Sub-Dividing Your Backyard – What You Need to Know

You’ve got a large yard, and really don’t use all that space. One of your friends suggested that you sub-divide and make a little money. Now you’re really thinking about it, and want to know more about what this means and how sub-division works. Before you start hiring professional surveyors (like Geosurv, do a little research. Here’s what you need to know:

What is it?

Let’s be clear on what we’re even talking about. Sub-dividing your yard means legally splitting your property into two (or more) pieces, and selling the extra plots. You no longer own the parcels, and other buyers will likely build additional homes or buildings on them.

The Costs

This isn’t a simple procedure where someone at the municipal office draws a new boundary line, and you’re ready to sell. Expect a number of costs on your part before that “For Sale” sign even goes up.

Each new parcel will likely need a driveway put in before it can be sold, and you may need to secure access to utilities (water, electricity, sewer) as well. Check with the council office to see what your local laws are. Not every area is the same, so we can’t really list out the requirements here for you. You’ll also have to verify from them the minimum size for your new plot.

Getting permits, having the work done, arranging inspections and dealing with any realtor costs are all your responsibility. Obviously, you’ll price your new sections of land appropriately so that you can earn this back along with some profit, but you need to realize that most of these things will need to be paid for before the sale of the property. That means you have to have a source of funds up front, and it can be several thousands of dollars.

So Why Do It?

If this is seeming like a lot of work and potential expense, you might be second-guessing why you are thinking about dividing in the first place. Before you make a commitment to this process, you should be pretty firm in why you are doing it.

The main reason people choose to sub-divide their yards is to make money. Even after all the expenses, there is still profit to be made. In particular, if there is a recent increase in demand for building lots in your area, your parcels can fetch a very high price. But there can be other benefits as well. If you aren’t too fond of yard work, and find that your property is more of a hassle to maintain rather than a pleasure, dividing it can be one way to cut your chores down. A smaller property may also reduce your annual taxes too.

So whether you just want to shrink your outdoor responsibilities or are hoping to make a few bucks, you can do both by sub-dividing your yard. Just remember that you lose control over that piece of land, and you never know what someone may build there.


Author: Maja Markovski


A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


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