There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re purchasing a home. For example, when completing a title search, you might unearth information that you didn’t expect. You may learn that the property you’re interested in purchasing is subject to an easement.
An easement on a home means that someone else has the right to use part of the property in question. One of the first things you’ll need to do if you learn that there’s an easement is to find out what type it is and for what purpose it is being used.
Appurtenant or in gross easement
Easements are labeled as either “appurtenant” or “in gross.” An appurtenant easement is attached to the land and you will have to abide by its terms when you purchase the home. An in gross easement exists between two parties, so the easement won’t automatically transfer to you when you purchase the home.
Purpose of the easement
The purpose of an easement is another consideration. There are several purposes for easements but two are more common than others. Most easements either function for right of way or utilities purposes.
A right-of-way easement gives someone else permission to use part of your property to access theirs. This is a common arrangement when properties enjoy shared driveways. A utility easement is one that allows a utility company to use part of your property for lines or other service needs.
Easements don’t take away from the ownership of the property. If you purchase a property that has an easement attached to it, you still have full ownership of that property. The easement simply allows someone else to use part of it for a specific purpose.
Some easements may include terms in re: payment to use the property. You’ll need to find out if the payments will transfer to you once you purchase the property. In some cases, these payments may halt once a sale is completed.
Making sure that you protect yourself throughout the home-buying process is crucial. This includes learning about things like easements so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Partially for these reasons, having someone on your side who can review documents and help you to protect yourself throughout the home-buying process is a good idea.