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How can I confirm my property has an easement?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

When you buy a home, you want to be sure that there are no surprises waiting for you after you move in. An inspector may tell you whether there are physical defects with the home. However, you should also consider the possibility that your new home may have an easement.

U.S. News and World Report explains that an easement is the right of another party to use private property for a specific reason. Generally, an easement allows one or more people to cross over land to gain access to another property. If an easement would concern you, there are ways to find out if your property has an easement.

Ask the seller

Ideally, the seller of the home would tell you about any easements before you finalize the purchase. Still, it is possible the subject of an easement may slip the seller’s mind, so bringing up the question might cause the seller to recall an easement. This is also important because there may not be a written record of the easement. The seller may have made an oral arrangement with another person that you do not know.

Conduct a title search

A title search on a piece of real estate should reveal any title defects that could interfere with the seller turning over full ownership rights of the home to you. However, a title search may also discover property easements. Since title searches can examine community records, public records or court documents, this might be the most comprehensive way to uncover an easement.

Call in a surveyor

Asking someone to survey your property may help you confirm the boundaries of your land. In the process, you might also learn about possible easements. This is because a surveyor can look through land records to discover legal agreements to use your land. A survey may find other evidence of land use like encroachment or that someone has taken possession of part of your property.

It is important to get all the facts you need to know about a property before buying it. These steps may help in that regard when it comes to finding an easement.