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Author Topic: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts  (Read 624 times)

djw2112

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Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« on: March 12, 2019, 05:50:58 AM »
Hi,  inside my property line i have two telephone poles and a phone box, all right next to each other.  The poles and phone box are for everyone on either side of me to share.  Meaning that the poles have a meter bar on them for which 4 electric meters can be attached. 

So first i am wondering about the Easements around those, my neighbor said 15ft on all sides, but that is a ton of space that i cant do anything with.  I dont know where to check for the facts, i called the power company and they didnt know, and its not anywhere in my community paperwork.  Any ideas where i might check to get the facts on this. 

Also from the private road inside the communty the first 20 ft from the road inward toward my lot is a drainage ditch which i have to mow and it has a culvert in it.  A relative told me that they thought the Easement for roads was 15ft from the center of the road, but again i dont know where to check for the facts. I asked the community sales office and they did not know.  My neighbor has a fishtail at the end of their driveway and about 5 ft of the fishtail where it meets the road is on my property, but if that is part of the easement then there is nothing i could ever do about it if i even wanted to (which i dont at the moment).  It would be nice to know however.

suggestions?

« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 05:52:44 AM by djw2112 »
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Back2PA

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 06:21:01 AM »
Easements are typically recorded at your county recorder's office and would be part of two deeds, the underlying land, and the land that benefits from the easement. The specifics of the easement (size, shape, etc) should be noted in the recording.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 06:22:49 AM by Back2PA »
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Daffy

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 06:37:02 AM »
Another common misconception is the difference between an easement and a right of way (ROW).

Scott is correct regarding the recorders office. Take your parcel number to them, be prepared to pay a small fee if you want a copy of the plat map.

If you are lucky enough to locate any lot pins on your property and lay out your lot it becomes very easy to further layout the easement and row with the plat map and legal description.

Call in a locate for your entire property, tell them it's for landscaping, then you will know where everything is with the exception of anything that you or a previous owner buried.
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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 06:48:23 AM »
Thanks guys, ill call the recorders office today and see if i can get a copy of the plat.  There are 3 markers on the property but the one far left corner is missing.  I looked up online what the diagnal should be for a 100x50 foot lot and it came out to 111 ft  9 inches.  So ill measure that today and put a steak in the ground for approx. 

I found a neat tool online, the county has a GIS software that i can go and look at my lot number (or other peoples) and it tells me who owns it and all kinds of data on the lot and other stuff on the owner.  I did not know that was public information.  My deed has not been done yet, they said it will take a few more weeks to get through all the red tape.   
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 09:08:45 AM »
Generally you can utilize any easements or rights-of-way as long as you preserve accessibility.   That may mean no permanent structures that would bar access.  Just what access is needed depends on the local laws/zoning that provides for those easements or rights of way.    Since yours seem to be for power utility access, you can start by asking the local power company. They will of course interpret the easement/right-of-way generously in their favor, but it gives an good start point. If you feel they are too onerous and restict your reasonable use too much, get the specific from your local government offices.
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ChasA

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2019, 10:35:06 AM »
Didn't you get a survey showing your lot when you bought the lot. I did on each of the three lots I've owned. Easements have been indicated every time.
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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2019, 11:20:47 AM »
Didn't you get a survey showing your lot when you bought the lot. I did on each of the three lots I've owned. Easements have been indicated every time.

No, nothing yet but when i get the deed maybe something will be with it.   I did call the county clerk and she was so nice, she said they have computers there and she will show me how to bring it up and i can print it out there for free.   :)
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2019, 01:17:16 PM »
What state are you in?
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Isaac-1

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2019, 02:06:07 PM »
I am almost sure they are in Texas
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Oldgator73

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2019, 02:40:11 PM »
Start building something near where you think the edge of your property line is. Youíll probably FB out pretty quick where the easements are.
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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 03:22:08 PM »
Yes Texas..

I went to the courthouse and they gave me this piece of paper that had boxes on it, im thinking to my self "what is this, i could do that on my computer, this tells me nothing".

So i asked her for something with measurments and she gave me the plat for the whole community and told me that most lots are the same 50x100 feet.  It has writing on the bottom of it but it still tells me nothing.   I was thinking i was gonna get something that had measurments such as "so much distance from this utility pole" or something like that.   I told her i know the lot is 50x100 i was looking for somthing with more detail.  She said thats all they have and charged me $2,  i guess if i had looked that up myself it would have been free, oh well.

How do surveyers do it?   The must have something to go off of other than the stars in the sky. 

Gator please be patient with me, some people are not as worldly as others and have not had alot of experiences with such things... :)  I would rather be proactive than reactive.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 03:23:56 PM by djw2112 »
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 03:49:25 PM »
     Back in the old days , when I went to University, the surveyor and his crew would show up with a transom, and a measured pole.  You would have to go to the nearest "bench mark" and work your way to the area you wanted to survey.  Nowadays, they use a specialized GPS that allows them to use satellites to quickly position them and then they use the deed/plot plan to mark the extremities.

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darsben

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 03:55:53 PM »
You are talking PRIVATE ROAD on private property so it is whatever the HOA says it is. It should be in the deed and reflected in the community rules.
The local authority has nothing to do with a private road
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Oldgator73

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 04:04:02 PM »
When we purchased our lot in Dover, DE we were given a price of paper with the lot outlined and the easements or setbacks drawn in. I think itís 25í all the way around.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2019, 04:25:53 PM »
In my area an easement is typically identified on the deed or as part of a community-wide easement (roads & utilities). To find out what rules, e.g. distances, apply to a particular type of easement, I have to inquire about that particular easement type.

In my case, the utility easement is within the street setbacks established when the community was platted, so don't affect much, but I am enjoined from blocking access for maintenance.
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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2019, 04:59:19 PM »
Sounds like i might be puting the cart before the horse here and i need to wait for the deed and go from there.   Im learning and thanks everyone for your info and patience.

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2019, 09:20:00 AM »
Your local zoning/planning board or building inspector dept ought to be able to explain the types of easements or rights of way typically granted to utility companies in your area. It's rarely complicated.  Tell them you are planning some improvements on your lot and want to avoid issues with the utility right-of-way.

As I said earlier, the utility company itself is also a good source for general info on their easements. They deal with it every day and probably have people assigned to answer questions. You may have seen signs that say something like "Contact us before you dig...".
The deed itself may not have all the easement details.  Those are sometimes written in a set of "deed restrictions" that are referenced as an addendum to the actual deed. They may be general restrictions for a town or subdivision rather than specific to a single lot. There is substantial variation about how things are done, sometimes even within the same county.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:44:04 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2019, 11:59:21 AM »
We don't get deeds anymore where I live which I thought was kind of strange. I even got deeds for my cemetery plots, but not for my property where my house is. My wife took care of all the finances all of our married life. She passed a couple years ago and I have not found any paper work showing that my property is paid for. I know we got a deed to this property when we bought it, but then I built a house on it and we turned the deed over to the financial institution when we got the loan. I had to go to Chicago title Co. to get the paper work that shows my home is paid for and nothing outstanding against it now. It does have the legal description and easements in the description.  Cost me $200.00 to get the paper work.   
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2019, 04:55:39 PM »
We don't get deeds anymore where I live which I thought was kind of strange. I even got deeds for my cemetery plots, but not for my property where my house is. My wife took care of all the finances all of our married life. She passed a couple years ago and I have not found any paper work showing that my property is paid for. I know we got a deed to this property when we bought it, but then I built a house on it and we turned the deed over to the financial institution when we got the loan. I had to go to Chicago title Co. to get the paper work that shows my home is paid for and nothing outstanding against it now. It does have the legal description and easements in the description.  Cost me $200.00 to get the paper work.

Where do you live?
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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2019, 12:03:23 PM »
The electric company told me today when they hooked up my power that he tells people 5 feet around the poles, but the more the better.  Then the "sherrif" (community manager, i just call him sherrif lol) came by (in his little golf cart) and we talked a bit, he wanted to be sure that i turned in my permit requests when i bought the lot.    I ask him and he said the easement is 10 ft from the road and then 15ft around utilities.   The funny thing is that i called his office last week and his secretary told me that kind of question should be asked to the developer or the utilities.... and he knew it all along lol

So at least now i know.  :)
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2019, 08:14:00 PM »
I don't know about Texas real estate law but I took a real estate law class in California.

Discovered some interesting things about fences and easements. 

I'd suggest talking to a few real estate offices and ask them about easements, etc in Texas.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2019, 08:27:40 PM »
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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2019, 08:56:16 PM »
Today i got a letter in the mail from the electric coop. Inside was the rules and regs including Easements, its 15ft around any poles or utilities here in this community.
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2019, 08:57:34 PM »
Central Illinois.

Interesting that they don't give you a deed. I think I'd be a bit nervous about that.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2019, 10:29:15 PM »
Not all states have deeds, I live in Louisiana and we do not have property deeds, property transactions are handled by historical title searches, and abstracts.  Of course Louisiana is also the only state in the US whose legal system is not based on English Common law.
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2019, 06:46:39 AM »
     Isaak, I think you meant to say Napoleonic Law, which is similar to the basis of Quebec's Law.  The rest of North America is based on the British System.

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Isaac-1

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2019, 01:22:09 PM »
Ed, you are correct the Louisiana legal system is based on Napoleonic code, though in the last 45-50  years a lot has been done to bring it more into line with the other states.     I think you may have missed the word "not" in my last message.

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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2019, 08:54:27 PM »
Must be the reason there are so many french there,  why do the french love swampland.  I know the ports are important but it is a hard environment to live in.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2019, 10:32:05 PM »
It is a myth to think that all Cajuns in Louisiana live in the swamps.  The Cajun people were expelled from Canada in the early 1700's after the British took over the part of Canada where they were living, many of them ended up settling in Louisiana, though others settled and mostly assimilated with the local culture all along the lower US coast.  There were 3 major groups of Cajuns that settled in Louisiana, only 1 of which settled in a stereotypical swamp area (the Atchafalaya basin), one of the other two groups settled in the bayous (more like creeks) of the area around Marksville, and the other  group settled in the flat lands (historically pine woods) area around Ville Platte.
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djw2112

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Re: Easements - making sense of them and getting the facts
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2019, 11:38:43 PM »
Thanks for the clarification Isaac-1, we dont often hear of the great pines or flat lands of Louisiana. So i suppose if one does not ever visit there it would be difficult to know about those things.  I am right next door in Texas, i should probably take a drive over there sometime to check it out, i am sure i would learn alot and be very surprised at what i find :) 
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