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Did ya know... legal access

Real Estate Agent with Dirt Road Real Estate BR645447000

Did you know how FEW buyers actually READ their Preliminary Title Report?

When buying Vacant land for the purpose of someday maybe building a home on that land, if your property does not have "legal access" and you are relying on a loan for the build - this might be a VERY IMPORTANT MATERIAL FACT to be aware of during the shopping and purchase process.  I'm shocked when I run across people needing to "Sell" their land that they have owned for years waiting to build their dream home, and now they cannot build on it.... many times it is the legal access, real power or maintained road that is preventing them from getting a construction loan.  Other times it is something they have done on the property which now disqualifies them from getting a loan, like having a residential structure on the property already.  But that is yet another opportunity for a BLOG!

Our agents require that one of the parties on the Purchase Contract MUST read the Prelim and ask any questions that the long lengthy document might trigger.  Often times this means sending a question back to the Title Company, but it is those questions that make us better educated for the next time we see a similar comment. 

When your Prelim states that the parcel DOES have Legal Access, do not stop there... actually verify that the Legal access and the drive-able access is the same!  A legal easement for access thru a sheer cliff Cliff Face Ash Creekwhen the drive-able access is a trespass access thru a neighbors property or worse yet thru State Trust Land is NOT a comfortable solution for most buyers!  The Seller Disclosure (SPDS) is a good start for this question, but as always "Question but VERIFY."

May all your transactions be without "issues" your clients always have a smile on their faces, and the end of the day leaves you at home with loved ones!  We are blessed to do what we do!!!!!!


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As a builder, an infrastructure specialist, a land owner and a real estate  agent, I know land from many points of view.  I can find the right unique parcel for you, help you get an owner to carry back part of the cost and avoid the pitfalls of a bad choice.  I will help you find the solar expert, the septic guys, the well driller and the right house to put on your land. 

Call, text or email me, I will get back to you quickly.  

Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Elise Harron ,

This is indeed an important topic! You are right very few buyers read their Preliminary Title report for vacant land. If you are buying to build a home you definitely want to have legal access!

Apr 17, 2024 10:23 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Elise - the amount of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction can be overwhelming for some.  A preliminary title report can show (as well as share) a lot of information.  Questions will likely follow.  Due diligence and additional investigation become part of the clue-seeking process for wannabe property owners.  It isn't always easy but certainly necessary.  

Apr 27, 2024 08:56 AM
Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Great info here, thanks for the reminder!

Apr 27, 2024 08:59 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent point. Here there are many rural properties without legal access!

Apr 28, 2024 06:38 AM