Hendersonville NC Real Estate Blog: Easements In Western North Carolina

Easements In Western North Carolina

Many buyers aren't familiar with Easements in Western North Carolina. I would say that the majority of buyers coming to this area are coming from cities outside NC where there are mostly subdivisions. But here in Western North Carolina, many homes are located in rural areas outside of the protection of any subdivision rules and regulations.

So when you are moving to this area, if you are interested in a rural property this may be important information for you to know. A friend called me this week with an access issue for a property she owns. It appears that there is a parcel of land behind her home that may be landlocked. By this I mean that there are no clearly deeded easements leading to the lot in question.

Landlocked?Her concern was that the owner of the lot in question may want to use her land as access, since there is already an existing road into the area. There are other properties that the lot in question could use. But she wanted to know what her rights were.

In North Carolina it is illegal to block access to a parcel, or keep it land locked. So my friend has to be careful in knowing her rights. She doesn't want people driving through her property.

The owner of the property in question believes that she has the right to an easement through my friends property. I advised her to get copies of both deeds. This is the first thing to check. There has to be correct wording granting the right of way from one property to the other, and it has to be clearly stated on both deeds. This was not the case.

Next I advised her to look on her survey and the survey of the other property. A road should be clearly marked out on both surveys. There was an easement to the middle of my friends property, to her home, but it did not extend beyond that point. In other words it did not follow through to the back property. And the property in question has no survey.

My next words of advise were for her get an appointment with her closing attorney. It appears that the property in question has no legal right to access her land, but if the owner of the property that is landlocked pursues this issue, she will need legal advise to moves forward. Easements are a tricky thing and need the advise of a very good real estate attorney. The failure on the property in question was that this issue was not dealt with when the owner closed on it 10 years ago, when she purchased it. Now she can have a property that will never sell at a time when she is trying to sell it (it is for sale now).

If you are looking at property in Western North Carolina, and you are not within the city limits, or in the protected area of a subdivision, you need to look at more that just the land you are thinking of purchasing. What is around you that can effect the future use and enjoyment of that property? Always look at all parcels adjoining the property you are looking at, and investigate what can happen to you in the future.

What comes to mind here is what my first Real Estate Teacher said to us early on in the journey of this profession: The only thing you will know for sure in real estate will be that change will occur. And that is for sure a good one to remember. Change has changed the game over and over throughout the years, and in many ways. Make sure that your not a casualty of change, but rather a benefactor of it. Perform Due Diligence as if your life depended on it prior to buying a home or lot.


Jerri McCombs, Advanced Virtual Assistant 

828/553-5190 or info@JerriMcCombs.com

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Comment balloon 4 commentsJerri McCombs, Broker • September 17 2011 09:05AM


Hi Jerri!

FAB post!!! I have tweeted it and shared it on Facebook. It offers great information on the nature of Easements in Western North Carolina. Thank you so  much for this informative and valuable post from a local expert  with an eye for detail...I'm Suggesting this post!

Posted by ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com ( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK ) over 9 years ago

Hi Jane Anne,

Thanks so much for the response! And the suggest. These easements are a real issue in this area and buyers beware!!!

Posted by Jerri McCombs, Broker, Hendersonville NC Relocation (Dogwood Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

Great job Jerri pointing this out. Yes, access can be tricky, but I should point out that your observation is also through out North Carolina and in most states. There are several types of easements and I suggest anyone who may want to learn more simply Google the word "Easement".

Second tough is that I recommend to all agents that they learn how to do a "Title Search" prior to listing any property, especially Land and that they do the same when advising a Buyer. Ask any attorney that you do business with to show you how or the Register of Deeds office surely will help.

Last point, there is a reason for "Title Insurance" and this is a great example. Title companies will usually "except" an easement and agents should also ask sellers for a copy of their "Title Policy". Great place to observe potential issues and can be used as negotiating points in the Offer to Purchase" process and also help value the property.

Land education is very important and any agent engages in a Land transaction should read our Realtors Code of Ethics Article 11...

Lou Jewell ALC

Accredited Land Consultant

Realtors Land Institute's "Land 101" Instructor

Posted by Lou Jewell ALC over 9 years ago

Lou, Thanks for the extra notes. Yes, Easements can vary according to the type. That seems to be a whole other post. Land is such a touchy thing anywhere, and every buyer should do their due dilegence in all aspects.

I forgot about the title insurance. I will have my friend check hers for that as well. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Jerri McCombs, Broker, Hendersonville NC Relocation (Dogwood Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago