Subdivision? What does that look like in the mountains?

What image comes to mind when you’re looking for a home or land in the mountains and you read the word “subdivision“? If you’ve lived in the suburbs of a major metropolitan city it may create the idea of a “zero” lot line property, or a small lot maybe 75′ x 100′. When I lived in Miami, and central Florida this was commonly what you would find in a subdivision. However, in the rural mountain areas this is not necessarily the case. Many subdivisions have lots that are measured in acres not feet!

ROCKING CHAIR VIEW

It’s not uncommon to find 3+ acre lots in subdivisions in the mountains.  Another thought that may come to mind is a homeowners association. They are common here as well, however, by comparison to more populated areas close to cities, you may find the dues much less.

The dues vary by subdivision but I have listings in subdivisions with only $200 or $500 per year dues.  Another difference is that in suburbs you have paved road systems.  Maintenance of roads is paid through your tax dollars.  In the mountains, a subdivision with private roads usually provides for road maintenance as part of their covenants.  It may not include winter maintenance, but usually the remainder of the year. You want to be sure to review the restrictive covenants for  a subdivision where you are considering buying a home or land.  They outline minimum building size, restrictions on types of homes, restrictions on operating businesses, etc.  These are usually reasonable restrictions designed to maintain the integrity of the subdivision.  So, when you’re searching for a home or land in the mountains, keep an open mind, talk to your realtor because a subdivision may not be or look… like you think.  As you look at listings on my website those within subdivisions are identified…aren’t there some beautiful homes and lots!  

  1 comment for “Subdivision? What does that look like in the mountains?

  1. Susan
    June 14, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    I understand. I think many people associate subdivisions with cities and suburbs. What has taken place in the mountains in some instances is that developers bought larger tracts of land, and divided it into multiple lots. They built internal road systems, and established restrictive covenants. The covenants usually describe requirements such as minimum size of residences, types of residences, etc. Often they require an annual payment “dues” for road maintenance, and maintenance of common areas, if any. There are often restrictions on lots being divided into less than a minimum stated acreage. So, in general, it would be unusual to see what we may know as a “zero” lot line in these subdivisions. Also, in these rural, often remote areas there are usually no sewer systems. Property owners install their own septic system on their property. With septic systems there are regulations on the distance the drain fields have to be placed from a well (no city water in rural, or remote areas either). Coupled with the terrain which often only offers a small area suitable for building, it means that zero lot lines wouldn’t work. The dues for road maintenance can actually be a good thing because that means an entity i.e. the homeowner association rather than the property owner is responsible for the upkeep of the road. On private roads not located in subdivisions lenders often require the property owners provide or implement a road maintenance agreement and provide it to them.

    I hope this provides more insight as to what a subdivision in the mountains may look like, vs. what we may have as a reference from the city or suburb (where I have actually lived in subdivisions with 75′ x 100′ lots with one home close to the next (1/4 acre +-).

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