Buying a property without mineral rights?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ellebeaux, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    I was just reading that other post about Rocky Mountain Timberland and that got me to thinking:

    I was always taught never to buy property without mineral rights and sufficient deeded water rights. But it seems like people do that all the time. So is it a safe practice to do so? Has anyone ever had their land developed from underneath them? Their water taken away?
     
  2. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    In the state I live in this issue has been tested in the state supreme court more than once and the mineral rights owner has come out on top every time. I live in an area where there is lots of oil and gas activity and know of several cases where the surface rights owner owned no mineral rights. The mineral owners can come in and do anything they want to wheather you like it or not, they will make an offer for damages and if you refuse to accept they can go ignore you and tell you to sue them, it's a no win situation for the land owner, the time and cost to fight it is not worth it. I would never buy a peice of property for a homeplace without the mineral rights or at least 1/2 the mineral rights.
     

  3. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    On the other hand from a seller's point of view, would selling the property with the mineral rights make the property easier to sell and possibly more desirable? Our acreage with mineral rights included didn't sell this year even with gas well exploration happening on adjacent property. I can't imagine not owning the rights, and then having rigs somewhere on your land without receiving compensation. I will be watching the responses.....

    Nappy
     
  4. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to bump this, surely someone has had an experience with this? If not, maybe it is a good deal!
     
  5. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    The mineral rights are worth many times more than the surface rights. You are automatically disqualifying a large percentage of the countryside, if you insist on having surface and mineral rights both.

    And even if you own the mineral rights, they still might be leased to someone with development rights. The only thing you escape by owning minerals, and not having the minerals in a lease, is a huge monthly royalty check. You'll still have to deal with all the surrounding development...it just might not be on your place...

    About the only way you'd be able to find property with mineral rights, is for it to be in a place where oil and gas have never been discovered, or in one of the geological formations which forbid the existence of petroleum deposits... Or, you might find a fool willing to give up a gold mine... but those rubes are getting harder and harder to run up on.

    Would you sell mineral rights, that bring in more than the land is worth, each year? I wouldn't, and won't.
     
  6. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    I guess my concern was buying a piece of property in Montana and having someone come in and tear up my land and my home because they owned the mineral rights.
     
  7. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Elle,
    a lot of land in Mt is split estate, you own the surface, and either the govt. or a timber/railroad holding company owns the minerals.
     
  8. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I have owned properties that had easements on them. Sometimes for a road, or for power, or a water pipe. But I have never had a property that did not include mineral rights. Two different properties in California we had did not include the water rights {meaning that water running down from the mountain, did not truly belong to you and once it flowed into a canal it was owned by others hundreds of miles away}.

    My place now has a 2 foot dia fuel pipe running across it. It goes from the ocean, up to a closed down air force base [Loring]. 200 miles of fuel pipe for pumping deiseil. Not it has been flushed and is filled with high pressure Nitrogen [or so they say]. It cuts right through my forest.

    But otherwise I own all mineral rights. I even own full access to the riverwater that runs along one property line.

    :)
     
  9. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    How do you know if you own the mineral rights? We moved from our McMansion and I know that we didn't own the mineral rights because it plainly appeared in our title document. However, I have read through our title on our farm and I can't see anything about the mineral rights. Would there be specific verbiage to look for? We have the history of the land/house since 1860 when it was deeded from the government. Would there be a point where it says that the property was sold but not the mineral rights? Would the title indicate who does own the rights if, in fact, we do not?

    Thanks for the info in advance...

    T
     
  10. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Around here its very hard to find property that will allow you to also buy the mineral rights. I looked into it, but its all owned by the same family from ages and ages ago.
     
  11. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Boy that's a good question! Just because mineral rights are not on the contract does that mean they are implied or that they are not included! Did you do a title search when you bought the house?

    We need a real estate lawyer on the board!
     
  12. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    Your abstract might not show when the mineral rights were sold off. Generally speaking there is a point where the mineral rights ownership is split from the surface rights and then possibly further divided. The abstract for the mineral rights can be as long or longer than the surface abstract and so is usally not included in your basic abstract whatsoever. If you are lucky they might stamp it with "mineral rights omitted" just so you know. Regardless, the easiest way to find out is to call the county and ask.
     
  13. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    hunh. I'm going to see if I have mineral rights on my quarter acre. Just for curiousity. I live in a group of 20 houses, all on an old farm. The farmer's 3 sons also live on the road and own 9 of the houses between them.

    Not that I live in a big coal or gas area but there is gold in some parts of Virginia!
     
  14. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    My opinion: never, ever buy any land without full mineral rights. Why even take the chance that someone will come in and ruin everything you've done? IMO, that'd be no better than renting.
     
  15. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I live near Bozeman, MT, and mineral rights have been in the news around here a lot. There is a very pretty area to just to the east of Bozeman as you go over Bozeman pass called Jackson Creek that is mostly 20 to 80 acre parcels. A long time ago the mineral rights were sold off, so the property owners don't have mineral rights. An oil outft called J M Huber bought the mineral rights for about 20,000 acres of this land and want to develop coal bed methane. The residents protested, and after a few hearings, the county council voted to not allow the coal bed methane development. J M Huber is taking the county to court, and its anybodies guess how it will come out. I'm sure that if you Google for Jackson Creek Coal Bed Methane that you will find more details.

    Its my understanding that the way this has typically come down in MT is that the owner of the mineral rights must be given reasonable access to develop the minerals he owns, but that he can't cause excessive damage to the property. That kind of language obviously leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and cases have gone both ways. I don't believe they would ever allow intrusive mineral development in a residential area with homes on (say) half acre lots, but for 20+ acre parcels its much more iffy.

    We tried to check on whether we own the mineral rights to our property, and could not even find out. Selling off mineral rights does not show up on a regular title search or in your title property insurance. Finding out involves a separate search which is considerably more expensive than a title search.

    All that said, I don't think its really a very common problem in MT.

    Gary
    www.BuildItSolar.com
     
  16. kasilofhome

    kasilofhome Well-Known Member

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    In Alaska the Mineral right belong to the state of Alaska. As a resident of Alaska (there is a lenght of time residentecy requirement- Just a couple of years ect) I am a part owner of all the mineral rights in Alaska.

    The state is financial supported by the royalties. It was set up that a part of the surplus was tucked away and invested and a portion of the money is given out to each Alaskan resident. The yearly amount of the PFD (check your IRS tax for for a Special information for AK residents mentioning the PFD) The amount has varied from $500. to $1,064.

    Alaska, being on of the more rescent state's for Fathers saw that in many states the mineral rights ended up in hands of just a few "families" that got super rich. Being that Alaska was seen as having too small of a population to truly support it self via taxes- Schools cost money, ect. It was choosen to use the mineral right to create a State where the cost of goverment would not create an imposidable demand on the residents.

    In Alaska it works. New people who come to the state do get upset that they must wait the years to get the check but they must accept that while they are waiting the cost of police, hospitals schools, clean water, roads. fire protection is the benifit.
     
  17. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You not going to buy much rural land in ohio if you want mineral rights. Those were sold off long time ago.
     
  18. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This discussion on mineral rights is really appropriate and timely for DH and I. Just this afternoon a representative from an oil and gas exploration company came to our door and sat down at our table to inquire about leasing our mineral rights. "Everybody's doing it" around us, so why not? Now that the real estate listing on our property is over, we will benefit financially until we sell. Whether or not anything is found, when we do sell, the mineral rights will possibly be included in the sale.

    Nappy
     
  19. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you're a real expert on real estate, AS. Good luck finding ANY land at ALL with full mineral rights. With your attitude, unfortunately you will probably never own land. BTW, diagonal and horizontal drilling may be going on underneath you right now.
     
  20. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    In WA and CA, it's a lucky few who find land with any surface water rights. Around here, land is even being sold without underground water rights (which means you can't drill a well). Water rights are typically owned by the big cities or the Indian tribes. We have 2 creeks running across our property - one runs year round, the other dries up in the summer. We hold surface water rights to the creek that dries up, along with subsurface rights for a well. Paid an extra pretty penny for those surface rights, too.

    Also realize that if you don't use your water rights for 2 years consecutively, you lose them. Even if it's bare land you're not currently living on or farming, if you have water rights on it sink a pipe in or turn on the hydrant at least a couple times a month. Also, keep any and all documentation you have showing consistent use of that water - just being able to show that an orchard was present on the land 100 years ago and had to be irrigated helps when the state comes around with questions.