What is an easement and how does it affect my property value?

What is an easement?

If you’ve ever purchased real estate it’s quite possible that the property may have been subject to an easement. Easements are common and a lot of properties have them without the owner even being aware of it.

The easement is something that is included in the legal description as well as other documents when you purchase real estate  but you may not be aware of it unless you read the fine print.

An easement is a property interest that allows the easement holder to use property that he or she does not own or possess.

It does not allow the easement holder to occupy the land, or to exclude others from the land, unless they interfere with the easement holder’s use.

The person who owns the land is allowed to use the easement and they can also prohibit everyone else from using it except for the holder of the easement. A common example of this that I see when appraising homes is a driveway that goes across one person’s property to get to another one.

This is not uncommon when a portion of a larger parcel is sold off and the easement is put in place so that a driveway can be created to provide access to the interior lot from the street.

 

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