Finding a Home For Sale Not in a Subdivision

There are a number of reasons why buyers might prefer homes that are not in a subdivision. Perhaps they would like a larger lot, prefer more privacy, or do not want to pay Homeowners Association fees. Even when they know what type of property they are looking for, it can be difficult to weed out subdivision homes when searching for available real estate. Working with an experienced real estate agent can help to pinpoint homes that match the buyer’s criteria and where to find them.

The Benefits of Subdivisions

For some, subdivision homes have multiple advantages. New developments offer the chance to own a brand new house without all the decisions involved in building. Buyers can simply choose from several floor plans and finishes to end up with a home that matches their preferences. New subdivision homes are usually completed around the same time too, allowing all of the homeowners to build a sense of community. 

Existing subdivision homes come with benefits as well, such as the charm of mature trees, and neighbors who have been there for years and watch out for each other. These older houses can also provide more square footage for the money and are likely to be in convenient proximity to shopping and other amenities. 

And then there are safety advantages, especially for children. Subdivision homes are in high demand for young families since kids can ride bikes without cars flying through, or safely play basketball in cul de sacs. Some subdivisions are even gated, bringing extra peace of mind to residents.

Advantages of Homes That Are Not in a Subdivision

For various reasons, some buyers prefer to live outside of a subdivision.  

More Land

Subdivision lots range from as small as .25 acres to an acre or two. A larger lot outside of a development allows for more privacy. While these homeowners might interact with neighbors in a subdivision nearby, they prefer to have no one living directly next to them. There are also buyers who simply want more yard space for the kids to run and explore, and some even choose to live in a rural setting where they can ride ATVs, go fishing, or own horses.


While not all subdivision homes are “cookie cutter,” some have the same layout, paint color, and square footage as the other ones on the street. Houses farther out of town or along a busy street are usually different. Unique features like custom stonework, arched doorways, and screened-in porches can make a home feel more personal and cozy to some buyers. 

No Homeowners Association

Many subdivisions have rules that every homeowner must follow. A committee oversees and makes decisions on what homeowners can have in the yard, how many cars can park in the driveway overnight, whether or not pools are allowed, and what kind of fence can be installed. There are also fees to having a homeowners association, ranging from $100 to $600 per month. These fees can be beneficial since they cover the costs of maintaining common grounds or plowing snow, but some prefer to avoid these costs by finding a home for sale not in a subdivision.


Because subdivision homes are in such high demand, their resale value tends to be higher. A similar home for sale that’s located on a main street or in a rural area is likely to be priced lower than in subdivisions nearby. Sometimes, this can allow buyers to get more bang for their buck.

What Types of Homes are Not in a Subdivision?

Even when buyers are sure they don’t want to live in a subdivision, they may be unclear about where to live or what kind of home they’re looking for. The right property is different for people who have kids vs. those who don’t, for those who prefer city life over country life, for those who want a new build vs. an existing home, etc. It is important to keep all of these things in mind before beginning a home search.

While some buyers are turned off by a subdivision, they may still enjoy living in another kind of neighborhood. Many suburban towns have single homes mixed in with apartment buildings and condos, along with schools, playgrounds, restaurants, and shops sprinkled in. There are also urban neighborhoods, where houses might be alongside industrial courts and office buildings. And in rural areas, there are homes that are not in a subdivision but could be within walking distance of a town, close enough to be considered part of the neighborhood.

Some homeowners prefer to live miles away from neighbors, perhaps along a country road or situated on a beautiful river bluff. These properties are harder to find, but the right real estate expert can locate them.

When searching for a home for sale that’s not in a subdivision, it’s a good idea to make a pros and cons list, especially when coming across these types of properties:

Older Homes

St. Louis is home to many wonderful turn-of-the-century and mid-century properties with lots of character, especially in the area’s most popular neighborhoods. There are also some incredible old farmhouses in Missouri and Illinois. While it’s easy to fall in love with the charm of beautiful wrap-around porches and cascading staircases, it’s important to research how many updates older homes have undergone. A thorough home inspection is essential. No buyer wants to discover that the plumbing needs a complete overhaul after moving into their dream home. A reputable realtor will do all the legwork to make sure that doesn’t happen.  


Many families featured on HGTV’s rehab shows have big-ticket dreams with low budgets. Instead of finding newer homes in neighborhoods that check all their boxes, the show hosts find older homes outside of city limits that are cheap and can be transformed into everything the family needs. Often, a home for sale not in a subdivision has more acreage, more privacy, and a new owner has more freedom to add or change anything they choose. Of course, not all of these transformations are realistic. Real-life buyers who decide to take on a rehab don’t have a staff of 20 who can flip a house within a week. Instead, they must have the time, energy, budget, and patience to take on a huge project that could last for months. A realtor can help paint a clear picture of the work that’s really required. 

New Construction

An empty lot outside of a subdivision is sometimes considered a goldmine. Starting from scratch allows a homeowner to build a custom home without the restrictions set by a homeowners association. But when it’s located on undeveloped land, there’s more that goes into building a new home than picking out countertops and windows. Building will require permits, locating utilities, and possibly even adding access roads – among other things. Before purchasing land, buyers should be made aware of all of these things. 

Image by dedivan1923 by
house for sale on large property

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties Can Help You Find the Right Home

Deciding between what type of community to live in is a matter of individual preference. But once your mind is made up, it can be hard to find homes that are not in a subdivision simply by searching on Zillow. All of our agents have relationships with other realtors across Missouri and Illinois and can find plenty of options to fit your lifestyle and budget. Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties and we will be happy to show you around. 

Cover photo by irina88w on

Previous PostNext Post