I have quite a few clients that come in and are so excited to build because a parent is giving them a parcel of land subdivided off a portion of their property.  It is wonderful news because the land can be used as a down payment for a construction loan if the value of the land is high enough.

There are only two drawbacks to subdividing a piece of property – time and money.  It can cost in the thousands to have the property surveyed and in addition there are attorney, township and/or county fees.  The process normally takes between 3 to 6 months…sometimes longer.  I have outlined the process below.

Land SurveyorContact your Township or Borough officials to arrange for your sewer planning (sewer planning module, site investigation and perc test). The municipality and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources are responsible for sewer planning and permitting.

  • Arrange for a survey of the lot.
  • Contact an attorney to prepare a new deed and legal description.
  • Obtain the appropriate application for plan approval from the local municipality and well as the county.
  • Obtain a tax map of the property from the Tax Mapping Office in the Courthouse.
  • Submit a complete plan to the township and/or county.

Please note that the process takes 3-6 months for the following reasons:  surveyors are very busy, plan review is usually done once a month, therefore you need to hit the right timing or you could waste a whole month, and if anything has to be submitted to DEP, that could extend the whole process by months.

I hope this information helps to those of you contemplating subdividing a piece of property.