Corder's Corner

Unlocking Landlocked Property

Why would a buyer ever consider a piece of property you cannot access? A landlocked piece of land can be considered useless to many. But for a savvy and diligent buyer, this could be an advantage. Price tags on landlocked land are considerably less revealing an affordable option. Chances are legal access exists – you just have the challenge of finding it. If you own a landlocked piece of ground and are afraid it wouldn’t sell, consider calling Corder and Associates. We have sold numerous landlocked properties! In addition, we typically receive inquiries about how it is possible not to have access to your own property. In the state of Montana, there is no law restricting it. Adjacent landowners are not required to grant an easement or access. Legal access may not be denied in Wyoming as there is a legal process to obtain it, but it can be costly and lengthy. In Colorado, an easement by necessity may be obtained; however, other factors usually play in part before such an easement can be considered necessary. North Dakota has similar laws about easements by necessity. An interesting thing about North Dakota and public lands is that people have a right to access public lands by traveling down a section line if it is still “open.” A section line can be closed and then, at that point, is no longer accessible. One can inquire and receive a list of open section lines for hunting access and whatnot.

Before closing on a landlocked listing, a buyer should do their due diligence to research if indeed access does exist. If an easement does exist, it will generally transfer to the new landowner. Your real estate agent can also request a title report to review and check for easements. No easement? No problem just yet. A property attorney can help you navigate obtaining an easement yourself. He or she can also help determine if the chances of success are likely. Lenders, attorneys, and title companies serve as the gatekeepers of land deals. Legal access, or lack thereof, may affect negotiations on terms such as purchase price. Looking for solutions can enhance your purchase in many ways, including enjoyment and use and adding value to your property.

We make it our business to know, learn, and understand these varying regulations on landlocked parcels in the states we service Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and North Dakota. Please reach out to us with any questions!

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