Forums **Ask A Question** Podcast Topic Physical Legal Access

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  • #1867
    Post count: 23

    Steve and Jill recently had an interesting podcast topic discussing physical and legal access. I loved the topic but I think they really cut the legal access part short as I was curious about this. Physical access is obvious, cant get to the property then less useful.
    In nevada, much of the land is physically accessible via dirt roads or slightly offroad. Legal access is hard to find however. I have a few of these parcels and have passed on others just because worried about selling them. Legal Access to me has been a roadblock in selling as the question is often asked by buyers. I also see the issue being that you need a permit from the county to do anything like drilling a well, building house, septic, even parking an RV for more than 30 days. They require legal access (either by easement or county road) for these things. This limits the usefulness of the property to mostly recreation from what I can tell. Anyone sell land in Nevada without legal access regulary? I guess the point of my post is that I think legal access might be a bigger issue than it sounded on the podcast, or maybe I am overthinking this but it definitely downgrades the property.

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  • S. Jack Butala
    Post count: 120



    Physical and legal access are hot topics with these property types. I’m glad you asked this question.

    It is my understanding that legal access can not be legally withheld, as we mention in the podcast.

    To use any property type in any way other than how its being used in its current state, it requires some type of attention or in may cases improvement.

    Vacant land is no different. In the last 15 years+, I’ve only had a hand full of buyers get really concerned about this.

    Here is what we do all the time: Learn as much about the property as you can from googleearthpro. We usually (nearly always) stay away from properties that have no roads to be seen on those maps. We discuss this in another podcast called “Properties we won’t buy no matter how cheap they are” or something close to that title.

    For this reason, we send out tons of mailers. So you can review multiple units per day and pick the ones that are a slam dunk.

    Our business in a numbers game. If a seller needs convincing or something is not right about the property when you review it, it’s best to move on.

    Good acquisitions solve almost all problems and to get good acquisitions you need to review lots of them all the time.

    Please put the ones you pass on up in the “deal board” (it will be up soon).

    Thanks so much, SB…

    Post count: 23

    I have read about they cannot deny you access. I guess I have not experienced how hard it would be for an owner or owners to sign an easement. Obviously I wouldn’t do it but when talking to a buyer would like to be able to tell them how to proceed but I would be nervous they end up having trouble. At this point I have a good idea what to stay away from it is just frustrating to turn away deals. Need the volume so can pick and choose. I have 2 10 acre lots (because I needed to have land) with legal and physical issues. Doubt I will lose money but they are not good lots.

    Luke Smith
    Post count: 1345

    “Doubt I will lose money but they are not good lots.” Interesting line.
    Are you looking to keep them? Bet someone will love those things. If you can sell them to someone who is happy to have them at a great price for both of you they are good lots.

    Price in the flaws. Even if it is only offering to do the paperwork and get rid of it for them. Got a couple lots this week that way.

    One is totally locked in, it is on the other side of the country too. There are six neighbors though. Figure I will send them ever lower offers until one accepts. Tell them there is a nice biker gang thinking of buying it. (Just kidding about the biker gang) I might not even pay to record it until I can sell it. That way it is structured to win or maybe loose on postage cost only.

    Charlie Barks
    Post count: 23

    Patrick, Good Question and one that I have also been wondering about. I am new to this land buying but have been selling property in Colorado for 20 years. Most of what I worked with were in Platted Subdivisions with existing roads but occasionally we would run into properties without an existing road.

    What you would look for is a deed, legal description, covenants or plat that shows legal ingress and egress. A lot of times they would say something like “reserving a 30′ easement along all property boundaries for ingress and egress and utilities.”

    Here are some examples Easement Examples

    The deal is that no one can deny you access legally. But that doesn’t mean they have to give you access free or willingly. If there is historic access along an existing road you might be able to access the property as the owner. But sometimes if you don’t have an access in writing you can’t get a loan on the property or home. That is usually the first thing a mortgage company will check.

    I listed a 240 acre property about 2 years ago and it wasn’t long after I put my sign up that the neighboring property owner contacted me to make me aware of his existing easement. He was quick to let me know that even though he had historic access through this property that it cost him $80,000 in court costs for legal deeded access.

    It was usually easy to find these things out if you are working locally as you know who to ask to find out. Either the county records, the mapping department, the Title Company or surveyor might know for sure. And using a title company will usually always find these hidden easements if they are recorded public records and also if you request a copy of the recorded plats and any covenants.

    Also I just want to mention another area of concern to be aware of that is “recorded covenants” for a property, subdivision or ranch that might restrict certain activities or uses of the property.

    If you just want to review some examples of covenants from the area of Colorado where I have my business you can view them here, for education purposes, Covenant Examples to see some of the other restrictions that might be imposed on properties, such as no commerical businesses, no junk cars, no camping, no rv’s or you can only camp for 30 days or 180 days out of the year…etc.

    Now with this said I have seen some posts either here or in another forum where a guy purchased some land locked parcels and actually did really well with them selling them to neighboring property owners. At the prices that we might purchase them at you really should be okay, unless you don’t sell them quickly and the taxes or HOA fees are crazy high.

    Hope this helps give you another perspective. But I defer to Steve and Jill in these matters…they are the experts in this biz.

    Post count: 23

    I am a bit torn on this. 85% of Nevada is landlocked. So many people are buying and selling these lots. I have sold 2 40 acre lots without legal made sure they were not going to build dream house. It took awhile. I have 3 10 acres without legal. 1 of them is on a road so that should be easier. I sold 2 of them on eBay and both flaked. I just wholesaled to another big land guy a 40 and 160 and have a 162 that I am selling with no legal but good physical. Anyway, I have started targeting only properties on roads. Hard to know always if they have access from the data and I run out quick. I’ve gotten to know Nevada so don’t want to abandon it. Like Steve said maybe more volumn lets me pick the best and not feel pressure to buy.

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