Due Diligence on Landlocked Properties

A seller called and showed interest in my offer. She wants to talk to a title company before she moves forward. In the meantime, I took a look at her property, and I don’t see easy road access. There was a clear trail through part of it, but I didn’t see where it entered the property. There could be an easement or access, I just can’t see it on the map.

This was a blind offer. When you encounter an issue like lack of access, how much of a discount do you apply? This is 8 acres, any my offer was $28800.

@shanebpp when I see landlocked property, unless the seller can clearly demonstrate where the easement or access point is, I’ll usually bring my offer down to 5-10% of market value. When a property is legally useless, it warrants an absurdly low price.

Keep in mind it also depends on my knowledge of the local code and how easy it may (or may not) be to get the legal access I need. If I know of an easy fix, then that may change things.

@retipsterseth don’t mean to hijack the thread, but my question is closely related so I figured it may make sense to ask it in the same thread. An owner reached out to me, but failed to answer any of the questions (including road access), PropStream shows parcel boundaries, including what looks like a road-like outline adjacent to the parcels (and parcels even have an address with a road name - but no house number), but according to Google and Satellite view, no road exists there (it’s a forest), what does that mean? Is the road zoned but not built? Would the city force the first developer to build there to also build a road? Should I treat this property as landlocked or would this be higher value due to potential road access in the future (assuming the PropStream boundaries are accurate)?

@investomation it could be that the road easements were all established but never developed. I’ve seen this a lot in rural counties near me. It could also be that the satellite imagery you’re seeing in Google Earth is older (before the road was built), but I would guess it’s probably the former rather than the latter.

From a negotiation standpoint, I would treat it as landlocked because it is. From what you’re saying, it appears there is legal access but not physical access. Both types of access matter, and legal access is arguably more important… but even so, if you can’t physically get to the property, that’s still a BIG problem and for most intents and purposes, it’s not usable until someone builds that road.

I’m not sure who would handle the cost of the road, as it probably depends on whether it was established as an HOA or not and/or what the municipal rules are… but without knowing this info, I would assume the cost would fall on the first person to build there.

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I’m gonna send some neighbor letters. I have a contract on the property, and I’m hoping for a double close.