Thursday, February 23, 2023 / by Amy Brown
There is a lot more to considering a home purchase than how pretty it looks and where it is located. Technical and legal issues can cause you headaches down the road. Today we are going to look at why viewing the parcel plat is an important pre-screening tool before you ever pull up into the driveway to see the house.
The plat can give you important information that illustrates rights of present access and rights to future access as well as areas that could affect ancillary structures that you may want to put on the property after closing, drainage areas, and utility easements. Let’s use the following parcel plat for demonstration purposes:
If you were considering the purchase of a home on lot #4, it would be crucial to know that lot #5 will be sharing the driveway and will have access through that property to their home and that the driveway is taking up a significant corner of the parcel. If you were considering lot #5, and if you wanted to put in a pool, it would be important to know that there is a grass infiltration basin in the front of the parcel which you would not be able to place anything over thus excluding that portion of the parcel as usable land. It is also valuable to know that the driveway for lots #6 and #7 are running through the front corner of lot #5 and they are also sharing that driveway.
Shared driveways necessitate a road maintenance agreement between both homeowners that must be drafted by an attorney which I would advise any client to negotiate drafting prior to purchase.