An easement is a legal agreement between the property owner and a non-owner to utilize the property in some fashion and an important concept to understand when buying investment land. Two examples would be a shared driveway easement or a utility easement. Your name is on the deed, but your neighbor or utility company has the right to use a portion of your land as the easement states. It is important to be aware of the easements that affect your property or property you are about to purchase.
So how do you go about finding easements?
Easements are typically recorded at the county recorder’s office and they are public record if you would like to research easements for yourself. Searching for easements can be difficult, especially if parcels have changed owners multiple times. Some easements can go back over 100 years and require some extensive legwork to find. Ordering a title report with your local title company or the services of a real-estate attorney would be well advised.
What are the different types of easements?
The most common are utility easements and private or right-of-way easements. Utility easements may include the use of power, either underground or overhead, phone/data, gas lines, well/public water and sewer lines. Private easements could include driveways, walkways or paths and access to bodies of water. Some of these easements require some sort of service agreement to be recorded with the easement. One example would be a shared driveway. The service agreement would state who is responsible for proper maintenance of the driveway and how often service is to occur. It would also include any costs associated with servicing the driveway and who is responsible for them.
How does one gain, remove or adjust an easement?
Easements are typically granted or removed by a binding written document between the parties involved in the home sites or property. Some examples would be a shared well that is no longer in service or a shared driveway that is no longer in use. If the original easement was recorded, it is required for the removal or adjusted easement to be recorded, as well. Typically, some form of compensation is given to the property owner that is allowing the easement.
Easements can be difficult to find and are often overlooked. This can sometimes be costly in cases of adding to a home or pouring a concrete driveway. To learn more about easements contact an expert member of the Land Wealth team.
During your research into a parcel of investment land for sale you have probably run across the term “plat” associated with it. Plat is a term for a survey of a piece of land to identify boundaries, easements, flood zones, roadway, and access rights of way. It is the legal description of a specific piece of real property and is required if land is to subdivided for building homes, creating parks, and setting aside rights of way. Any change to the plat creates a replat which is still a plat.
This makes it sound like every piece of land is platted but that isn’t the case. Platting only occurs in subdivided land and finding out if your property is platted is pretty simple. If the deed describes the land by lot numbers within a subdivision, it has been platted. If the land is described using metes and bounds, it has not been platted nor subdivided.
When you are purchasing property the title company will often include a plat map of the subdivision and parcel with the preliminary title paperwork. This is very important to read and keep for future development on that property and to learn exactly where easements and other set asides are placed to eliminate any future headaches and extra work if the municipality comes in with a new roadway or utilities.
The plat map provides you with a tract number and probably the name of the subdivision itself if the builder has given one. The lot numbers for each parcel in the subdivision will be shown along with the approximate lot dimensions. The plat map shows you the shape of the parcel, an especially good piece of information if it is irregular. Pie shaped and many sided parcels may have been carved out depending on the shape of the original investment real estate. The plat map gives approximate dimensions, great to know for sellers and buyers. The plat map also includes the builder’s lot number and a parcel number assigned by the county assessor’s office.
The definition of a plat pretty much tells you why plats are used. The term is a way to describe land in a way commonly used across not only the real estate and building industry, but also for legal purposes. Most states and local jurisdictions require subdivided lots to be platted prior to building or sale. As you may have guessed, platting has fees associated with it.
Understanding plats is one of the most basic requirements of dealing in real estate. The plat tells you exactly what you are buying, what you have to sell, and what to take into account while planning the development of that lot. To learn more about plat maps give Gratia Group a call at (239) 333-2221.
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|97 MARKER RD ROTONDA WEST FL 33947
|255 ROTONDA BLVD S ROTONDA WEST FL 33947
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