Buying Landlocked Property: A Risk Worth Taking? | askBAMLand

As someone with years of real estate experience, I've seen a fair share of unique properties - with landlocked plots often being the most peculiar.

Buying a landlocked property can be worth the risk, but it depends on a variety of factors, including the location of the property, the legal aspects of the property, and the potential for negotiating access to the property.

After extensively dealing with landlocked properties, I have developed the expertise to determine whether these types of land purchases are worth pursuing. In this article, we’re going to cover landlocked properties in detail, to help you make an informed decision on your next real estate acquisition.

Key Takeaways

  • Landlocked properties are inaccessible via public roads and can cause legal issues.
  • Lack of legal access and potential neighborly disputes are common.
  • Easements and right-of-way agreements are important legal aspects to consider.
  • Negotiating access to landlocked property requires contacting the property owner.

Table of Contents

Understanding Landlocked Properties

Landlocked Property
Landlocked Property

As I researched buying landlocked property, I learned that a landlocked property is a piece of land that is inaccessible via public thoroughfare.

This means that the landlocked property owner essentially has no other choice but to go through another property owner’s plot. This can be a major inconvenience and can cause a variety of legal issues.

Risks and Challenges of Buying Landlocked Property

Buying a landlocked property can be a risky and challenging endeavor. It is important to thoroughly research and understand the legal implications of owning a landlocked property before making a purchase.

Legal Access

One of the biggest challenges of owning a landlocked property is the lack of legal access to gain access to the property. This can make it difficult to develop or use the land, and can also limit the potential resale value of the property.

Legal Disputes

Another challenge of owning a landlocked property is the potential for legal disputes with neighboring property owners. It is important to establish clear boundaries and access rights with neighboring property owners to avoid legal disputes in the future.

Overall, while buying a landlocked property can come at a discount compared to other properties, it is important to carefully consider the risks and challenges before making a purchase.

Legal Aspects of Landlocked Properties

As I consider buying landlocked property, I need to be aware of the legal aspects that come with it. Here are some important things I need to know before making a purchase.

Easements and Right of Way

An easement is a legal agreement that allows me, as the owner of a landlocked property, to access my land by crossing over someone else's property.

Easements can be granted by the neighboring property owner or by a court order. It is important to note that easements can be limited in scope and duration, so I need to carefully review any easement agreements before signing them.

Easement by Necessity

An easement by necessity is granted by a court when the property owner has no other choice but to go through another peron’s land.

This type of easement is only granted in extreme circumstances and is usually reserved for situations where the landlocked property was created by a previous owner's actions.

Legal Access to Landlocked Property

If I am considering buying a landlocked property, I need to make sure that there is a legal way to access the property.

This can be done by researching the property's history and determining if there are any existing easements or right-of-way agreements in place. If there are no existing agreements, I may need to negotiate with neighboring property owners to gain legal access to my land.

In conclusion, buying landlocked property can be a risky endeavor, but with proper research and legal guidance, it can also be a worthwhile investment. I need to be aware of the legal aspects of landlocked properties, including easements, easements by necessity, and legal access, before making a purchase.

Negotiating Access to Landlocked Property

When purchasing landlocked property, negotiating access is a crucial step in securing legal access to the land. Here are some tips for negotiating access with neighbors and adjacent landowners.

Contacting the Property Owner

The first step in negotiating access to landlocked property is to contact the property owner. It's important to approach the situation with a friendly and respectful attitude.

I would introduce myself and explain my interest in purchasing the landlocked property. I would then ask if there is any existing legal access to the property or if the property owner would be willing to grant me an easement for access.

Negotiating with Neighbors

If there is no existing legal access to the property, negotiating with neighbors is the next step. I would approach adjacent landowners and explain my situation. It's important to be respectful and understanding of their concerns.

I would offer to compensate them for granting me an easement for access to the landlocked property. I would also make sure to have a written agreement in place to protect both parties.

Easement Agreement

An easement agreement is a legal document that grants the right to use another person's property for a specific purpose. When negotiating access to landlocked property, it's important to have a written easement agreement in place.

The agreement should outline the terms of the easement, including the location of the access point, the width of the easement, and any compensation to be paid to the adjacent landowner.

In conclusion, negotiating access to landlocked property can be a complex process, but it's essential for securing legal access to the land. By approaching the situation with a friendly and respectful attitude, negotiating with neighbors, and having a written easement agreement in place, I can ensure a smooth and successful negotiation.

Role of Legal Professionals

As I began my journey to purchase a landlocked property, I quickly realized the importance of hiring a real estate lawyer.

A legal professional can provide valuable guidance on the laws and regulations surrounding landlocked properties, as well as offer assistance with negotiating easements and other legal documents.

Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer

When looking for a real estate lawyer, it is important to find someone with experience in dealing with landlocked properties.

They should be familiar with the legal requirements for obtaining access to a landlocked property, as well as have a thorough understanding of the local laws and regulations.

It is also important to find a lawyer who is responsive and communicative. They should be available to answer any questions or concerns that may arise throughout the process, and should be able to explain legal terms and concepts in a way that is easy to understand.

Understanding Legal Documents

Legal documents are an important part of the process when purchasing a landlocked property. These documents may include easements, right-of-way agreements, and other legal agreements that are necessary for obtaining access to the property.

Document Assessment

It is important to have a thorough understanding of these documents before signing them. A real estate lawyer can review these documents and ensure that they are in compliance with local laws and regulations, as well as provide guidance on any potential risks or liabilities.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

In some cases, legal disputes may arise when dealing with landlocked properties. In these situations, it is important to have a skilled real estate attorney who can represent your interests in court. They can provide guidance on the legal process and help you navigate the complexities of a lawsuit.

Overall, the role of legal professionals is crucial when dealing with landlocked properties. They can provide valuable guidance and assistance throughout the process, and can help ensure that your investment is protected.

Financial Considerations

As with any real estate investment, buying a landlocked property requires careful consideration of the financial implications. Here are some key financial factors to keep in mind.

Investment Opportunities

One of the main advantages of buying a landlocked property is the potential for a discount. Landlocked properties are often priced lower than neighboring properties with easy access, making them an attractive investment opportunity for those willing to take on the additional risk.

However, it's important to weigh the potential discount against the potential expenses of obtaining legal access to the property. Depending on the situation, the costs of obtaining an easement or right of way can be significant, and may offset any potential discount.

Costs and Expenses

In addition to the costs of obtaining legal access, there are other expenses to consider when buying a landlocked property. These may include:

  • Surveying costs to determine property boundaries and potential access points
  • Legal fees for negotiating easements or right of ways with neighboring property owners
  • Construction costs for building an access road or bridge
  • Maintenance costs for maintaining the access road or bridge

It's important to factor in these expenses when determining the overall cost of the property, and to budget accordingly.

Easement Costs

The cost of obtaining an easement for a landlocked property can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the location of the property, the type of easement needed, and the length of the easement.

The average cost of a property survey is $537, but this can vary depending on the size and complexity of the property. Legal fees for securing an easement can also vary widely, but can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

In addition to these costs, there may be other expenses associated with securing an easement, such as filing fees or compensation for the owner of the property that the easement crosses. All of these costs should be taken into account when considering the financial implications of purchasing a landlocked property.

Overall, buying a landlocked property can be a risky investment, but it may also present an opportunity for significant savings. As with any real estate investment, it's important to carefully consider all the financial implications before making a decision.

Dealing with Private Roads and Adjoining Property Owners

When considering purchasing a landlocked property, it's important to understand the rights and obligations of adjoining property owners. Private roads are often the only way to access a landlocked property, and negotiating with neighboring property owners for access easements can be a complex process.


In many cases, compensation may need to be offered to adjoining property owners in exchange for granting an access easement.

This compensation can take many forms, such as a lump sum payment, ongoing payments for maintenance and upkeep of the access road, or even granting the adjoining property owner an easement over the landlocked property in return.

Legal Requirments

Before purchasing a landlocked property, it's essential to research the legal requirements for access easements in the state and county where the property is located.

In some cases, state law may require adjoining property owners to grant access easements to landlocked properties, while in other cases, negotiations may be necessary.

Respectful Negotiations

When negotiating with adjoining property owners, it's important to be respectful and transparent about your intentions. Offering fair compensation and being willing to work together to find a mutually beneficial solution can go a long way towards securing an access easement.

Ultimately, dealing with private roads and adjoining property owners can be a challenging aspect of purchasing a land locked property, but with careful research and respectful negotiations, it's possible to secure the access you need to make your purchase a success.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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