What to consider before purchasing property with utility easement

Buying real estate can be stressful and exciting. The purchase can be more stressful when learning that a utility easement existed on the property. Utility easements grant utility companies the right to access a portion of a property owners to set up lines and do whatever is needed to complete the work under the law. Often times, these easement’s descriptions can be broad, which can leave a landowner tolerating others on property for extended periods of time.

Restrictions for property owners

If a utility easement exists on property, landowners must know exactly where the easement begins and ends. Property owners who block access to the easement, intentionally or not, can face hefty fines if the utility company is unable to access the land. Property owners must also seek approval from the company if they wish to make modifications to the easement property. Modifications could include adding an addition onto a home, digging, and storing personal property on the land.

Considerations for property values

Purchasing land with an easement requires buyers to think about the land’s future property value. Certain pieces of property will not be heavily impacted by an easement. For other types of property, potential buyers should consider whether they can block off access to their land to avoid any conflicts with easement owner’s use of the land. Knowing what land can and cannot be blocked off can allay concerns for future buyers who wish to maintain privacy.

Projecting future property values can become more challenging if utility companies place permanent structures on the land. Obtaining proper guidance on the impacts of permanent structures can make or break a real estate deal. Knowing the law and consequences ahead of time can reduce stress and manage expectations.