Imagine buying a home, moving in, and only then discovering that – due to a water drainage easement – you can’t install your dream in-ground pool.

What a disappointment!

That’s why, before buying a home, it’s important to find out if there are any easements, rights-of-way, or other situations that may impact your enjoyment of the property.

Easements typically involve the right to access and use a property for a specific purpose. For example, the phone company may have an easement on the lot, which entitles them to install and maintain lines across it. That might be obvious if those lines are already installed. But, in some cases, a company or utility may have an easement that’s yet to be used.

A right-of-way typically involves the right of people to cross a section of your property to, for example, access a park. Or, it can involve a driveway or road that is shared with a neighbor.

Easements and rights-of-way are usually noted in the property deed and other real estate documents.