Legal Access Part4: The Difference Between Legal Physical Access and Easement Access

Legal Access Part4: The Difference Between Legal Physical Access and Easement Access
Beth :
Hi, I’m Beth with TB Properties Buys Land. This is the fourth video in a series on legal access and what that means and what the consequences are if you do not have legal access. Today I am going to discuss another type of legal access. When we send out a letter with an offer to purchase your property, and we quote you an offer price, one of the contingencies that we specify is legal access as well as physical access. Just like it sounds, physical access means actually having a physical road that goes to your property. In addition to this, we want to make sure that legally you have the right to use that road in order to access your property. An example might be if there were a private road, or if this was, say, a logging road that you didn’t have permission to access to travel across, that would mean that you wouldn’t have legal access.

Now there are situations in which you may not have a physical road going to your property, but you may have a legal right to access your road. What I’m talking about is a term you may have heard before and it is easement. If you look closely at your warranty deed and it says that you’ve got an easement to your property, that may mean that you have a legal right to get to your property. Oftentimes it will call out specifically where you’re allowed to access your property or refers you to a survey where that has been called out. Most of the time TB Properties Buys Land will ask you if you have physical access, as well as legal access to your property. There are times where we’re willing to accept just an easement to your property, but it’s something that we have to really look at and we have to accommodate for that if we make that decision.

If you don’t have a road going to your property, it means that people can’t get there. That also means that if you have an easement only but not road, now we have to go ahead and put a road in. There is obviously a cost to putting the road in, there’s time and cost to possibly the permitting of the road, to making sure that the neighbors whose land this road is going cross are okay with it. I want you to understand there is substantial work to putting a road in. Just because you have an easement to your property, doesn’t really make it a lot easier in order to, say, resell or for someone to get to. It may be much better that you have a legal right to get to your property, but not having that physical access can make it difficult. What it comes down to is that will adjust the value of your property.

So when someone like Tim or myself speaks to you on the phone or across an email, and we ask you, do you have physical access to your property? Do you have a road that goes to your property? …In many cases a landowner has a county-maintained road going to it and it could be dirt, or it could be asphalt, maybe it’s rock or gravel …but if it doesn’t have a public access point like that, then we’re also going to ask you, do you have legal access? Or you may not have that road to your property, that physical road, but you may have an easement. And that is something that we’re going to want to account for and to consider. What I’m saying is that it may not be an automatic that we agree to purchase your property, but we will have to really evaluate it on a case by case basis. This is important information for you to know as well, just legally, can you get to your property? And also, can you physically get there, especially if this is an inherited property and maybe you’ve never visited it before.

So if you’ve got questions, if you’ve got vacant land that you’re interested in selling, please reach out to Tim or myself. You can find us on our website and you can fill out a form there. You can email us or call us. We’re happy to take a look at your property and get you a quote, and see if we can purchase that. We always close through a title company. It’s going to be a local area title company that is certified to close in that county. We will always pay in cash. We pay in cash directly to the title company, and in that way they receive certified funds, they do the paperwork, they close out the transaction, and they’re going to fund you in whatever way that you’re interested, whether it’s in a cashier’s check, or if you’re looking for a bank wire.

But if you have questions, reach out to us, we’re happy to answer any of those. I hope I’ve been able to cover the question of legal access, what that is, why it’s important, and why we ask about it so much. Thanks again for listening.
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