Subdivision Surveys: Let’s Break It Down

Subdivision Survey

Farmer Olson is retiring and moving to someplace warm with Mrs. Olson. He has sold his farmland in Minnesota – all 200 acres of it – to a housing developer. The transaction went seamlessly, thanks in no small part to the professional ALTA survey the developer ordered from Compass Consultants.

The developer intends to build 1,200 houses, each on its own equally sized parcel of land. But therein lies the rub: although the developer’s ALTA survey provides a comprehensive overview of the 200-acre parcel, it does not divide the land into smaller parcels that can be legally sold to individual homeowners.

Fortunately, the developer does not have a problem. Compass Consultants offers precisely the survey it needs to move forward.

What Is a Subdivision Survey?

Just as its name implies, a subdivision survey breaks down land into smaller parcels that can be sold to multiple unrelated parties. It is a cadastral survey, which means it determines ownership rights and privileges in addition to showing the value, extent and ownership of land as a basis of taxation.

Subdivision surveys are typically used for the purpose of selling land, as in the hypothetical Farmer Olson scenario we just described. A subdivision survey is also necessary when a landowner is selling only a fraction of their property, or bequeathing their property to multiple heirs who will each receive one piece of the plat. This type of land survey may also be used to create easements or rights-of-way, as well as determine property boundaries.

How Is a Subdivision Survey Created?

A subdivision survey often begins with a boundary survey, as determining the true placement of the land parcel’s boundary lines is paramount to accurate results. The land surveyor may reference multiple public records while defining the parcel’s boundaries, including the Registrar of Titles, Probate Registrar and Department of Transportation. They may additionally interview the parcel’s former owner, as well as owners of adjoining property.

Once they have gathered all relevant and available information regarding their exact locations, the surveyor begins measuring, marking and mapping the parcel’s boundaries.

In the case of Farmer Olson’s farmland, a boundary survey would not be necessary. The ALTA survey previously ordered by the developer would already contain the same information as a boundary survey. If they are preparing a subdivision survey for a parcel that has recently been ALTA surveyed, the surveyor’s job is essentially limited to identifying the parcel’s preestablished boundaries and creating additional boundaries within them. Once their lines are surveyed and marked, the new boundaries’ corners are monumented with physical markers.

Break It Down With Compass Consultants

Are you preparing to sell a parcel of land to more than one buyer? Or are you only selling a portion of your land – or preparing to bequeath it to multiple heirs? Do it the correct way by ordering a subdivision survey!

If you own land in Minnesota, North Dakota or South Dakota, then the best solution to all your land surveying needs is at your service. Contact Compass Consultants today to schedule your subdivision survey, as well as the ALTA survey, location survey, construction survey, and any other survey you need to proceed with the utmost confidence.