When buying real estate there are certain standard rights usually included, unless the property has an encumbrance that in some way causes an exclusion as noted in the sale. There are also additional rights that may or may not be in the sale, which may represent significant value.
Standard Real Estate Ownership Rights
The standard rights conveyed to the owner of the title deed for a property include:
- Possession: Possession is a legal word for ownership. Possession occurs after closing on the purchase of a property, receiving the title, and recording the sale with the county office where the property is. Anyone who has a claim against the property files a lien with the county for the amount of the claim. These can be on behalf of the mortgage lender, a tax authority, a building contractor, and others who win a judgment award, in the courts, against the property owner.
- Control: The buyer of the property gets control over it, subject to any prohibitions under law or rules of a homeowners’ association (HOA) called “covenants and restrictions.” Be sure to read all the details of the HOA rules (if any). Investigate any county and city restrictions as well to understand allowed uses of the property.
- Exclusion: Owners of private property control who uses it, with the exception of any easements that may exist. Common easements allow utility companies and municipalities access to some portion of the property. These may be found in the zoning regulations or indicated in the title documentation. Less common easements, allow others to cross the property or have an access road to get to other properties.
- Enjoyment: This permits the owner to use the property in any legal manner. For example, if not prohibited by any HOA rules, county laws, or other restrictions, a new property owner can do whatever they like on their property, such as put up a pig farm or fill the yard with broken-down automobiles. However, there are usually rules and laws that prohibit this type of “enjoyment.”
- Disposition: This right allows an owner to rent, sell, or transfer the property when desired. However, any liens have the ability to have priority to block a sale or transfer until they are fully satisfied.
Special Real Estate Ownership Rights
There are additional rights that may be included in the sale or not, which include:
- Mineral Rights: These rights include anything found underground such as valuable metals, gemstones, minerals, natural gas, and oil. If these rights do not sell with a property, it is possible that a third-party will own them and have the right to come onto the property to extract them.
- Water Rights: If there is any natural water available to the property, such as lakes, rivers, streams, water wells, and underground aquifers, these water rights can be sold, or not, with the property.
- Air/View Rights: These rights may include all the air above the property and the views from the property. These rights become important in congested areas where construction on an adjacent property might block a view, put the property in a shadow, or inhibit desirable breezes.
Most real estate transactions close with the help of a title company. The title company does the research to determine the included rights and any encumbrance by liens. Title insurance is protection for the home buyers that there are no claims, which remain unidentified in the closing documents by the title company.
Ownership of property comes from holding the title to it. The documentation of the title is the deed. When a sale occurs, creating a new deed transfers the title of the property along with any rights associated with it.
Knowing the rights when buying a property is a part of being a well-informed buyer. All rights that are available for a specific property are valuable. The rights included the sale (or lack thereof) create the full value of the real estate.
Be sure to partner with a trusted real estate agent and home mortgage professional to assist you with all of your real estate needs.