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Rick's Real Estate 101: Covenants – What are they?

Covenants (often referred to as “restrictions”) are privately placed rules that act as a guide to future use and development of land. They are incorporated into the property deed or recorded as a separate document at the registry of deeds. One primary motivation for establishing covenants is to maintain or enhance the economic value of a property. Two terms you may come across are “burdened” and “benefited” land. Burdened land is the land that the covenant applies to, while benefited land is land that benefits from the restrictions placed on the former. In the case where the same covenants apply to a group of properties, then that property would be both “burdened” and “benefited”.



Property without covenantsAre Covenants Good or Bad?

If you want to have complete freedom with your land in Maine and do not care what others around you do, then covenants may not be for you. If you hope that surrounding properties are developed in a fashion that is compatible with, or not averse to, enjoyment of your property, then covenants might be good. But the real answer is this: If covenants coincide with YOUR intended use or vision, then covenants might work for you. Remember, the covenants you have on your property may be the same for those surrounding you. This should serve to protect the value of your land.



Keep an Open Mind

At Swift River Properties we sell land with and without covenants. We encourage you to keep an open mind about them. Like most things in life, we feel it is good to consider multiple options in order to make the best decision possible. Ask questions and apply what you learn to your unique situation. It's your future. Make the best of it!  

Rick's Real Estate 101: Easements

In the land business, we come across easements all the time! They are common and they come in many different forms. Here is a brief definition of easements, some common types, and their use. Let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories about your experience with easements. We'd love to hear from you.

An Easement is a right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose. Common easements you may run across when buying land include private rights of way, utility easements, an easement for access to water or an old cemetery. Many other types of easements exist as well. Easements will be recorded in the registry of deeds so a title search should uncover their existence. However, easements might also be acquired or lost through prescription or adverse possession, so the history and use of the property is important to understand. Easements are generally permanent and run with the land (passed on from one owner the next). As always, we recommend a thorough title search and consultation with an attorney with any questions regarding easements.

Happy land hunting!