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Question about #'s of acres/property for US farms

hillsdown

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I have a question as to how your land us sold and divided, as I here all the time of people saying "We have 80 acres. or ,We have land that is divided into around 200 acres per farm and then another 130 acres on the next farm."

So just how is your land sold in the US.. Here you buy it by the quarters or a section and each quarter is 160 acres and there are 4 quarters to a section . You are aloud to subdivide a quarter once so if you take off 11 acres for an acreage that is it, the other 149 must be sold as a whole..

Just curious as to how it is down in your area... :)
 

backhoeboogie

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There are different laws in each state. Here in Texas we have laws within the county about sub-dividing. Before a farm can be broken into housing lots, roads must be paved etc. There are people buying 5 acre "ranchettes" all over the place.

The place I bought when I was 20 had 8.68 acres. I then bought a little 3.25 acres adjoining me to the east and then another 3.43 acres adjoining me. (I did the math a few times to add it up) :D

An old rancher could have say 800 acres and 6 kids who divide the land equally. Then each kid has their own number of children to divide their part eventually. Or one child buys out another child etc. There are no real specifics.

Mineral laws vary from state to state also. Mineral rights I own in Louisiana could be lost if the land does not produce petroleum over a given period of time since I do not own the land. Mineral rights I own in Texas are never forked over - unless I sell them - and I won't.
 

rusty

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Here in WV you can either own, buy land by the acre or lot .
 

Brandonm22

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Our property is in rural Alabama. We are "allowed" to divide it any way we want to divide it. I can legally sell you 1000 square feet (or less) out of a 428 acre tract. That said, the county health department is not obligated to approve your septic tank application. Without an approved septic system you won't be allowed to build a house on that property. Depending on the site, you can either get approval for something as small as 15,000 square feet or if a property really has perc problems or flooding problems there are LARGE tracts where you can't build at all. You can still sell the land though. It is up to the buyer to make sure that the sale is contingent on a positive perc test or actual formal approval of a septic system.
 

SRBeef

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There are more and more local, usually county wide, zoning requirements that limit how small land classified as "agricultural" can be subdivided. This is often in 20 acre or 40 acre minimums. To get anything divided smaller than that it has to be rezoned from ag to residential. That usually has a significantly higher property tax rate.

To be rezoned to residential more often now you have to be adjacent to a town. This is to avoid farms in the country suddenly being divided by the owner into 5 acre lots, houses built and then the new buyers start complaining about how they want city services like fire, police, water, sewer, nearby schools etc and then the whole county's tax rates go up.

It is also to try to preserve the ag nature of some farm ground outside of metro areas.
 

Brute 23

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There are kind of 3 ways to give a legal description that I know of.

1 Metes and Bounds, this is what is mostly used in Texas. It just means you start at a point and use a description to decribe the property boundaries.

2 Rectangular Survey System, this is used mostly in the central and western part of the US. It works off of principal meridians that run vertical and base lines that run horizontal. It starts in big portians, ranges, and breaks down into sections, then on down.

3 Lot and Block Number, this is used in subdivision plats.

In the United States every state has its own laws when it comes to real estate. Land in Texas is not usually square so we use metes-and-bounds with some old deeds still in sections.
 

Jogeephus

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I think this this only applies to the original 13 colonies, but we are set up on land lots and districts. Land lots are normally 490 acres but some are larger and some are smaller. These lots are grouped into numbered districts. The lots themselves can be broken into parcels. Parcels can be any size or any shape you want. Small parcels sold for houses are also called lots.

Also, you can divide your land up as many times as you want. Actually have seen a small piece of land that held a tree that owned itself. Fella got his first kiss or something under it so he set a trust up to pay the taxes on the 36 ft2 of land the tree stood on.
 

Horseless

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In Montana things usually sold by the acre. But of course they are listed many different ways. In Montana anything sold less than a 160 needs to go thru a subdivision. Many Ranches that are sold may not even list acres, it will proabably say how many cows it will run. Usually higher than it can actually run. Some of the lands around here have BLM allotments, state lands and even parcels of indian land. You need to do your research. (If it has a creek, river bottom for sale, those are just reserved for the out of staters with the deep pockets. Ag. production means nothing) Most farm ground lists the acreages. As far as terminolgy used when describing acreage it depends where you are from. If someone talks about quarters, you must be a Canadian. Common terms here are: sections and half sections or sometimes a 160, and even more rare 80's and 40's. Land has become more blocked in as neighbors buy out neighbors and locals just refer to places as the name of the person who previously owned it, not really knowing the acreages.
 

Brandonm22

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Fortunately, we do not have county wide zoning in most Alabama counties (Jefferson is an exception and I am pretty sure Madison also has county wide zoning and most of Shelby county is now zoned). In a city limits (and not every city has zoning) that is a whole different game and the rules differ from city to city as each council is free to write their own zoning laws (and they change on a whim). There to split a parcel you "generally" have to submit a subdivision platte to the city planning and zoning board. Their engineer will then review it and if he gives a positive review the board will hold a public hearing where every wackoe in the neighborhood will condemn you and your family for runing their lives (don't be shocked if they are the scummy bunch in the 1962 singlewide with the 10 stray dogs and 8 cars they are parting out). Usually it comes down to who scares the zoning board more you (and your attorney) or the ten people who are screaming about traffic and their quality of life. If the board gives you permission to divide the parcel you are free to pursue construction. The county health inspector has to approve your septic tank permit and you have to present that to the city building inspector. You will then have to submit building plans that comply with that health dept permit, state building codes, and city zoning codes and a ~$1000 (depending on city) to get a building permit. If you have to build roads and underground utilities as part of a platte that is a seperate building permit and (in most cities) all work has to be finished before you can get the house building permit. Most developers build in phases so they are constantly getting zoning board plattes approved, submitting building plans, paying for permits, etc.
 

hillsdown

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Thank you for all of your responses and in site..It is interesting to see how each state, county operates differently in regards to property divisions.. :)
 

Workinonit Farm

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In my area, at one time each parcel (be it 1,000 acres or 10) had been "assigned" certain amounts of 'division rights'. Depending on if the land is zoned agricultural, residential or commercial will determine how those rights can be used and for how much space. For example, in one county, land that is zoned agricultural can be divided into lots sized no smaller than 10 acres each. In an adjoining county, that part is the same, however, one can only divide their land 3 times once every ten years. Lots of beurocracy and red-tape, codes, etc.

(the above is a very simplified example)

Katherine
 

Howdyjabo

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Here you can buy or sell whatever you want-- it was just recently that they upped the specs for septic systems that now pressures buyers/sellers to at least find a good perk site for each piece.
I was told by a county commissioner(county is run by one yuppy area) that it was unfair for us farmers to tie up so much land. They want pretty little 10-40 acre farmettes.
Things keep going the way they are and they will probably get their wish :(
 

Workinonit Farm

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Howdyjabo":33bsie5y said:
.
I was told by a county commissioner(county is run by one yuppy area) that it was unfair for us farmers to tie up so much land. (


:shock: :shock: :roll: :roll: :mad: :mad: :mad: :roll:

Katherine
 

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