Creating a family compound
My father’s mother’s family emigrated from Germany and settled in Wisconsin. Several related families formed something like a commune with farmers, a butcher, a storekeeper and enough talent and diversity to survive on their own. That’s how my grandmother was raised as a child, one hundred years ago. About fifteen years ago I sold a farm in Greene County to a retiring couple. The property had two homes in need of work and nearly 200 acres. Today, three generations live there separately but together with kids growing up thinking it’s normal to walk up the hill to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. In those moments of quiet reflection when real priorities surface, utopia might feel like that to you. It does for me.
More and more often I’m hearing from clients who want to have the ability to provide a home site for each of their children should they ever want or need to be close again. It’s a beautiful idea as a plan or just a possibility but there are some important things to keep in mind as you browse through listings. In most counties, a division right is required in order to build more than one single family home on a property. Counties differ widely in how they allocate division rights. Even when division rights are available there are additional criteria imposed by VDOT concerning access and by the health department regarding septic suitability. Beyond that there may be covenants and restrictions prohibiting further division or easements upon the land that are more restrictive than county ordinances. Most counties are more lenient with family sub-divisions than with commercial projects but it’s important to know what rights convey if you are thinking of sharing your land with family or friends.
These are the kinds of questions we get from time to time where we really can help as you narrow down the properties to look at. We’re a lot more than a data portal. We really know this ground and can keep you from wasting your time. So, ask your country property expert about division rights, soil suitability and land planning. If you don’t have one, I’ll be happy to help.