A neighbor with a 40,000 SF lot is selling the lot. The back side of his
lot line is the back side of my lot line. I have always wanted another 50'
of my backyard so I am thinking that is about 5000 SF. Is it possible to
make an offer to buy that 50' from his lot does that require him to split
his lot into a big piece and a tiny piece first? How would one go about
doing this if it is even possible?
Thanks in advance,
There was a similar situation here selling out an old railroad
right of way. One neighbor bought out a 3 block strip that
touched his property. He sold the other parcels to each owner
along the way. He sold at a modest profit to each owner. He
allowed that his profit paid for his lot with a generous bonus,
though he had to wait over two years to sell all the lots.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
Check with the neighbor to see if he is interested and then check with
the town for the details of if it's possible and if so how to do it.
Issues in particular are minimum lot size i.e. he can't make the bigger
piece he is selling smaller than the minimum and the likely need for a
survey which will cost something.
Another other issue will be whether the reduced lot size will be
detrimental to it's saleability which his real estate agent should be
able to tell him. This type of arrangement is fairly common with larger
lots or several acres and up, but I don't know about sub acre lots.
Might be best to just buy the whole thing.
Some years back I purchased two fairly large lots from one seller who
had originally split the lot thinking it would be easier to sell that
way. The town tax assessor didn't even blink (much less charge me
anything) and updated their records back to a single lot which actually
reduced the property tax.
Sure, talk to him. Comes down to money. To make the transaction, you will
probably need some survey work and a new plat, some paperwork for the town,
re-write of the deeds.
As far as the seller, he may make more by selling you a piece of the lot and
selling the rest at the same asking price if it a good location. Or it may
make the lot less desirable as the new smaller dimension. Many local
factors for the market determine that sort of thing.
You can also buy the entire lot and they subdivide and sell it yourself.
That is done all the time. Considerations though, are minimum lot sizes for
housing in the town, water and sewer locations, any rights of way or
Around here, the plat and the deeds don't always match. Quite common to see
parcels that include 'lot X of subdivision Y, and the southerly half of lot
X+1 of subdivision Y'. Tax parcel records are seperate from plat records and
deed records here. Sometimes, it gets so screwed up due to all this, or to
some accumulated errors in a bad original plat, that the city or county goes
in an does a wall-to-wall resurvey of a subdivision or quarter section, and
adjusts all the records to match the lines on the ground. In the
descriptions at sale, it then reads 'assessors replat of subdivison Y', etc.
It's a mess, but it still beats metes-and-bounds descriptions, calling on
rocks and trees and rivers and references to long-dead owners of neighboring
You'd have to talk to two different people - the seller to see if he's interested
and someone in the municipality to see what the rules are. Around here,
splitting a lot is call severing and a severance has to be approved. That
is due to maintaining minimum lot sizes, local zoning regulations etc.
It is possible that there is an allowance between his property and yours
that you don't know about. If that allowance is under municipal control,
you won't be able to do much unless the municipality is willing to permit
you to go over the allowance.
It all depends on what the laws are in your area.
If there are no legal hurdles, then the advice others gave is what stands
between you and a bigger back yard. Oh, and the price.
If you are happy the current owner is happy AND the local authorities
are happy it is a go. I would start with the local authorities. Many
places have restrictions (they may be part of the deed) to dividing lots.
If they do you may be able to get an exception as it will not be creating a
new lot, only exchanging ownership of a strip of land from one to another.
1. Vendor's approval.
2. Approval from local or municipal government
that the vendor "sever" his lot, i.e. change its legal
status to one lot sized 35,000 sq. ft. and a second
sized 5,000 (and then sell both parcels to different
purchasers.) Only city hall can tell you whether this
severance is allowed by current rules. Severances
forbidden by current rules may be approved by a
special resolution of the council.
First, see if he's willing to do that.
Then check with the town board to see if it's possible; it may
not be. Around here, you cannot sell less than an acre of land
unless it's being added to a smaller parcel that brings the total
to an acre or more. If your'e in a city, the rules are even
Even if he's not willing to go through the hassle, check with
the town and a real-estate agent. You might be able
to buy the whole thing, split off the part that you want,
and sell off the rest to recover a fair fraction of your
money. (Or, if you've got the energy, build there yourself
and rent it out to cover the mortgage).
Depends on where you are. He should be able to sell you a portion of
his property but city or county codes may require that he file an
application to subdivide that may have to go before a planning or
zoning board. They may require that adjacent property owners be
notified for comment before they approve.
And yes, a new survey is required and would be filed with the
appropriate government tax office.
I would research it with the governing body then go to him armed with
all the knowledge of what would have to be done and a willingness to
do the leg work if any in addition to your offer for the parcel.
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