Kathy Kelley's Blog
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you might discover there is an easement attached to your property. If so, you’re probably wondering how this affects your property values.
What is an Easement?
In a nutshell, an easement is for one person to have explicit permission to have use of another person’s property for a specified purpose. There are three general types of easements: gross, appurtenant and prescriptive. Each has specific rights attached to them and the rights could be for either a private (i.e. allowing someone access or use) or public purpose (i.e. utility companies). Easements can be temporary or permanent; with the latter, the easement is typically written into the property deed.
It’s important to know, while easements permit others to use your land for a designated reason, it doesn’t grant anyone using your land any rights to ownership; you are sole owner.
Can Easements Affect Property Values?
Easements of land may or may not impact your property’s value, depending on how the land is being used and whether you want to use (or sell) your property. Many times, an easement has no impact on your property’s value. However, there are potential issues that may crop up when looking to develop or sell your land which could impact its perceived value.
In many neighborhoods, everyone has the same easement attached to their property. In these cases, it doesn’t typically impact your property value because the easements affect everyone’s property equally.
Is There a Way to Remove an Easement?
A court of law often considers an easement to be used in perpetuity unless a stipulation exists in the original agreement of how long the easement will last. In some cases, easements can be removed.
If you do successfully terminate an easement, be sure it’s recorded in public records.
While technically an easement doesn’t devalue your property, it can affect its marketability. This is always something to consider when determining to willfully grant an easement or buy a home that has an easement attached to its property deed.