Real Estate Word of the Day: Easement

An easement is a legal concept that grants a specific individual or entity the right to use a portion of another person's property for a particular purpose. This right doesn't involve ownership of the land itself, but rather a limited, non-possessory interest in the land. Easements can exist for various purposes, ranging from granting utility companies access to install and maintain infrastructure, to allowing neighbors a pathway across a property.

Types of Easements

There are several types of easements that can impact real estate:

  • Easement Appurtenant: This type of easement involves two adjacent properties, with one property (the dominant estate) benefiting from the easement over the other property (the servient estate). An example would be a property with a driveway easement that crosses a neighbor's land.
  • Easement in Gross: In this scenario, the easement benefits an individual or entity rather than a neighboring property. An example is a utility company's right to install power lines through a specific parcel of land.
  • Prescriptive Easement: Also known as "easement by prescription," this is a right acquired through continuous and open use of another person's property for a certain period without the owner's permission. An example might be a footpath that neighbors have used for decades.
  • Express Easement: This is an easement that is explicitly granted by the landowner through a written agreement, typically outlined in the property deed.

Easements can have a significant impact on the value, use, and enjoyment of a property. Depending on the nature of the easement, a property's value can be affected. For instance, an easement that restricts certain types of development might lower the property's market value. Easements can also limit how a property can be used. For example, if a property has an easement for a utility company, the owner might not be able to build structures over the designated area.

Looking to buy or sell your home on Staten Island? For all your real estate needs, look no further than Tom Crimmins Realty! Give us a call at (718) 370-3200, and we can provide you with professionally-trained agents who are flexible to all that you’re looking for!

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