to your plans for those extra spaces, even if you just develop them into small parks.

How Much Clearing Is Really Needed

Before you commence construction on your property, you'll need to have excavators remove plants, rocks and any other obstruction. A land survey lets you know just how much there is that needs to go. The survey won't include digging, so there could be even more underground that you'll have to have hauled away. But the surface survey should catch most of the items that could interfere with construction.

Ideally, the land survey should be done before you purchase any land. If you're about to start construction on land you've owned for a while, redoing the land survey is best as you get an up-to-date view of what the property is like now. For more information, contact a land development service.

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