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Problems with the title may complicate property purchase

If you are in the middle of purchasing property in Massachusetts, you may wonder why the process takes so long. It may seem like days or weeks go by with no progress, and when you contact your real estate agent, you may learn that they are still waiting for the title company to finish the title search for the property you want to buy.

A title search can be a critical stage in your real estate purchase because, if the search turns up any issues, the process may come to a screeching halt while you work to resolve them. Understanding the kinds of issues that are common with a title may help you know the steps to take to resolve them so you can move forward with your plans.

Is an unrecorded easement still valid?

Many commercial property owners in Boston have had to create an easement for their property. There are many reasons why an easement may be necessary. An easement gives another person the right to use the land for a specific purpose. Sometimes, a person needs access to their property through another person's property, which may require an easement. Or, a building may be accidentally built on another person's property, which can result in an easement necessity.

An easement is usually recorded in the property title with the county. But, potential problems can arise if an easement is not recorded. There are three types of easements that can govern a property. One is an easement in gross. This is where the easement is recorded and described in a deed. These easements are given to a certain person or business, such as a utility company.

Easements of necessity

What happens when a buyer purchases real estate that is landlocked? What if there is no way to get to the property without crossing land owned by another party? The answer is to ask for an easement. An easement is an agreement between two landowners that allows the one owner to cross the other's property for limited purposes.

But what if the other landowner refuses to agree to the easement?

A basic understanding of how zoning laws could impact you

When you buy a piece of property in Massachusetts, you do so with a specific purpose in mind. Perhaps you want to build a home for your family, or maybe you want to build a space for your business. It is possible that you want to develop the land or operate rental property. Whatever your plans may include, it is likely that zoning laws will impact them. 

Before you buy property, it is smart to understand what the zoning classification is for that piece of property. This can save you a significant amount of stress and complication in the future. When there are issues with land use and zoning laws, it can be costly and stressful. It is prudent to work to avoid these or to seek a reasonable resolution in a timely manner.

Amazon secretly behind huge new real estate development

Some real estate deals have the potential to change an entire local economy. When Internet giant Amazon announced it was looking for areas to host a new headquarters, cities in Massachusetts and all over the country fought for what they hoped would be a great opportunity.

Amazon has also attracted a lot of attention for its distribution centers, but these are more controversial. In its efforts to increase the speed of deliveries, the company has been opening giant distribution centers all over the nation. However, rather than try to get cities to compete to host these operations, Amazon has kept quiet about them until the last minute.

Local government tax incentives for redevelopment

Although Massachusetts land owners and developers often complain that local land use and zoning regulations can make new developments difficult, local governments do sometimes work with private industry to promote new ideas for land use, sometimes with great results. One tool local government uses is known as Tax Increment Financing.

The city of Worcester used a Tax Increment Financing program for a massive redevelopment project that involved relocating and expanding an entire hospital. Partnering with the historic St. Vincent's Hospital, the city guided the development of the new Worcester Medical Center in its downtown. The Tax Increment Financing program worked by giving the Worcester Medical Center tax exemptions for 18 years in exchange for promises from the hospital, including a $250 million investment in new facilities.

How will zoning laws impact your small business?

If you own a small business, you understand how important it is to find the right space from which to run your company. The location of your Massachusetts business can affect everything from which customers come to your store to how much you pay in a lease. In addition to your rent and other factors, you may also have to think about zoning laws. 

Zoning laws essentially determine where businesses can operate. These laws prevent a gas station from opening up on a residential street or someone constructing a private residence in the middle of an industrial area. There are many reasons behind how the local Massachusetts government determines zoning designations. Before you make any important decisions, you would be wise to think about how this may impact your company.

Make sure you know everything you need to know about easements

It's frustrating to learn that you may not be able to use your Massachusetts property like you want to. An easement can affect what you hope to accomplish with your property, or it may mean that certain parties will have access to your land for a specific reason. If you learn about an easement, you will want to find out everything you can about what this means for your specific situation. 

An easement is the right to use land for a specific purpose, even if that land does not belong to you. In your case, an easement on your land could mean that someone else could come onto, drive on or enter your property for a specific reason. There are different types of easements, and you would be wise to learn about the type of easement that affects your land and how you can protect your property rights.

Requesting zoning relief can be a long, involved process

As this blog often notes, zoning regulations in the city of Boston are strict. It can be hard for developers to build new properties or for landowners to make alterations to existing properties. However, individuals and businesses do have options when their plans run into zoning issues.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency reviews new development proposals, and the Zoning Commission creates and maintains the zoning codes. The Zoning Board of Appeal is in charge of hearing requests for variances, conditional use permits and other forms of relief from zoning laws.

Remedies for encroachment

Sometimes the border between two properties is hard to find. One landowner can accidentally trespass or even build something over the line, on land owned by a neighbor.

When someone else builds a structure on your land, this action is known as encroachment. It often comes up in the context of residential property, but can easily come up in commercial real estate when landowners neglect or ignore boundary lines.

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