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Purchasing property? Check for easements and restrictions

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2017 | Real Estate |

Owning property is often far more complicated than it seems at first. Many property owners throughout the years have found what seems to be a perfect deal and signed on the dotted line, only to find that an easement affects how they may use it, or allows someone else access.

If you are considering purchasing a home or some other type of real estate, be sure to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process. There are many ways that a real estate deal can go sideways, and an unanticipated easement is certainly one of them.

An easement is the right to use a piece of property, a right held by someone other than the property owner. As you can imagine, if you buy a piece of property and learn later on that someone else holds a right to use it, you may have never bought it in the first place.

With proper legal guidance you can ensure that the deal you think you’re getting truly is a good deal. In matters of real estate, it’s always best to know exactly what you’re purchasing before it’s too late.

Easements and restrictions can ruin a deal

Maybe you think that you’ve found the perfect spot for the home of your dreams. Imagine how your plans for the place could fall apart if you buy it and find out that the city retains the right to tear up part of your yard to put in a sidewalk.

Perhaps you’ve found a decent parcel of land right outside of town and are thinking about the privacy fence you want to erect along the perimeter. You begin the project and a neighbor informs you that she has an easement on the property that gives her the right to keep access to the back 15 feet of the lot, for driving a work truck though from another road. Because of her easement, you now essentially do not control part of your property!

Similarly, you may have plans to make some major renovations to a home you’ve just bought. However, it is important to know about any restrictions that may exist on that property. Many towns in Pennsylvania maintain restrictions on renovations you can make to your own property, especially in metropolitan and urban areas.

Maybe you’ve bought a place with a decent lot and you’ve thought about building a guest house in the back, maybe to rent out on Airbnb or a similar home-sharing platform. Before making that part of your anticipated budget, make sure that you may actually build another structure. Even if you may build it, there are probably certain guidelines you must follow when you do.

Proper guidance steers you clear of disaster

Regardless of what your real estate plans are, you can benefit from legal guidance. Professional legal counsel can help you dig deep into the details of any real estate deal and make sure it truly is exactly what you want, while identifying any problem areas before they can derail the process. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights and make sure that the home of your dreams does not become a nightmare.