One of the top 10 real estate traps for the unwary when buying real estate (from my experience as a real estate lawyer and now Realtor) is the issue of easements, including driveway easements, access easements, view easements, well maintenance easements, and utility easements.

Easements are Everywhere

EasementsIn Clallam County, we have a lot of farm land that was chopped up and developed over the years, and surveys are often inaccurate, but more importantly, people often don’t know where the real easements are. Adverse possession and easement by prescription are real issues here. Know what you are buying! This is a pretty serious reason to hire a Realtor who is knowledgeable and experienced about legal issues. Hint hint.

Easements – Views

In the Sequim and Port Angeles areas, view easements are important since so many homes have beautiful water views and views of the Olympic Mountains. Here is a brief explanation of view easements I recorded:

Easements Effect Property

When you buy property, you will receive a preliminary title report.  This report will reference easements that are of record, meaning it will disclose all easements that are recoded in the county Auditor’s office.  But some easements may not be recorded, and those are the ones that could create a problem.

I recommend using a professional buyer’s agent when you buy a home or land.  But your agent should also have substantive real estate knowledge, so he or she will be able to advise you on what I call “traps for the unwary.”  I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating here.  Don’t just hire any Tom, Dick, or Jane who happens to have a real estate license.  Hire a buyer’s agent who actually has knowledge and experience.  Believe it or not, many buyers don’t make any distinction, and with several hundred thousand dollars of your hard earned money at risk, it makes sense to be careful.  Right?

I am a Sequim Buyer’s Agent as well as a Port Angeles Buyer’s Agent, and you can always reach me at 360-775-5424 or simply email me at

Easements effect the use of your property, so be sure you know all about the easements around and across your land before you buy.

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