Your Legal Rights at Work

Don't Let A Property Easement Scare You Off — Learn About These Details, Instead

by Lewis Hamilton

Having your real estate attorney inform you that there's an easement on a property that you're thinking about buying may automatically discourage you from further considering that parcel of land. While it's true that the presence of an easement can be a concern, it's not one that should automatically end your consideration of moving forward with a purchase offer. Instead, ask your real estate attorney to provide as many specifics about the easement as possible; he or she can do further investigation and let you know about these details. You can then assess what you learn and make the best decision about how to proceed.

Size Of The Easement

Property easements come in a variety of sizes, so you shouldn't automatically be concerned when you learn that there's an easement on the property that you're thinking you might like to buy. Your real estate attorney will give you a variety of specifics about the size of the easement, which you can then keep in mind during your next visit to the property. For example, an easement to allow a single-lane driveway across the edge of your property is much less of a concern than a larger easement designed to accommodate a stretch of railway line.

Location Of The Easement

The location of the easement is also integral to evaluate before you make up your mind about how you'll proceed. Your attorney can show you the positioning of the easement on a map of the property. You'll also want to visit the property, perhaps with your real estate agent, to walk around the area and visualize the location of the easement. In some cases, the easement may be marked with stakes in the ground. An easement that runs parallel along the edge of the property is less of a worry than one that cuts diagonally across a section of your property.

Use Of The Easement

You'll also want to learn about the use of the easement so that you can assess how much of a hindrance this might be for you. For example, if the easement includes space for a utility tower and an access road running to it, this may be more obstructive to you than a driveway easement. When you learn the type of the easement, you can evaluate how busy the area might be, and this can play a critical role in helping you to make up your mind about the property.

Be sure to consult your real estate law professional with any questions or concerns you might have regarding a property easement.