Although easements and right-of-ways are common in real estate transactions most homebuyers don’t know much about them. A general understanding of the way easements are created, what they mean, and how they affect your property could save you from a lot of unwarranted stress. How does an easement affect a property? It’s less complicated than you might think!
What is an Easement?
Easements are legal contracts, oftentimes permanent, that transfer with the property. In a nutshell, they grant someone the legal right to use someone else’s land. The most common cause of easements in Summit and Park Counties is to grant access to utilities, shared driveways, and trailheads. A utility easement gives local utility companies the right to use parts of a piece of land. For example to access electrical, telephone, water or sewer systems on a property. On the right is another example of an easement. In this example, the easement grants the owner of Lot B use of the private roadway on Lot A to access their property. If the owner of Lot A were to sell their property they would be required to disclose the easement to buyers and the easement would transfer to the new owners.
The other type of easement that you may encounter is called a negative easement. In this situation, it doesn’t allow someone to use your land, but it could prevent you from building a four-story house that blocks your neighbor’s beautiful mountain views. These types of easements are less common and designed to maintain a property’s access to light or view.
Can an easement have an affect on the value of a property?
Most often, easements don’t impact the value of a property. That being said, there are some potential issues that you’ll want to be aware of.
- An easement could restrict your ability to build structures on the land.
- If there are any unattractive wires or pipes placed by a utility company it could be a deterrent to potential buyers.
- Buyers may not be thrilled about the idea of others using their land, even if it’s done legally.
It’s always best to seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney if you have questions or concerns about a particular property. Every property and situation is different. It’s important to understand how the easement will impact your homeownership experience and an experienced legal expert will be able to offer you sound advice. It’s also important to note, if you encounter an issue with an easement on a property you agreed to purchase, it is possible to rescind the contract or negotiate with the seller. Working with an experienced Realtor and legal expert will be in your best interest.
How Can We Help?
We hope that you’ve found this information on easements helpful. If you need buying or selling guidance or help in the Summit or Park County area please reach out! We will also continue to provide you with relevant and up-to-date information here on our blog.
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