Lot Size for Expansion

While you may be satisfied with the lot size and your home, you may want to expand on the lot by adding an outdoor shed, a room or a stand-alone garage. The lot size of the property also partially determines if you can expand on the existing buildings within the property lines or add new structures on your land. City codes and state laws apply, so always be aware of your local codes and laws.

8. Professional Survey Services

Even though this may be the most expensive option for obtaining the area size of your site, the hiring of professional survey services for your property should also be the most accurate option for obtaining an area.

Even though the property deed should already include an accurate area of your property, the preparation of a professional survey plan might still be a good idea if you believe that the property deed might be incorrect.

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How to Read the Deed

The deed will contain a description of the property and the measurement of each of the lot’s boundaries. For a small fee, the county records office can print out a copy of the deed if you don’t have one on file. Or, you may be able to find it online.

The purchase papers or preliminary title report will include a scale map that shows the property and the surrounding lot borders. If a property survey report was completed, then it will also show the neighborhood property lines, often in more detail.

The county assessor office’s official website may have an online copy of tax records and lot sizes. This can save you money and time if it’s available.

How Lot Size Is Calculated

To calculate your lot size, you need to know its value in square feet. After determining this, convert the plot size into acres and compare it to other land plots.

Here are the basic steps to calculating lot size:

Step 1

If the land plot is square or rectangular, the first thing to do is measure its length and width in feet.

If the plot is triangular, you can divide it into a series of right triangles. Once divided, measure the height and base for each right triangle.

Step 2

To get the area of a rectangular plot in square feet, multiply the length and the width. 

For example, if a rectangular plot has a length of 115 feet and a width of 120 feet, the lot size will be 13,800 square feet.

For triangular areas, multiply the base and height from Step 1 for each triangular section. Divide by 2. Then add the result for each triangle together. 

For example, a triangular plot is divided into right triangles A and B. A has a height of 40 feet and base of 20 feet, and B has height of 30 feet and base of 40 feet.

Area of A = (40 x 20) ÷ 2 = 400 square feet

Area of B = (30 x 40) ÷ 2 = 600 square feet

Total area of the triangular plot = 600 + 400 = 1000 square feet

Step 3

Divide the number obtained in Step 2 by 43,560. The number 43,560 is a constant used when converting square feet to acres.

From the above rectangular plot example, 13,800/43,560 would give you a lot size of 0.32 acres.

For the triangular plot example, 1000/43,560 = 0.023 acres.

6. Tax Map

Your local municipality might have copies of tax maps that from which you could read lot areas. These maps could be hard copies for which you would have to visit the municipality building in person to review the maps. These maps might also be scanned copies that you could access through a municipality website.

Second option

The second option requires documentation or a deed which will traditionally include information regarding the size of your lot. Either with detail or with figures you can use.

Using some online calculators, sometimes you can input the dimension information including width and length, and calculate the total surface area of your lot.

This can help you come up with a single number which can help your metal building company find the best fit for you.

Of course, this is the preferable option if you have access to the information. Just be sure that the information is up to date, and there haven’t been changes or additions to the size of the lot since then. However, it is the case that sometimes this information is simply not available.

Why Is This Important?

If you have a hard time finding your subject property, your buyers are probably going to struggle too, and they don’t have to struggle if you can give them some easy answers.

It’s a pretty regular thing when my buyers ask me:

  • How do I find this property?
  • Is there a “For Sale” sign on-site?
  • Are there any stakes in the ground?
  • Are there any other markings on the property so I’ll know where it is?

When I get these very reasonable questions, I simply tell them:

“There are no signs or markings on the property BUT, you can print off these high-resolution parcel maps and take them out to the site with you. These should give you a very good indication as to when you’re standing on the actual property.”

I might also give them the address of the property next door (which I can find quite easily with the county’s GIS mapping system). This way, they can plug that address into their GPS and drive right to it.

With these kinds of parcel maps and instructions – people are almost always able to find where the property is located. So the next time you go through the trouble of finding your property with your county’s GIS mapping system – be sure to save some pictures for future reference!

3. Measure Your Lot Manually

This method is probably the most time-consuming as it entails manually measuring your lot by walking its perimeter. It’s possible to go the old-fashioned way by going around your property with a measuring tape; however, it takes a lot of time and is prone to errors that affect the overall math.

If you insist on this method, be sure that you’re meticulous all the way.

Here are directions on how to use a phone app to do it:

Boundary Line Agreements

Boundary line agreements are written legal contracts between neighbors made to settle disputes over property boundaries. They vary slightly by state, but the point is to have a way where property owners can agree on property line usage outside of going to court.

Boundary line agreements are not the same as boundary line adjustments. Boundary line adjustments are made when property owners want to exchange land, redefining the property line between them, typically done without involving money. Boundary line agreements are specifically used when there is a dispute over land and its use.

One of the most common reasons for a boundary line agreement is when a neighbor has encroached on your property by building a structure on it. Often, this issue is only made known because you did a land survey for another project and discovered your neighbor built on your land.

In order to retain the title to that piece of property, you can create a boundary line agreement with your neighbor. In this agreement, your neighbor acknowledges their mistake in encroaching on your property and you allow the structure to remain standing. This allows you to retain legal ownership, your neighbor to use what they built and for you both to stay out of court. You retain the right to the property and if the structure is torn down or destroyed, the neighbor must rebuild it on their property.

If you wish to cede the property to your neighbor, you can file a boundary line adjustment, though you’ll need to pay review fees, and the process takes longer than an agreement. Regardless of your decision, you need to do something if you ever intend to sell or transfer the property. A neighbor’s structure on your property may make things more complicated the longer it goes unaddressed.

What is lot size

Lot size, as the name suggests, refers to the size of the land that your property is on. Typically, it is expressed in square feet or in acres. Of course, it is a metric for understanding how large the property actually is.

Sometimes you might purchase the lot and receive all of the essential information regarding how big it is, or sometimes you might inherit land and may not be able to find this information immediately. In situations where you do not have access to the size of your lot, you might be wondering how you can find this information.

Luckily, there is still a solution.

Using specific technology available today, you can either ascertain the dimensions based on satellite images, or use a calculator to work out things like surface area.

How To Find Property Lines

Find your property line by visiting your local county recorder or assessor’s office. You can access public maps of your street and locate your boundaries.

Many counties also let you access property lines online. If your property is on platted land, you may be able to access the plat maps online. (A plat map is that of a town, section, or subdivision that indicates the location and boundaries of individual properties.) These maps show aerial views of your property, as well as detailed measurements of its dimensions.

Finding Out Your Lot Size

An essential initial step in most projects is a grasp of the square footage you’re working with; this is, most times, the foundation upon which other processes involved in construction are built. Furthermore, without proper knowledge of your land area, you can’t figure out the building type that best suits you or how big it should be. 

Getting accurate dimensions or at least close to precise measurements saves you from spending a lot of money and time re-evaluating your plans because of getting the wrong dimensions.

What Is the Right Method for You?

The right method for you depends on your preference. You might be more comfortable using a smartphone than using a measuring tool or vice versa; however, you must esteem accuracy over preference. Measuring the lot in a precise manner should be your utmost priority.

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