Author Topic: Buying Property on Private Road w no maintenance agreement  (Read 1965 times)

jrhampt

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Buying Property on Private Road w no maintenance agreement
« on: November 24, 2012, 08:31:24 am »
Maybe someone knows something about this topic here, since it is a new one for me.  I found a property in New Hampshire that looks like a pretty good deal, assessed at $130k, listed for $75k.  Taxes are about $2k per year.  It was built in the late 1980s and is a foreclosure (last sold for $173k back in 2005), supposedly with only interior cosmetic issues (needs paint, carpets redone -- however, I asked for more pictures and was told they didn't have any, which is possibly a bad sign).  It was under contract earlier this fall, but the sale didn't go through.  I inquired with the listing agent and was told a cash sale would probably be easier since it is on a "private road with no agreement", although there are no association fees.  There are about 10 other houses on this road, and they all look to have higher property values.  Does this mean that literally no one is responsible for road maintenance, plowing, etc?  I've never heard of this situation before, but understand it is somewhat common in Maine, for instance.  Is it too risky to buy a home in this situation?  We like the area in NH (currently living in CT) and were thinking of buying it as a rental property for a few years and then maybe moving into it ourselves later on.

salmp01

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Re: Buying Property on Private Road w no maintenance agreement
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 09:48:19 am »
If I were considering this I would start by visiting the property and knocking on the doors of the other 10 houses on this road.  Iím sure any of these owners could give you lots of information.  Also, have the realtor get you some information on the other 10 properties (when they sold and how much they sold for). 

Another Reader

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Re: Buying Property on Private Road w no maintenance agreement
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 09:51:51 am »
A private road means the road is located on someone's land.  In theory, the owner of the house you are considering would have an easement to the road that runs with the ownership of that house.  Otherwise, you do not have legal access to the property.  A proper easement is the first consideration.

The road agreement is typically a road maintenance agreement.  Responsibility is divided among the people having an interest in the road, such as an easement.  A method for deciding when repairs are needed and how to assess the parties is usually wtitten into the agreement.

If banks don't want to lend, that's a red flag.  There is no agreement on how and when to repair the road, which endangers the bank's position.  There may be a defect in the easement as well.

If you are really interested in the property, get a title report and determine what property rights and responsibilities you would acquire.  This is the kind of transaction I would have a good real estate attorney review before I made any offers. 

MountainFlower

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Re: Buying Property on Private Road w no maintenance agreement
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 01:24:02 pm »
Insurance companies might balk as well.  Is it in a forested area that could potentially burn?  I could see that being a problem for you after all the forest fires last summer.  Insurance companies want to make sure that the fire department can get there.  I know that we always get a million questions about that where we are.