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Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

Easements question

I've finally come across a house that we are considering putting an offer on, but it has a 20' drainage easement in the back of the property. Considering the property length is ~240' I feel it's a pretty big chunk. Supposedly it's some sort of a buried pipe and according to the tax assessor's map all properties in the development have a 20-30 foot easements. According to the seller's disclosure there is no water in the basement, however they do have a sump pump.

Speaking with a realtor they are making it seem that it's not too big of an issue as long as I don't build anything permanent on or near the easement. My concern however is that both properties to the sides of this one have fences and this one doesn't, so if I put up a fence and the township needs access, someone's fence is going down, and again according to the realtor, if that happens it's my responsibility to put it back up and deal with any damage.

Is there something else with these easements that I am missing and should be aware of?

Thank you.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

You probably would not be allowed to build a fence there. What does the deed say?



mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to Dodge

In Texas a fence isn't considered a permanent structure.

Your mileage may vary


Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

said by mityfowl:

In Texas a fence isn't considered a permanent structure.

Your mileage may vary

But if they need to take it down they won't put it back up. I'm also assuming that they won't be too careful about taking it down.


Zorack

join:2001-12-14
Fayetteville, WV
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Dodge

I would consider looking for another house,that easement might bite you in the butt one day(If you still want that house,ASK more questions) and as to the no water in the basement thing,I would make a surprise visit when it is raining and if you can see in the basement from outside see if there is any water standing-that sump pump is there for a reason.
--
Matt Barlow Rules! Bring him back to Iced Earth! \m/



John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to Dodge

I had a similar easement at the rear of my old house in PA due to the presence of power/phone/cable lines and telephone poles. And, all of my neighbors already had fences when we bought the place. I put up 6' vinyl privacy fence with a 12' gate on the one side of my property so whichever utility company needed to get in there could drive right into my backyard to access the area. A few years ago after an ice storm, a piece of tree branch fell on the power lines and was burning in mid-air while dangling from the wires. The power company and fire department had no problem getting in there to address the issue.

My parents still live in the house I grew up in. They have an easment because the sewer lines run across the back of the property. My father fenced the yard in almost 40 years ago and hasn't had a problem. He also has a large gate on the one side so any crews would be able to get their equipment in. That's what gave me the idea to do the same at my place.

Here at my new place in FL, I have 6' easement down the one side of my property and another across the back. There is nothing there, either above or underground. I was told that these easements were put in as a "just in case" thing should a future need arise to put anything there. My yard here is fenced, and the side and rear fences are right in the easement. Hopefully, nothing will cause me any issues in the future.

In your case, since the easment is 20' - the buried pipe is probably quite a bit inside your rear property line where you'd actually have the fence.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to Dodge

No big deal imho. Easements for drainage shouldn't be any problem, if you put up a fence be aware that it might have to be taken down at some point and you'd have to pay to replace it.

As for water in the basement, look carefully for any signs of water marks on the walls, columns, stains on stuff stored down there or a REALLY fresh coat of paint. The presence of a sump pump itself isn't an issue, every house I've lived in had one and only one house ever had water issues.

Finally, if you do put money down, pay for a camera inspection of the house's main drain. That will tell you volumes more than whether the house merely has a sump pump, or not.



davidg
Good Bye My Friend
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-15
none
reply to Dodge

check with the utility, and your real estate lawyer(you are using one for the purchase right??), it varies state to state and municipality to municipality. I know around here if they have access thru a gate that is enough for them. They will only remove a fence as a last resort, and even then the utility needing access will usually put it back up.

2 years ago the transformer serving my parents house and the other 5 houses around them had to be replaced due to now being undersized. Entergy had to remove part of their privacy fence because the crane truck would not fit into the back yard. They scheduled it with my mom, showed up at 8 AM on the day scheduled and were gone by 3PM. they took down 1 gate post and 1 section of fence, then when done they reinstalled it using quick set concrete into a larger hole. In reality they put it back better than it was, as the post had settled some and was leaning before they started.
--
Lack of Preparation on YOUR Part does NOT Constitute an Emergency on Mine!



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

said by mityfowl:

In Texas a fence isn't considered a permanent structure.

Your mileage may vary

But if they need to take it down they won't put it back up. I'm also assuming that they won't be too careful about taking it down.

Around here they'll give you at least 30 days notice so you can take it down yourself. If after 30 day's the fence is still there they remove it and its' at your expense. If they need emergency access they will pay to replace it here but typically they don't do much damage.
--
What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. - E. Cleaver 1968

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
reply to Dodge

Almost all property's in a city or town will have an utility easements. If once day it has to be dug up, then you deal with the aftermath on your own is all it means .. whether new SOD or fence to be re-installed, which isn't that big of a deal



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by guppy_fish:

Almost all property's in a city or town will have an utility easements. If once day it has to be dug up, then you deal with the aftermath on your own is all it means .. whether new SOD or fence to be re-installed, which isn't that big of a deal

Any property that touches anything maintained by someone else has easement. Most people don't know the city has easement to like 15-25 feet from the road onto any property.
--
What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. - E. Cleaver 1968

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1

Yup, just saying the same thing, its normal and expected


Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27
reply to Dodge

I am actually trying to compare 2 houses right now, but having an issue as it's turning into comparing apples to rockets.

House 1: Built '85, 3 yo roof, finished basement with 2 rooms in there unfinished, 1 holding utilities and one has perimiter drain, sump pump and was used as a work area. The utilities room has no sign of water, neither does the main area (although there was a dehumidifier hidden in the closet), the area with the sump pump has some signs of water around the drain, but not major. The kitchen needs a total teardown including appliances. The deck in the back is not maintenance free, but is in good shape, although will need to be re-sealed. This is the house with an easement. The back of the property where the easement is, is covered in trees.

House 2: Built '68, new siding, new Andersen windows, basement is a small area with utilities in it (no living space down there at all). The basement material is sealed cinder blocks (same as the other house). This one has a perimiter drain, but no sump pump installed and no sign of water whatsoever. Bathrooms need to be ripped out and master bedroom will probably need walls moved (not load bearing) to redo a moronic design of the master bath (but that's not urgent). This one has a heated in-ground concrete pool (the subject of one of my other posts).

The houses are roughly the same design, but house 1 is about 30-40 grand more expensive. Location wise they are both in nice neighborhoods, but house 2 is on a cul-de-sac (sp?) So now I am agonizing what to put an offer out on. So I guess the actual comparison boils down to what's more of a pain in the ass / expensive to do, 3 bathrooms or 1 kitchen and whether the easement is going to be an issue, which according to the realtor it won't be, but according to my gut feeling it will be.


guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

This is a personal decision

If these were the only two homes on the planet, would pick house 2 and get rid of the pool, cul-de-sac means better location, and you can never fix a location!.

Not having living space in basement is just smart, more times than not, basements have huge issues when remolded for living areas. Old homes in general are built better, have better locations

Now I wouldn't pick either, that my personal choice



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

Make note that a finished basement isn't worth too much value wise. If your lucky you'll get like $25-30 a sq. ft. and since it's below grade none of the rooms there couldn't towards the general living area.

As far as 3 bathrooms or 1 kitchen the answer is 3 bathrooms. The kitchen is the most expensive room in the house by a landslide. Just granite counters or cabinets by themselves can cost as much as redoing one bathroom each.

You have easement in both properties as well. It's just one easement vs 2 easements.

Personally I won't buy a house with a pool or a fixer upper kitchen so both houses would be off the table for me. I can't really help you pick though. It's up to you to figure out if you like one over the other or want to keep looking.
--
What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. - E. Cleaver 1968


Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

said by Draiman:

...
You have easement in both properties as well. It's just one easement vs 2 easements.

The property with the pool is not showing any easements on the tax map, why do you think there is 1 vs 2 easements?


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to Dodge

I'd go with house 2. That 30-40 grand savings will cover remodeling the bathrooms and probably whatever you want to do with the master. As has already been said, doing a kitchen costs a fortune.

And, I'm partial to having a pool. It was an absolute must when I bought my house in November.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

said by Draiman:

...
You have easement in both properties as well. It's just one easement vs 2 easements.

The property with the pool is not showing any easements on the tax map, why do you think there is 1 vs 2 easements?

They are on a public street right? That grants the city easement on the front. It's implied so you won't see it on any tax map but call the city and ask them. They'll confirm how much of an easement they get off all public roads.
--
What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. - E. Cleaver 1968

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to John97

Guy here at work redid his kitchen. Cost was $30k-$40k. And it took weeks and weeks and weeks.


Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27
reply to Draiman

said by Draiman:

said by Dodge:

said by Draiman:

...
You have easement in both properties as well. It's just one easement vs 2 easements.

The property with the pool is not showing any easements on the tax map, why do you think there is 1 vs 2 easements?

They are on a public street right? That grants the city easement on the front. It's implied so you won't see it on any tax map but call the city and ask them. They'll confirm how much of an easement they get off all public roads.

You are right. I just checked with the realtor and they said that there is an implied 20' in front. So on the house that has a 20' in the back it also has implied 20' in the front, effectively removing 40' from the property.

Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

Guy here at work redid his kitchen. Cost was $30k-$40k. And it took weeks and weeks and weeks.

In all fairness the kitchen in house #2 is updated not upgraded. The apliances are brand new SS. Cabinets are low end wood stuff and counters are double corian. So basically livable for a few years.

Also just found another gem of information, both houses have carpets (hate carpets, plus have allergies), however house one is carpet on plywood, house 2 is carpet on hardwood. So i'm guessing, refinishing hardwood that's already there should be less costly than putting new one on.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

I have some rooms with carpet over hardwood. The hardwood under the carpet looks brand new after 28 years. Although I suppose it has a lot of holes in it from tacks holding the carpet padding.

Seems to me that you're leaning towards #2, assuming you want the pool.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

said by Bob4:

Guy here at work redid his kitchen. Cost was $30k-$40k. And it took weeks and weeks and weeks.

In all fairness the kitchen in house #2 is updated not upgraded. The apliances are brand new SS. Cabinets are low end wood stuff and counters are double corian. So basically livable for a few years.

Also just found another gem of information, both houses have carpets (hate carpets, plus have allergies), however house one is carpet on plywood, house 2 is carpet on hardwood. So i'm guessing, refinishing hardwood that's already there should be less costly than putting new one on.

They install tack strips with nails into the hardwood floor for carpeting. The carpeting was removed in our house before we bought it so they could claim hardwood floors. They had it professionally redone as well. I didn't notice the HUNDREDS of small holes in it until after we bought it. You don't notice them unless you really look but the hardwood is ruined. Your mileage may vary but just a heads up.
--
What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. - E. Cleaver 1968

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

We have other rooms where the carpeting has been removed. The holes don't bother me. I wouldn't say the floor is ruined.


Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

1 recommendation

reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

I have some rooms with carpet over hardwood. The hardwood under the carpet looks brand new after 28 years. Although I suppose it has a lot of holes in it from tacks holding the carpet padding.

Seems to me that you're leaning towards #2, assuming you want the pool.

To be honest I don't know what I am leaning towards. Pool is nice, but you guys scared the living crap out of me in the other thread about maintenance

I've never owned a house before, so everything scares me right now. Easements, basements flooding, trees falling, pools cracking, plumbing exploding, etc.. is starting to slowly replace the great feeling of finally buying house with a black and white picture of a post-apocalyptic world


Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Dodge

I'd go check out house #2 and scrutinize the every living heck out of the foundation for rot, settling, overloading. Should be fairly easy since it is unfinished. I'd also get a feel for the roof life on that one as well, as you didn't mention its age.

All those things pending well, I'd heavily lean that direction.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

We have other rooms where the carpeting has been removed. The holes don't bother me. I wouldn't say the floor is ruined.

The only way to fix the holes is wood filler then stain it slightly darker so they blend in. No amount of sanding will go that deep. I'll take pictures and post them tomorrow.

There could also be deep stains you can't sand out like pet urine or a spill. Again you need to stain darker to hide that stuff.
--
What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. - E. Cleaver 1968

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to Dodge

That's why you have insurance! Actually, easements are no big deal,* although I wouldn't live anywhere near a petroleum or gas pipeline.

* I'm surprised that you're worried about 20' out of 240'. 220' isn't big enough for you? The house where I grew up was on a 75' x 100' lot, so I guess it's what you're used to. Remember that bigger lot means more grass to mow!



mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX

2 edits
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

said by Bob4:

I have some rooms with carpet over hardwood. The hardwood under the carpet looks brand new after 28 years. Although I suppose it has a lot of holes in it from tacks holding the carpet padding.

Seems to me that you're leaning towards #2, assuming you want the pool.

To be honest I don't know what I am leaning towards. Pool is nice, but you guys scared the living crap out of me in the other thread about maintenance

I've never owned a house before, so everything scares me right now. Easements, basements flooding, trees falling, pools cracking, plumbing exploding, etc.. is starting to slowly replace the great feeling of finally buying house with a black and white picture of a post-apocalyptic world

I have had my house on the end of a cul d sac for 25 years. I have a volleyball pool I built.

I think I have a 14' easement on a not quite 1/2 acre down the side but it's never come into play.

Over the years I have had a lot of visitors and guests but I love it here and everyone likes visiting. I have a sense of privacy that people with a 3x more expense can't achieve. 'stick with the cul d sac.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

You are right. I just checked with the realtor and they said that there is an implied 20' in front. So on the house that has a 20' in the back it also has implied 20' in the front, effectively removing 40' from the property.

I wouldn't imply that, at all. The street easement isn't likely to ever be an issue, it's there in case the city needs to work on the pavement or, possibly, a buried sewer, water or gas line. Possible, but the odds are very small.

The rear drainage easement isn't likely to ever be an issue, either. The fact that it's 20' wide almost implies that the pipe is entirely inside your property (easements often are center +/- 10') so a fence at the back of your property wouldn't even be an issue.

All in all I'd put those easement concerns way, way down on my concerns list.