What is Legal Access and Do I Need it to Sell my Rural, Empty Land?

What is Legal Access and Do I Need it to Sell my Rural, Empty Land?
Do you have legal access to your rural vacant land? Hi, I’m Beth with TB Properties Buys Land. This might be a question that Tim or I ask you when you contact us and you’re ready to sell your own rural vacant land. What exactly does that mean, when you have legal access to your property? Many properties out there, are touching a road or they’ve got a road running through them, and you already know that you’ve got physical access to the property. You could physically get there by foot or in a vehicle. Legally speaking is another situation. So again, when these roads cross your property or run through your property, most of the time you’ve got legal ingress and egress across those roads to access your property.

There are some cases, however, when there is no road touching your property, and this is when it’s a tricky situation. Maybe you can physically get to your property. Perhaps you’ve got a road running really close to your property; it’s only 50 feet away or maybe only 10 feet off the road. Perhaps you can get there, you can drive off road to get there. Perhaps even you’ve got a two track or you can just hike it and that’s easy to do. But are you allowed to do that legally? That’s the big question.

The issue that we run into if you don’t have legal access is that the homeowner or the landowner next to you that has that road access, they can put a gate there. They could put a fence and stop you from accessing your property. If you don’t have legal access to the property, most likely people aren’t going to want to buy the property from you because they can’t get there legally. Everyone has seen those no trespassing signs that are out there. If you don’t have it stated on your deed, whether you’ve got a warranty deed, or a grant deed, or if you’ve got a quitclaim deed, if you don’t have on that deed to your property, that you’ve got ingress and egress across existing roadways to get to your property, you may not have legal access to that private road. It would be stated on the deed and there might even be a plat map. So if you’ve got that, then you know that you have legal access. You can legally get to your property off of those roads.

If you don’t have legal access, then there’s a risk that the land owner that’s next to you that has that road, they can block it off by means of a gate or fence. They can physically obstruct access to your property and they have every right to do so legally. They can physically keep you from getting to that property. On top of that, depending on the state that you live in, you might have some gun happy people who they think you’re trespassing, and the last thing you want to do is start a situation where you’re crossing illegally onto their property. They could think that you’re trying to illegally hunt or do something on their property and they would have a right to defend themselves.

So again, depending on your parcel, that could be a big question that we would ask you when you contact TB Properties Buys Land. Do you have physical access to the property and is there legal access? Now, about 99.5% of the properties that TB Properties Buys Land purchases has legal access. There have been occasion where we’ve purchased property that doesn’t have legal access. Sometimes there are some creative things we can do to get an easement from the neighbor. An easement is where you go and you get legal paperwork basically saying that they’re allowing you to cross their property to access your own. There have been some situations where we’ve purchased without legal access or physical access, but it’s very few and far between.

If you have questions, you’re welcome to contact us and ask. But for the most part, we’re looking for rural, vacant, recreational land. On occasion, we will purchase something with a home or a cabin on it. But the access is really a important component. So if that’s an issue, or if you have a question about it, feel free to reach out. What’s the worst that can happen? We tell you that you don’t have legal access and we can’t move forward. Maybe we find out there is a way to secure access, you never know. But if you have rural vacant land, if you’re interested in selling it, reach out to us, give us a call, shoot us an email. We’re here to answer any questions that you might have. Thanks again for listening.
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