What to Know When Splitting Parcel/Property

So, you need to split a parcel. What do you need to know before you begin ?

  1. The very first thing you need to know is: “Are you allowed to split your parcel.”

Now, you may be thinking, “This is my property (or properties) and I can do whatever I want with my stuff!”

This is true… only to a certain extent. Aside from the vast majority of property having the following gem included in the legal description (you don’t have to read the whole thing, just read enough to get the gist) 
“EXCEPT all oil, gas, other hydrocarbon substances, helium or other substances of a gaseous nature, coal, metals, minerals, fossils, fertilizers of every name and description, together with all uranium, thorium or any other minerals which is or may be determined by the laws of the United States, or of this State, or decisions of courts, to be peculiarly essential to the production of fissionable materials, whether or not of commercial value, and the exclusive right thereto, on, in or under the above described lands, shall be and remain and are hereby reserved in and retained by the State of Arizona…” (this topic will make for a great follow up blog post.)
Things like city zoning and HOAs may have legal precedence to prevent you from accomplishing the goal splitting your parcel.

Fantastic! You’ve already verified that there’s no conflict with the city and your property is not part of an HOA. Great work!… So, what now?

2. The next vital piece of information you’ll need is 2 new legal descriptions. Without legal descriptions your attempts at splitting your parcel will be ambiguous at best.

That’s right, 2 legal descriptions. If you have that deer-stuck-in-the-headlights look about you, you’ll probably want to contact a local land surveyor.

Legal Description; CHECK! You’re rockin’ and rollin’ right through this process.

3. Next step: Tell the county to change their records accordingly.

This does not mean call up the county assessor and say, “Hi, it’s me. Go ahead and change my parcel into two parcels, please.”

The county will require a document to be signed, notarized and recorded before they even look at you.

The cleanest way we have found to accomplish this goal is by recording 2 deeds (one for each of your new legal descriptions), from yourself to yourself. In this document, is where you showcase your newly acquired legal descriptions.

4. Now that it’s been recorded, what can you expect?

This varies depending on how clear your recorded documents and legal descriptions are… If you have us quarterback your parcel split, we have a good relationship with the local county assessor and will email your recorded documents to the appropriate office for speedy parcel number assignments!

RECAP: Splitting a parcel is quick and easy if you know the playbook. But, if you feel more like a blind captain of the USS Bumper Boat, it always helps to lower the sails and ask for directions.