Easement question...can anyone help??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by JessieGirl, May 19, 2005.

  1. JessieGirl

    JessieGirl Well-Known Member

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    Hello there,

    DH and I are in the process of purchasing a couple of acres to build a home. The legal entrance for the property is very close to a wash and it is difficult to describe, but we plan to build on the property at the other end (the parcel is 660 feet long, and only 145 feet wide) away from the wash. We would like to have the driveway at the other end, closer to the homesite, and away from any possible flooding. The driveway is just dirt and could possibly wash away at some point in the future.

    One of the parcels of land next to us on the end we will be building on has this in their deed as a legal description "the SW corner of the NW blah blah blah.....except the south 30 feet." Any of you who have looked into things like this know that normally an easement is described in the deed as "except the south XX feet for roadway and utility purposes." or something very close to that. This piece of property sits between us and the major street that runs north/south, so we are set off of the street. We can access that the street that runs east/west, but that is right where the wash is, so we are looking for an alternate entrance.

    I need to find out what rights we would have, if any, for use on that property. We're only looking for a driveway, utilities could still come in on the other end, no biggie. Does anyone on here have any legal knowledge about what this verbage means? I'm going down to the County Recorder's office today to look at past deeds, to see if maybe a previous deed was more descriptive. If not, the only other thing I can think of is to ask an attorney's advice about it.

    I'm hesitant to contact the owner of the neighboring property yet, as I want to know first what that line in the deed was originally intended to mean. They only have 1 1/2 acres and probably wouldn't be too happy about us using the south 30 feet, unless that is what was intended when the land was split up.

    So my main question is, what does "except for the south 30 feet" mean? Is it a legal easement, even though it does not say what it is for?

    Thanks so much for any information you can give. I'm trying to avoid paying a lawyer's fee to find out about this.

    Jess
     
  2. to live free

    to live free Well-Known Member

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    it means what is says, would say deeded right of way if it were to mean a right of way. my 48 acres, is lot locked, i have a deeded right of way to my property, which also means the owners of the land my right of way crosses is also their responseability to maintain open, free of debris
     

  3. JessieGirl

    JessieGirl Well-Known Member

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    Thank you...but what does that mean? We don't have access to drive thru? Then what would it be used for?

    I appreciate any help!
     
  4. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    Best advise I could give anyone is to never count on an easement being for your personal use forever.

    What you are really trying to discover is for who's use is the legally defined easement at this time, right? Most easements are for the use of public road maintence (the 10'-20' of your property which boarders a highway etc.) or for utitlities -- power lines, and underground utilities such as electric, phone and water. Not that there aren't people who have purchased land which have access only over easements -- some people like to live with risks.

    Since the easement is on your neighbors property - the right thing to do is to talk to your neighbor about using it as access to your property - but be aware that any agreement you have with the neighbor, even in writing may not remain with the property (the easement can be taken back without written agreement to do so.)

    I know you will likely hate to hear this but what you need is an attorney to take care of this for you. Better safe then sorry, right?

    When we first looked at our property - the only access was going to be with an easement across the seller's land. Only offer for purchase I would agree to included the selling of the 900' x 50' stript now known as our driveway.

    Marlene
     
  5. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    You don't want an easement - you want to BUY it! All sorts of problems can crop up. GET A LAWYER NOW!

    MaryNY
     
  6. JessieGirl

    JessieGirl Well-Known Member

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    Actually right now I'm trying to determine if it's even an easement at all...I can't think of what else it would mean. It's not like the 30 foot strip was split off and still belongs to the previous owner...it's all owned by the same people.

    From what I understand, in Arizona it's not easy to get rid of an easement once it is in place. You have to petition the city, and they make you go get the approval of any neighbor who may need to use the easement. So I think (hope) that it is pretty safe...but I just can't be sure at this time that an easement was even intended there. It kind of makes sense though, because if our lot was split into (2) 1 1/4 acres parcels like most around there, then the "easement" in question would be a direct driveway to our back lot.

    Thanks for the info...my Mom did the same thing you are describing. She bought the back acre, but only WITH the driveway too...smart move. Unfortunately in this case it is a different owner.

    Jess
     
  7. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    That actually sounds like a deeded right of way. they are different than easements. You would need to check with a lawyer on your rights to use it. sounds actually like it is deeded to someone else.
     
  8. JessieGirl

    JessieGirl Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, a lawyer would be the best...any lawyer's on here? ;) We may just have to knuckle down and consult one. The thing is...the "easement" (or whatever it is) in question only lead to our property. There is no one else who could benefit from it. It leads directly to the middle of our 2.5 acres and then stops. I can't see why it would be deeded to someone else.

    Thanks for the information and advice!
     
  9. froggirl

    froggirl Feelin' Froggy

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    We have all sorts of easements with our property and on our property. I was so confused so I called the title company who has a person who only works with easements. He read the easements then labeled them A,B,C etc and then marked them on a map I sent him....really helped. He/she will be able to tell you if it's an easement or not also.
    Hope that helps!
     
  10. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    Our property is the same way. OUr legal easment is at the bottom of the property. We use a common road that all the residents us, however, if it weren't for the neighbor on my right, legally, no one could use the road.

    He found out when he bought his house, the only avenue onto our private road was actually owned by the first house at the beginning of the drive. That realestate agent advised him to get a quit claim from her so he could use that as his point of entry to his home...his easement is below our property line, too.

    Now if I wanted to be a bee-yach, I could cause some major problems for the apartment owner directly below us. They errected a wooden fence on the property line, covering our chianlink, where we had installed a gate. If I wanted to, I could call the county and they would have to remove that fence, because they are blocking our legal point of access to our yard. If I have any more grief from that tenat of the apartment that has been harrassing us, I just may go ahead and call the county.
     
  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Now, you have access to a road through your property. It just goes near a creek or something?

    But, you want to build a new road through someone else's property if you are able to claim this easement deal you found on someone else's proprty deed.

    I'd not be a happy neighbor if you came to me with this, have access to a road aready, but just want to run across 'my' property - easement in place or not.

    I think you would be known as the neighbor from heck...... Just something to think about.

    Now if I misunderstand & this property does _not_ have any other access to it, then that would be different.

    But I would put the time & money into upgrading the existing road, and not ticking off neighbors.

    IMHO

    --->Paul
     
  12. Philbee

    Philbee Well-Known Member

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    We have land locked property with two different easements to it. They are very specifically described, not like yours at all. Ours states that they can be used for regress and egress and also for utilities. We had a lawyer check out the paperwork on ours and we are glad we did. There were several things that needed to be changed. Make sure the easements are just for you and don't go through your property to someone elses. Get a lawyer, it could save you a lot of headaches later.