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#1384537 - 05/02/08 06:47 AM
Can anyone explain unplatted land to me?
Moe Szyslak Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 05/01/08
Posts: 505
Loc: MN
I am looking at a lake lot that says it is in an unplatted subdivision. I looked up the land on the county website and did verify that it looks to be part of a large plat. I dont see any information regarding an association. Has anyone had experience with this?

NOTE: I have been waiting for a response from the county for a couple of days but havent heard anything back yet.


Edited by Moe Szyslak (05/02/08 06:47 AM)
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#1384603 - 05/02/08 07:23 AM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Moe Szyslak]
sparcebag Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 06/18/06
Posts: 4359
Loc: Minn
This is not exact but close;First to subdivide,one goes to the county pays a fee and requests permission to divide the land to parcels,If granted a permit is registered.Thats unplatted sub division.Next the landowner needs to hire a surveyor,get the roads and lots surveyed to standards,then after surveyed it is reviewed by county to meet standards,If accepted it is platted.
If your buying this lot Beware of unsurveyed property lines! It does'nt have to be a association,a single owner can subdivide.
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#1386628 - 05/03/08 05:44 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: sparcebag]
GoFish4 Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 134
Loc: Carlton County, MN
Basically the land property lines have not been drawn yet. County ordinance will decide lot size. More and likely the owner will draw the lines after to maximize the lots available.
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#1387505 - 05/04/08 04:56 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Moe Szyslak]
Jackpine Rob Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 1679
Loc: stump creek, MN USA
Platted property is described in the County's real estate records as a Lot/Block/Plat Name. For instance, you would have Lot 1, Block 2, Happy Acres.

Unplatted property is described in terms of Section, Township and Range. Most lakeshore property is further shown as being part of a Government Lot (basically a quarter section that ain't quite big enough to be a perfect 160 acre square due to the shoreline). Some of the descriptions of unplatted property that has been subdivided (not at all uncommon by the way!) can be quite lengthy, and a guy needs to sit down with a good map (preferably a good survey also) to find out the shape and location of the property. A simple example of an unplatted lakeshore lot might be:

That part of the West 300 feet of the East 600 feet of Government Lot 3, Section 15, Township 31N, Range 20W lying northerly of the northerly right of way of Happy Acres Trail.

Word to the wise here. Any time you are messing around with rural real estate, and especially recreational lakeshore, you need to do your homework and get good advice. DO NOT TRY TO SAVE A FEW BUCKS on the transaction. A competent real estate attorney who understands and deals with recreational lakeshore on a regular basis is not a bad idea. Getting a survey done, especially in unplatted lands - is a VERY GOOD idea.

Dealing with any lakeshore, but more particularly with unplatted property, there is a potential for you to have access issues (does the road in go over the land of someone who could later gate you out), boundary line issues (does your sauna sit half on the neighbor's lot), and even size issues (is your lot really as big as you think it is. Over the years, I have run into all of these and more - and I've even worked on subdivisions where everyone was mistaken, and nobody's cabins were where they thought they were - most sitting on at least part of the neighbors' property! Those types of situations are not "normal" but happen often enough. They cost enough to fix in terms of attorney's fees and such that you really don't want to buy into a situation like that.

Oh yeah, and unplatted property is not likely to have any sort of "owner's association".

Most real estate transactions nowadays run through title insurance companies, and you can protect yourself from financial harm by getting an owner's policy of title insurance, and making darn sure you get survey and comprehensive coverage in that policy. Again, buyer beware - any title person with a lick of sense is going to exclude survey coverage on unplatted lakeshore unless they get a current survey that meets industry standards to rely on.

Ask questions, get good advice, and you'll be better off in the long run.


Edited by Jackpine Rob (05/04/08 04:59 PM)
Edit Reason: Drinking heavily and committed typographical errors - darn Diet Pepsi!
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#1387569 - 05/04/08 06:08 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Jackpine Rob]
Tom7227 Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 4385
Loc: White Bear Lake
So if the subdivision is unplatted I guess you have to wonder what hunk of ground you're buying. I am not sure how it works in a condo or something but if I was sprining for lake property it would be nice to know that a. it's on the lake and b. which hunk of the X acres it contains.

Frankly it sounds to me as if some rookie is speculating that he's going to find enough people to buy into this setup before he goes through the expense of surveying the land and recording the plat.
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#1387624 - 05/04/08 06:49 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Tom7227]
Moe Szyslak Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 05/01/08
Posts: 505
Loc: MN
Well, the specific land I am looking at was subdivided in the 60s. There are 4-5 subdivided lots that have had trailers placed on them. Some have now been replaced with small cabins. Just trying to understand what I would be getting into. The suggestion of researching access issues is a great one, it might play into this lot.

Thanks all
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#1388786 - 05/05/08 01:49 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Moe Szyslak]
Moe Szyslak Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 05/01/08
Posts: 505
Loc: MN
Ok, is there a good resource for understanding different property designations (residential vs. seasonal res rec) and understand each or their limitations? Also, homestead vs non-homestead?

I found another property with a 36ft 5th wheel, a well, and electricity but its on a non-buildable lot. I looked up the info and it states its a non-homestead and property type seasonal recreational residential. Would it be appropriate to ask these questions to the county? city?

I would like understand:

A- Can the lot be modified to build a cabin and become homesteaded?
B- its on a bay that looks quite shallow and becomes overgrown in the summer. Can the bay be dredged out at cost? (guessing this is a DNR question)



Edited by Moe Szyslak (05/05/08 01:50 PM)
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#1388840 - 05/05/08 02:14 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Moe Szyslak]
eyehunter Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/31/02
Posts: 831
Loc: mn
 Originally Posted By: Moe Szyslak


I found another property with a 36ft 5th wheel, a well, and electricity but its on a non-buildable lot. I looked up the info and it states its a non-homestead and property type seasonal recreational residential. Would it be appropriate to ask these questions to the county? city?

I would like understand:

A- Can the lot be modified to build a cabin and become homesteaded?



My guess on this question is that the lot is not big enough for a permanent structure, meaning that the building setbacks don't allow for enough room for a permanent structure to be built. The fact that it has a septic and well for the travel trailer is just that it is required for a trailer to be parked there for the whole season and this maybe what the parcel is zoned for. As for modifying the lot, my guess would be that you would need to buy additional adjacent land to make the lot buildable. If the parcel is within the city limits of whatever city, that's were you would check, if it is not in city limits, contact the county recorder.
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#1389313 - 05/05/08 07:45 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: eyehunter]
Tom7227 Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 4385
Loc: White Bear Lake
I would suspect that the 5th wheel with a well and a septic does not conform with modern regulations, but there may be many places where regulations don't count.

There could be all sorts of reasons why it isn't buildable - not big enough, not enough setback from the water, soil is poor and couldn't be built upon. Sounds like a bad move for what you want.

Seasonal recreational and homestead are property classificitions used in the property tax system. You have to live someplace to homestead it and you get a pretty substantial break on the property taxes that way. Seasonal recreational is probably taxed at a much higher rate. Talk to the count tax people.

Finally, [PoorWordUsage] would freeze over before you got the green light to dredge out the lake.

It's empty or with a 5th wheel for a reason. If it was a good property it would already have a cabin on it.

You may have better luck, and avoid some serious mistakes, by finding a real estate person to work with and have that person find properties for you to look at.
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#1389898 - 05/06/08 08:39 AM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Tom7227]
Hammer Handle Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 1349
Loc: MN
Many "cabins" and "lake homes" are illegal...and the owners don't even realize it (or do and hope to not get caught).

There seems to be a lot of regulations on lake lots, but few people enforcing the rules.

When it is purchased, it will have to be surveyed and you may find some "surprises".
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#1391304 - 05/06/08 09:43 PM
Re: Can anyone explain unplatted land to me? [Re: Moe Szyslak]
trailratedtj Offline
Sr IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 281
Loc: Mound, MN
another question...is the land your looking at in the process of being platted? Has the plat been filed and waiting on approval by the county?
There is a reason it is not platted but you said it has been subdivided. if the land has been subdidvided by the owner then there is a survey somewhere showing this..if not runaway. The original piece of land has to be surveyed then proved to be correct, then subdivided by a professional surveyor and then can be platted and filed as subdivided land.
There wouldnt be an association, there would be a owner of the whole parcel of the land thats been subdidvided. Most plat's lots are sold by the owner to individuals. If its an actual platted subdivion in a county of city then ammentities of the subdivision is usually dedicated to the city or county and then the county or city can accept if it meets there approval. You then basically pay an assocation fee by way of being taxed by the county, city, and or state for usage of the ammenties. the ammentities being roads, water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and so on...
hopefully this makes so sense and hopefully i am interupting your question correctly, or maybe im taking out of my "toothless one".

i dont know the full details of the land your looking at which makes it hard to explain the reason its "unplatted land". like i said its platted it just might not be filed yet. Being a surveyor its hard to even get a city or county to look at a plat and approve of it within a reasonable time, its always on thier time and not yours...so being a future buyer of the land your time could be even more worthless to them.
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