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What Is An Easement In Real Estate
In real estate, an easement refers to a landowner retaining title to a property, while granting rights to another person or organization to use the land for a specific purpose.
Real estate easements can range from simple to extraordinarily complex, from temporary to permanent. Some easements on land in Washington were created relatively recently, while others date back decades (or even centuries).
Common Types Of Easements In Real Estate
The most common types of real estate agreements and easements in Washington State include:
- right of way easements and road agreements (typically for driveways or other access)
- utility easements (for water, sewer, power lines, and cell towers)
- drainage easements
- shared sewer or septic agreements
- farming agreements (for livestock, grazing, and fencing)
- water rights agreements
Why Buyers Should Care About Easements
If you’re buying land in Washington, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting into and what rights or easements might have been previously granted. You’d think that title insurance would cover you, but in fact many types of agreements and easements that are public-record documents aren’t covered by title insurance. Known as “exceptions documents,” these legal agreements can drastically impact your use and enjoyment of the property, and if you discover them after closing, it’s too late to change anything!
TIER Service For Buyers
At Timely Contract, we’ve designed a Title Insurance Exceptions Review (TIER) for buyers. Our experienced real estate lawyers will perform legal due diligence by researching any property in Washington State that you’re interested in buying. Based on the public-record documents found at the County Recorder’s Office. we’ll then provide you with a Legal Opinion Letter that analyzes your risk and lets you know what you’re getting into. You can then decide whether you’re comfortable buying the property with the agreements and easements that are attached to it. It’s important to note, however, that agreements and easements can have an impact not only on the value of the property, but also on your ability to sell it to someone else.