It’s important to consider using a local title company in any transaction, but especially in a rural deal.

When buying a property, typically, people don’t think about the road leading to their driveway or land….We’ve run into this problem more than once recently when closing on properties in Lake Charles and our surrounding Southwest Louisiana areas.

If you’ve ever read our blog we are pretty adamant about using a local company, and access is one reason why.  A title examiner who is not from your area will not be familiar with whether a road is public or private. This can cause many issues, but before we drop another Robert Frost reference, here’s why: If you’re purchasing land and there is a road leading to the property you need to make sure the road is not a private road, but a publicly maintained road.

You did read that correctly. Not every road is for public use. If you’re purchasing land without access to a public road, you could have a huge title problem.  You’re probably agreeing, nodding your head “yes” with us on this one, but it could be a bigger monkey wrench than you initially think.

First, if you’re intending on purchasing this land with a mortgage your lender will require access to a public road. This can pose an obvious problem because you need money to buy the property. No lender = no money = no purchase.

Second, the owner(s) of this private road could block off your access to your land. Now you have a property you can only access by boat or helicopter… We assume this would be cool at first, but get old really fast.

How can this be fixed?  Acquiring access across a private road can be a cumbersome and complicated process. There is a lot of investigation and legal work that goes into getting permissions for use of the private road. Our attorneys write what’s called a servitude. After the documents are prepared everyone that owns part of the road must sign in agreement. True story: sometimes we have to crash Sunday lunch to get the entire family to sign off on a servitude… We aren’t opposed to going the extra mile to close the deal. Then we can proceed with the usual closing routine.

This is just an example one of the many odd real estate situations we handle on a daily basis as a team. If you or anyone you know has real estate questions feel free to give us a call at 337-433-0234. We’re reputable, local, and equipped to handle it all.