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I'm a new landowner! Need access, other advice  RSS feed

 
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So I just bought myself 10 acres of somewhat wooded land (seemingly previous logged at least partially, years ago).  Well, it was cheap, for a reason....no access!  The nearest public road is > 1/2 mile away.  It's almost but not quite adjacent to a large state park with lots of woods, trails, wildlife, etc.  One neighboring parcel is totally cleared and owned by a hay company, not sure yet if they're actively cultivating it this year. 

I have a list of ideas, things to do, check on, etc. etc., but thought I'd share my new adventure, and also put this out to the awesome permies community for advice.

First big deal - There are two different landowners between my parcel and the road.  I don't want to go trespassing to even hang out on my land, and obviously if I wanted to develop it ultimately I'd need a permanent solution.  So I will be approaching the neighbors to discuss possibilities.  Does anyone have experience on things like this...trespass fees, easements, negotiations, etc.?  Reasonable price ranges for something?  A road close to on-contour in the most direct way, from my limited knowledge, looks like it could go along the edge of the fields, but would be > 1 mile. 

I am so green at this, I'm not even sure I've got some of the vocabulary right!

Anyway, any advice is appreciated .  I might just keep posting here with updates, more questions, etc., although I'm not in a hurry to DO much right now (limited time, funds, etc.). 

Thanks!
Jonesy
 
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Howdy C,
Can you go to the county assesors office, in person or on-line, and find out if the land is in some sort of a subdivision. Does it show up on a plat map? If so there may be easements already in place for things like future utilities etc.  If there is an easement, than you can use that. While you are there you could ask them for advise too.
 
C Jones
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Hi Miles, thanks for replying.  I did already check things out with the county and I don't believe there are any easements.  Although the "next-door" neighbors have to have some way of getting to their field too if they use it, so I will do some more digging.  Definitely wasn't a subdivision as such though!
 
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Just curious, how did you get to the land to look at it before the purchase?

Be sure to get any negotiations with your neighbors in writing.  If you plan to get electricity to your land that will also take getting an easement from the neighbors.

Usually easements are written into the deed and would be included in the title search by the Title Company.  If you didn't go through a Title Company, you can go to the county clerk's office and look at the previous deeds to see if any easements were filed.  I would suggest looking back through all deed to the original one.  If you find any easements be sure to get copies of those deeds.  In fact it might not hurt to get copies of those previous deeds for your records.

Looking at Google earth for your property would show you any existing roads that your neighbors use to get to their fields.
 
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C Jones wrote:So I just bought myself 10 acres of somewhat wooded land (seemingly previous logged at least partially, years ago).  Well, it was cheap, for a reason....no access!  The nearest public road is > 1/2 mile away.  It's almost but not quite adjacent to a large state park with lots of woods, trails, wildlife, etc.  One neighboring parcel is totally cleared and owned by a hay company, not sure yet if they're actively cultivating it this year. 

I have a list of ideas, things to do, check on, etc. etc., but thought I'd share my new adventure, and also put this out to the awesome permies community for advice.

First big deal - There are two different landowners between my parcel and the road.  I don't want to go trespassing to even hang out on my land, and obviously if I wanted to develop it ultimately I'd need a permanent solution.  So I will be approaching the neighbors to discuss possibilities.  Does anyone have experience on things like this...trespass fees, easements, negotiations, etc.?  Reasonable price ranges for something?  A road close to on-contour in the most direct way, from my limited knowledge, looks like it could go along the edge of the fields, but would be > 1 mile. 

I am so green at this, I'm not even sure I've got some of the vocabulary right!

Anyway, any advice is appreciated .  I might just keep posting here with updates, more questions, etc., although I'm not in a hurry to DO much right now (limited time, funds, etc.). 

Thanks!
Jonesy



First thing to do is read your deed's legal description, if there are easements provided they will be listed there, if they aren't then you will have to get with the owners of the lands you need to cross to gain access.
Tip number one: In most states it is illegal to sell "land locked" land, land locked means no direct access and the owner(s) must provide easements for access prior to selling the land locked parcel. 
Check with your County Assessor's Office, the State Attorney General's office or an attorney you know/ use on this point of law.
Your County Clerk is the "Keeper of Deeds" you can go and get copies of all prior deeds that pertain to your land as well as copies of the deeds of the owners of the parcels you need to cross to gain access to your parcel.
In those there should be mention of easements granted.

Redhawk
 
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Having some idea of where you are would help people make some estimate of a fair price for an easement, it's going to vary quite a bit from one place to another.  Hopefully you also learned that you research these things before you make the buy
 
C Jones
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Thanks everyone for the replies!  This is a bit of a back-burner project for me so I may not respond very quickly....but I do read replies and really appreciate the advice.

That being said, I'm planning to go out there tomorrow to get the lay of the land.  I have a list of stuff to check, note, photograph, etc., thought I would even throw out a few seeds just for fun, you never know.  Topography, rocks, soil, vegetation, water, etc. etc.  (Have done some checking with county soil maps, Google Earth, etc.  Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir.....)

But - any other ideas to investigate / do / plant / etc. would certainly be welcome!

I've talked with a few folks I know and am getting a grasp on things.  Thankfully a friend even knows the person who farms some of the neighboring land, so I will try to connect with him.

I've been to the county and done some records searching, no easements that I've found and the assessor didn't think so either on their last eval.  I'm considering biting the bullet and having a title company check everything for me since they know what they're doing.  I haven't verified any legal requirements on ROW yet, still on my (rather long) list.  But someone I know IRL thought there was something like that too.  (OTOH, serving a legal doc "by state code xx.yyy section 4, you have to grant me an easement" may not be the best first step in getting to know the neighbors ...)

Much more that could be said here but it's already late.  I'm looking at this as an interesting adventure, learning experience, experiment etc., not necessarily homestead here next year or anything.  Although I'm intrigued with the idea of a food forest, setting something up that would need minimal maintenance, etc.

So thanks again, feel free to chime in with more ideas, and (unless no one wants to hear) look for some more updates!

CJ
 
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