Governments, private parties and utility companies generally try to establish legal rights across real property to protect areas from being taken by others that will be improved for public or private purposes.  The rights can be established by easements or they can be acquired via a deed and include ownership interests.  


Roadways and utility corridors offer the most commonly identified rights-of-way.  Roadways are typically acquired for wider area, say 60' feet when the developed portion of the road may only be 40' feet.  Thus the right-of-way is often wider than the actual improvement area.  With utility transmission lines, a right-of-way is acquired that allows for a "tower fall" event, thus they are often 100' or 200' wide depending on tower height.


When easements are acquired the underlying land owner may gain reversionary rights in the land after the property ceases to be used for its original intended purpose.  The downside to easement acquisitions is that a landowner may be required to pay taxes on the property even though they can do nothing with it.


Deeds that grant fee title provide governments, utility companies and private parties with rights that last in perpetuity, and when the area no longer serves its purpose, they gain any residual value.  Notably railroads that ceased operation around the country have sold their deed established rights-of-way for snowmobile trails, roadways and other purposes when the tracks were removed.  The downside to fee acquisition is that individual landowners generally want more money for a fee interest than for an easement.


Appraisers taken into account the net usable area that a parcel has, or the portion of a property that is available for development.  When power lines, gas lines, roadway easements or other types of easements traverse a property through its middle the right-of-way can have a serious negative impact on an appraiser's value opinion.  Condemnations can affect a forced taking of property for a public use.   


Contact us with your questions or concerns regarding rights-of-way, easements or regarding your appraisal assignment in Nevada via e-mail at grigdon@cox.net or by phone at 1-702-568-6699. 



Copyright 2007 Horizon Village Realty & Appraisal

Commercial Real Estate Appraisals in the Las Vegas & Henderson, Nevada Area.