Do you have an easement on your property? Be sure with a land survey.

Easements can affect property values significantly. In other cases, easements do not affect property values at all. Knowing if there is an easement on your property is essential, as is knowing the type of easement and any restrictions that might come with it.

Definition of easement

An easement is a legal right granted to a specific person (or company) to use a portion of your property for a particular purpose. While most easements either have no affect on property value or a negative impact on property value. However, while rare, they can positively affect your property value.

Types of easements

Easements come in 2 basic types.

1.      Easement in Gross

An easement in gross can be granted by the owner of the property to a specific person for a particular purpose. This type of easement does not transfer with the sale of the property. Meaning, if you sell the property, the new owner does not inherit that easement, and the person who has that easement must be granted a new easement by the new owner. This type of easement does not generally affect your property value.

2.      Easement Appurtenant

An easement appurtenant can affect your property value, as it “runs with the land.” That means anyone who buys that property will be bound by that easement. This type of easement can affect your property value, as well as limit your use of the property affected by the easement. These types of easements must be recorded with the county. A land survey will be able to find any of these and mark their exact position.

Amongst these types of easements, there are particular subtypes, including:

  • Express Grants
  • Reservation Easements
  • Affirmative Easements
  • Negative Easements
  • Utility Easements
  • Public Easements
  • Easements by Necessity
  • Prescriptive Easements
  • Easements by Estoppel

Are easements always limited to a specific area on property?

No. The most common type of easement and the most common type not to be precisely restricted to a specific limited path on your property is a utility easement. Utility easements are granted to utility companies to be able to come onto your property to read meters and work on utility poles and lines. Obviously, this type of easement is an easement appurtenant. It cannot be terminated by the landowner. Usually, there is no restriction as to your use of the property, other than not being able to block access to meters and poles. Occasionally, there may be an easement by a utility company where the line runs underground. In this case, there is a limit to your use, as you cannot develop that piece of land. Barring underground utilities, this easement does not affect your property value.

Conclusion

While this is not a comprehensive description of all easements, you can see it is essential to know of any easements that affect your property. When buying property, easements should be listed in the title paperwork. However, to be sure, a land survey is in order. A land surveyor not only measures land; they also examine past records to be able to report any easements. Due to the complexity of laws concerning easements, consulting a real estate lawyer is a good idea when granting an easement. When granting an easement, getting a land survey can help define the area involved. And, the land surveyor helps with recording that easement. For best results in Texas, call Realsearch of Texas. We provide a good product at reasonable rates. No surprises.