Before a real estate transaction is complete, one of the key questions you want to ask is simple: Does the property have an easement? Most of the time, the answer is no. However, if it does, it’s important to understand what it means.
The right to use the property
Generally speaking, an easement means that someone else has a right to use the property. It’s still your land. However, they can use it under the guidelines set up in the easement.
Right of way
One of the most common types of easements is a right of way. It means another person can cross over part of your property and you cannot impede this use.
For instance, perhaps your property cuts your neighbor off from the main road. His or her driveway runs up to the back border of your property, where it connects to your driveway. Your neighbor has an easement granting him or her the right to drive down your driveway to access the road or the rear property.
Does it impact you?
If you’re looking at a property with an easement, your first question may be whether or not you have to abide by it after the sale. It depends. In some cases, easements are written so that they’re just between two specific property owners. In other cases, they’re attached to the land, meaning that whoever buys the land has to agree to the easement at the time of purchase and must honor it.
As you can see, it’s very important to know exactly what you’re agreeing to before finalizing a deal.
Source: Realtor.com, “What Is an Easement, and Why You Might Have to Share Your Property,” Cathie Ericson, accessed March 06, 2018