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How Easements Can Impact Your Home Plans


Many homeowners who embark upon a home building project find their desires frustrated when they discover the property on which they intend to build contains an easement. While an easement can limit a homeowner's options somewhat, it doesn't have to spell disaster for your new home plans. The key is to choose house plans that complement the property's limitations.

What's an Easement?

An easement is a legal condition placed upon the land that specifies how the property can or cannot be used. There are many different types of easements. Some pertain to public infrastructure, such as sewers or storm drains, while others grant the legal right for someone other than the homeowner to access or use the property. The types of easements that have the most potential to disrupt a homeowner's house plans, however, are known as restrictive easements.

Restrictive Easements and House Plans

A restrictive easement is typically put in place by the government to limit the use of the property in some way. For example, an easement may specify what types of home plans or other structures are acceptable to build, or it may inhibit where on the lot the house plans may be constructed. Some lots may even be zoned with easement restrictions specifically limiting the size and dimensions of acceptable home plans.

What to Do About an Easement

Unfortunately, there's no arguing with an easement. To minimize the impact of an easement on your house plans, it's best to choose a home design that works with the restrictions instead of against them. If a homeowner ends up with a narrow lot due to easement limitations, for example, there are plenty of wonderful house plans designed to maximize the use of a narrow lot.

The moral of the story, of course, is that it's important to do some research on your property and check out local zoning laws for restrictions before purchasing your home plans.

Note: The home shown above is The Jasmine House Plan 21114.

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