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What You Should Know About Easements

It’s very important to know what easements exist on a property, for both buyers and sellers. But what exactly is an easement, and why should you know about them?

A gas line sign marks the location of underground utilities, included in easements

An easement is a written agreement for someone, usually the city, county or a neighbor, to use a certain part of a property for a specific purpose. Common types of easements include right-of-way easements, utility easements, public easements and conservation easements.

 

Right of way easements give someone, typically a neighbor, the right to use your property to pass through onto their own. This is especially common when one property blocks another from a public road, or in the case of shared driveways. Utility easements give utility companies the ability to use your land to deploy, well, utilities. These often include burying electric, internet or television cables or installing sewer or water pipes. Public easements are used for anything deemed to be public land, such as parking lots, sidewalks or parks. These can be similar to HOA easements, which may require you to use part of your land as a sidewalk or another area for use of other HOA members. Conservation easements are dictated by the government, if they determine that your land has a significant reason to be conserved. These often include historical sites, historical homes and wildlife conservation efforts.

 

Overall, easements aren’t exactly the worst thing in the world. But they do dictate how much and for what purpose others can use your land, and perhaps even what you cannot do with your own property. Easements must be disclosed when a property is sold, lest you come home and find the city electric company digging up your newly-landscaped driveway!

 

As Realtors we investigate easements for our clients to determine if there will be any adverse effect on the use of their property.  With our experience we can show you normal easements almost on every lot like utilities and to complex access easements.  These are a few more reasons one should hire a professional when navigating the complex process of buying or selling real estate.  Making decisions on such a large investment merits a thorough investigation as to what that includes.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.

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