What is an Easement and Why it is Good to Know When Purchasing a Punta Gorda Home

What is an Easement and Why it is Good to Know When Purchasing a Punta Gorda HomeWhen you are purchasing a Punta Gorda home there are several things you will want to pay attention to about the property. One of them is seeing if there are any easements on the property.

What is an Easement?

A property easement allows access to your property within your legally zoned boundaries to the use of a third party. It is most often limited in use and regulated to a portion of the property. The most common types of easements are often in regard to utility companies placing utility access points on private property. The most commonly known might be electricity. If you have ever seen one of those greenish square poles on someone's property this is to access electricity in the area and gives the local utility company providing electrical services the ability to come onto that piece of land to access the greenish square pole. 

Other properties may have easements in the form of a shared driveway. This is common in homes that are built on smaller lots such as townhomes. In some cases, one townhome owner may own the driveway but need to let the neighbor access and use the driveway to get their car to their garage. 

Finding if there is an Easement on a Property

Before purchasing a property is always a good idea to know if there's an easement located within the legal boundaries of the property. There are a couple of different ways you can check to see if there is an easement on a property in Punta Gordo you are interested in purchasing.

The first spot to look is in the purchase agreement to see if the easement has been disclosed. If a property owner knows there is an easement on the property they should communicate this to any potential buyer before they sign a purchase agreement putting the property under contract.

However, if there's not a disclosure and there are not any known easements it is still a good idea to check into other areas during your due diligence. To make sure you know about any easements. You can check the following places to find this information.

Warranty Deed

The warranty deed will show if there are any easements on the property. Sometimes however a buyer does not obtain access to this document until the signed paperwork at closing.

Donald Payne of Vision Realty in Columbus Ohio shares a description of a warranty deed in a blog post:

"A general warranty deed is the most common deed used in home sale transactions. It provides the highest level of protection to a home buyer. Title companies will use a general warranty deed when they are able to confirm ownership of the property is free and clear of any discrepancies that would cause title issues. It proves to the buyer that the seller has full legal rights to sell the property as the correct and proper owner."

County Clerk

You can check property land records with the local county clerk's office to see if there is anything on the land records that communicates an easement on the property.

Local Utility Companies

Since it is common for many easements to involve access to certain utility structures contacting a utility company is a good idea to see if there are any easements they have access to on the property.

Have a Survey Conducted

This can cost a couple of hundred dollars but it could be beneficial. This helps a homeowner to know the official legal boundaries of the property and to know if there are any easements located on the land.

Title Search

If you were mortgaging your Punta Gorda home then the mortgage company will most likely require that a title search be done. In the title search information will be uncovered to see if there are any burdens on the property and it will also disclose if there are any easements within the property boundaries.

Why it is Important to Know About an Easement

An easement is important to know about on a property so that you are aware of a third party having access to your property. It will also help you when you plan to make alterations to your property in any way to know if you are able to alter it however you would like. Often an easement means that you own the property but need to keep it in its current condition so that it allows access at all times to the third party that has the right to access it. Some easements may allow for alteration but require notice to the third party who has rights to the use of the property.

It is also good to know the specific rights that a third party has to a portion of your land so that you do not get taken advantage of by the third party accessing a piece of your property. It can help to protect you and ensure that your land is cared for and used properly when you know where the easement is, the exact boundaries, and the exact usage rights the third party has.

It is always a great idea for any Punta Gorda homebuyer to research the property they are interested in purchasing thoroughly before committing to buying a property. A home is a large investment and you want to make sure you know what you're investing in. If you are interested in finding the perfect Punta Gorda home, I am here to help. Contact me anytime with any Punta Gorda real estate needs.

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