Zig Zags, Dog Legs, Spaghetti Lots...How Not To Subdivide Land In Maine.

Real Estate Agent with MOOERS REALTY ME Broker License 106759

Land in Maine, its always big, low cost but over the years some botched surgery happened in the subdividing, carving up, slicing off process.

maine lake photo Back in the 1960's before subdivision guidelines enacted for planning boards to approve, modify or reject, it was life on the open range with try to use some common sense. Or not. Spaghetti lots, bowling alley parcels happened when say a 200 acre block of land with a half mile of road frontage or less got "sliced and diced". 100' wide and a half mile deep boils down to just shy of 6 acres. 26 little solidiers of Maine land lined up, peddled at city hotels with colored maps, enticing eye candy images on an easel. A night of marketing to folks invited in to hear the sales pitch. About how great Maine is, how cheap the Maine land was and still is.

Apollo Equities, Land Auction Bureau, Sunshine Acres of America, Holiday Properties...all names that a Maine real estate agent, broker, REALTOR stumbles on and over at the local Aroostook County Registry of deeds. No survey pins or blazed side lines.

And just determining from one far away end, working your way down the line of the property trough where the piglet you bought is required a lot of surveying skills.

And if too much land was sold off, the last property buyers came up short no matter what their Maine real estate land deed indicated for size or road frontage. Maine is a race notice state so the order of the deeds carving up the pie in the registry determines who gets left holding the bag if we come up a little short.

As you walk in to your 6 acre lot, immediately you start to ask, am I still on the narrow highway heading a half mile back and on the right angle?

Boy scout merit badge or not, these little maine land viewcreations caused lots of controversy, confusion later on in life as they get exchanged, traded, sold, resold.

Dog legs another Frankenstein operation where there is not much road frontage and "L" shaped swerves around the out parcels on the road happens. So instead of four sides that is hard enough to determine without a survey plot plan mylar in the field, you have multiple "200' feet general westerly" deed calls. Followed by running parallel to some reference in two earlier deeds you have to look up.

It's like a pirates treasure map on the back of Lucky Charms.

Except whether you win the decoder ring, xray glasses or not, the stakes are way way higher. What do I own, what did I buy, where is my property is a sick, sinking feeling for someone forking over big money without a clue on where the land, property is on the face of the earth.

One town, Mars Hill Maine had a ratio regulation that the land division made could not have parcels more than 6 times longer than the width. One clever but deceased lawyer decides to make a zig zag course a maine land aerial photoNASCAR driver could not negotiate at even slow speeds, in lower gears. And then on the back end a square "chunk" added to avoid the real estate radar "tilt light" from coming on. These parcels looked a little like poly wogs with several kinked, twisted, winding long tails.

In Maine it also used to be okay to make as many 40 acre lots as you wanted and those "pieces" did not count as a subdivision parcel created in a five year period.

The state of Maine did not want more than two pieces under 40 acres in that five year period. Period.

For more on the Maine subdivision guidelines law, do your home work with a professional, experienced Maine real estate agent, broker, REALTOR to be safe, sure, up to speed. Here is a Maine land example of how to cut up, divide a property the right way and maximize the return, make it an annuity. Not everyone needs a 100 acres and the smaller lots says are in demand.

Maine, she's big, she gets hold of your heart and never lets go.

I'm Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers


Comments (6)

Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Andy, Just another reason to have a local REALTOR who understands how things are done!

Oct 20, 2010 02:14 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker


Oct 20, 2010 03:38 AM
Maurice McLaughlin
Nations Princeton-Nassau Inc. d/b/a NATIONS - Naples, FL
Maurice McLaughlin

What a GREAT part of our country...flag post Lots and all. The towering trees and pristine landscapes are amazing...Currently in NAPLES, Florida...saw my first MAINE licence plate of tourist season today..

Oct 20, 2010 03:25 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

We have snowbirds that come and go like brown barn swallows. (tweet tweet)

Oct 21, 2010 01:26 AM
Ruth Vogt
Fairway Independent Mortgage, LLS. Equal Housing Opportunity. Regulated by the Division of Real Estate. - Colorado Springs, CO
719-592-0855 Apply 24/7 www.ColoradoHomeLender.com

I knew it! I knew it, Andrew!! See... you DO in fact have great colors this time of year.  :)

Oct 21, 2010 08:00 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Ruth, can not pull the rug over your pretty blue eyes. You got me on the full color of Maine on this one.

Oct 21, 2010 08:10 AM