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bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 11:21 AM
My wife and I are starting the process of finding property and building a house. We are getting 5 acres, but it will require an easement from a neighbor. I think there is already an easement for the property but I am not sure. Would the courthouse have this information? If no easement exist, do we just go to the property owner and ask for one? Should I take beer?
I am just trying to figure out the process of getting an easement if one is not already in place.

Thanks in advance...

sfitzgerald351
03-29-2005, 11:27 AM
An easement for what? Driveway, dock, sewer line....? How to ask for an easement depends on what you want to do, how well you know the neighbor, etc... But in the end it's usually just a negotiation to come to terms.

The existing deed will have any easements recorded on it and if you don't find any look up the deed previous to the current one as sometimes they get left off if the lawyer did a sloppy job. The easement will usually be recorded against the neighbors deed and just referenced in your deed. So pull the past 2-3 neighbors deeds and see what they say as well.

Any good courthouse / land registrar employee should be able to help you find the deeds you need quickly. Look online as well. I know here in Massachusetts all of the deeds, plot maps, etc... have been scanned in from like 1988 and are available online with a nice search function. Much easier than going into the registrar's office and looking through the books manually.

bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 11:31 AM
Thanks Scott.
Sorry, should have mentioned what the easement is for.
It would be for a driveway. We would have to have a septic tank and well since the property is in BFE. Power is already ran to the vicinity.

planoboy
03-29-2005, 11:34 AM
Do not buy it until you resolve the easement issue.
You can not build on it unless you can get to it!
The easement has to be formal, documented on deed and plat, unincorporated area or not. not a verbal deal.

JEREMY79
03-29-2005, 11:37 AM
Planoboy-- Very good point we got into that mess with a farm one time. Be sure it's in writing.

bcampbe7-- whats wrong with BFE? I have lived there all my life.

east tx skier
03-29-2005, 11:46 AM
Usually, the information you need will be available from your County Clerk's office (at least in Texas). The above info is good. Make sure it's in writing. You don't want to be landlocked and you don't want to fight about it later.

Leroy
03-29-2005, 11:48 AM
I wouldn't take a beer to any of my neighbors in TN, if I wanted them to ever talk to me again, maybe a small bucket of fresh vegetables or fruits. ;)

While it should be on the deed, I would bet it isn't and then I would put it back on the present owner to get that added to the deed before you will consider closing. How does he expect you to use it? He's selling you damaged goods!

east tx skier
03-29-2005, 11:59 AM
I'd invite them to dinner at your house over taking them beer (unless you know they really like beer).

bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 12:02 PM
Well it's a long story and I was too lazy to type it out previously...

Short version:
My father-in-law is giving us 5 acres of land. We picked-out a 5 acre spot of about 40 acres in this particular area. The easiest way to access this land is with an easement from the neighbor. We could access the land from another area of my F.I.L's but it would be one hellava driveway through a cow pasture. That may be the route we have to go...

Thanks for all of the info. I definitely would/will not do anything without it in writing.

Jeremy-Nothing wrong with BFE. I would MUCH rather be there than in a subdivision.

I will check with the County Clerk's office.

Thanks all...

bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 12:03 PM
I wouldn't take a beer to any of my neighbors in TN, if I wanted them to ever talk to me again, maybe a small bucket of fresh vegetables or fruits. ;)


The fermented kind?!? :D

sfitzgerald351
03-29-2005, 02:36 PM
Okay, so go check all the deeds of the surrounding property and see if there are any easements in existence... My guess is probably not.

If not you'll have to go talk to the neighbors and see if they will grant you an easement (or more likely sell it to you since the easement can potentially decrease the value of their property). Get the easement in perpetuity since having it expire if you sell your property renders your property almost worthless. And yes, get it all surveyed (by a professional land surveyor) and recorded on all the deeds.

bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 03:17 PM
I am by no means an artist but here is kinda the way it is laid out.
This is not to scale but the our easement will be about 50 additional yards to the easement that is already in place for the land owner to the left.

djhuff
03-29-2005, 04:06 PM
Be careful here, you are going to be tagging on to someone else's easement, that may pose a problem if they ever sell to a developer or want to change the agreement. You want to make sure you have the rights (or a portion therof) all the way to the road. also, some counties where I am from require any driveway with more than 2 houses on it have a street name, and I am not sure what that does to the easement status.+

bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 04:13 PM
Great info DJ, yet one more thing I did not think about...

sfitzgerald351
03-29-2005, 06:13 PM
Get some advice on shared driveways... Who pays for upkeep, liability, etc.... Don't know the answers to that one, but it might be complicated.

My question now is why that piece of land? Do you really want the aggravation of dealing with other people to get to your house? I live in the city so I have to deal with people, but I can't wait for the day when I can do what I want and no one can complain. Seems like the advantage of having 5 acres is that people will leave you alone. By going for an easement and sharing a common driveway you now have to deal with people. Another thing to think about is that the current people may be nice, but you never know who they might sell to...

planoboy
03-29-2005, 06:24 PM
Everyone is different, BUT, food for thought...
I have known more than one idividual who moved too close to his father in law. all but one divorced now. my neighbor went thru this same exact thing. Wound up running over the good samaritan's dog in his own driveway on the way to his new property. The good samaritan that granted the r.o.w. does not speak to his new "neighbor". sure it was an accident, BUT.
God bless the child that's got his own. (blood sweat and tears)

bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 08:17 PM
My question now is why that piece of land? Do you really want the aggravation of dealing with other people to get to your house? I live in the city so I have to deal with people, but I can't wait for the day when I can do what I want and no one can complain. Seems like the advantage of having 5 acres is that people will leave you alone. By going for an easement and sharing a common driveway you now have to deal with people. Another thing to think about is that the current people may be nice, but you never know who they might sell to...

It's the prettiest piece of land and it's free.

I agree with not wanting to have to deal with other people. We are still looking at having our driveway come from the F.I.L's back to "our" property. We would have to have a gravel driveway and an automatic gate (or cattle gate) to keep the cows out.

I found out after work that there was an indenture between the previous land owners for a road to access the area of property that we are looking at. Would this hold if it is in the deed? Or do easements disapear when a new buyer comes along? I would think it would still be valid.

bcampbe7
03-29-2005, 08:18 PM
Everyone is different, BUT, food for thought...
I have known more than one idividual who moved too close to his father in law. all but one divorced now. my neighbor went thru this same exact thing. Wound up running over the good samaritan's dog in his own driveway on the way to his new property. The good samaritan that granted the r.o.w. does not speak to his new "neighbor". sure it was an accident, BUT.
God bless the child that's got his own. (blood sweat and tears)

I told my wife that and she didn't find it funny... :)

sfitzgerald351
03-29-2005, 09:33 PM
It's the prettiest piece of land and it's free.

I agree with not wanting to have to deal with other people. We are still looking at having our driveway come from the F.I.L's back to "our" property. We would have to have a gravel driveway and an automatic gate (or cattle gate) to keep the cows out.

I found out after work that there was an indenture between the previous land owners for a road to access the area of property that we are looking at. Would this hold if it is in the deed? Or do easements disapear when a new buyer comes along? I would think it would still be valid.

Okay... I still say you should try somehow to get the land divided so that you own all the way out to a road. As for the indenture you have to read the deeds. I think you're at the point that finding a good land surveyor is a must. He'll be able to answer most of these questions and can also point you towards a good land attorney for the legal opinions. But start with the surveyor because they've seen it all. Make sure they are licensed and have been doing this for years. Also, call up the state licensing agency and ask about them. Get references. Call the local planning board / engineering board / conservation comission and ask about their work (if they haven't put work in front of a gov't agency for review find another one) There are a lot of bad surveyors out there (I used to work for an engineering and surveying company) so you need to ask around.

lakes Rick
03-30-2005, 10:02 PM
I told my wife that and she didn't find it funny... :)

Say goodbye to the wife as she will be at mommy and daddys alot.. And mommy will be by to get her to go shopping EVERY Saturday, whether you like it or not.... DAMHIK......

milkmania
03-31-2005, 12:38 AM
Another thing to think about is that the current people may be nice, but you never know who they might sell to...

you got that poop right!!!

Bongo
03-31-2005, 02:20 AM
I'm no lawyer or expert...

A properly filed easement is permanent, unless later rescinded by both parties and recognized by the controlling authority. That said, check to see if there are any. Then start negotiating with the party you want the easement from. And record everything you agree to that is important...in writing as part of the easement.

When I say "what is important"...who has liability, how direct costs are split, etc. Something, such as an informal agreement as to who will mow the side of the road may not be important and I wouldn't booger up the agreement with this type of information.

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I've got an easement on the property behind my lake cabin (in MN) for the drain field for my septic system. This was agreed upon 35 years ago, when the previous owner of my house built his place. I've got an informal agreement with my neighbor, allowing him to dump his septic into my tank, lift station and through "my" drain field.

The property behind my house sold; a farmer sold it to a wanna-be developer. I got a bit nervous, and talked to a good friend of mine who owns the biggest local realty company. "I wanna buy a lot right behind my place, because I want to make sure I've got a viable drain field." I exclaimed. (Ok, over-dramatized.) The wanna-be developer wants to break the 25 acre piece into 8 lots and build a house on each. With a road between the lots. (4 on one side, 4 one the other.) According to the wanna-be developer, the road will run across my easement and a house and/or garage may be built upon that easement.

"Relax." says my friend. He isn't going to get too far, unless he swings a deal with you. I "own" the rights to the drainfield. If I need to replace the septic system and rebuild the drainfield, the easement specifies that I pay for the damaged crop and not to exceed a specific "per acre" amount. I need to grade the soil in two layers, making sure topsoil is one top. Now...(let's pretend you purchased the lot, built a house and I needed to rebuild my drainfield)...how would you like it if I brought in my dozer, dug up your sodded lawn and concrete driveway. Then paid you the $50 in damages (not indexed for inflation, crop or other use) that my easement specifies as the maxium I need to pay. BTW, the road also goes across my easement, and my friend is highly confident the county will stop it before it gets built.

[Yes, I sent the wanna-be developer a letter inquiring as to the cost of a lot...and gently reminding him I have an easement. His reply acknowledged this, though also stated my easement is way too big for what I need. (Don't care buddy, I ain't giving up my rights.)]

Contrast that with the informal agreement I've got with my neighbor to allow him to use "my" septic tank and "my" drainfield. I'm a good neighbor and it is doing me no harm...so let it ride. However, what happens to him if I sell the place and the next owner decides not to honor this informal agreement? It isn't recorded with the court or in either property description. Unfortunately, my neighbor will have a nice house...but no way to dump his sewage. (He can't on his lot, given the grade.)

Just my $0.02.

Bongo

sfitzgerald351
03-31-2005, 02:25 AM
Good story. And about like how most go when it comes to easements in my experience. It might work for a while, but can be a big hassle, usually in unanticipated ways.

JimN
03-31-2005, 08:49 AM
Planoboy- 'God Bless The Child' was written and first sung by Billie Holiday.