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Buying a home and land with state right of way....advice?

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  • Buying a home and land with state right of way....advice?

    So we have decided we want to move to out of anchorage for good. Looking at an awesome place but it has state right of way attached to it. The land backs up to the mountains and chugach state park, and has old Glenn highway frontage. What is there to worry about with the state? Can they take possession ? Has anyone dealt with this kind of land issue? Thanks to all
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  • #2
    Exactly what does the right of way......."SAY"

    What is your understanding as to what the rig of way is for.

    I would be very careful in that part of Alaska.

    Have you talked to "Title" company........???? What will they guarantee (Read Insure)......???

    When did the right of way get established.......Date.....was there compensation.......???

    Can the right of way be "Vacated"......???

    Get all information in writing........If you go forward with the closing, you could choose to record any relevant documents when the deed is recorded.

    In real estate matters........."If it Ain't in writing" It is NOT enforceable for any party to the transaction.

    I would also talk to your property insurance company........Do they cover Mud-Slides, Avalanche, Erosion.....etc....???
    "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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    • #3
      How large is the parcel and what type of right away is it? If the parcel is large enough, then a right away may not be too big of an issue. When we bought our place, we knew that there was/is a right away along our back side, but that goes with being on a section line.

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      • #4
        I would be careful with that one.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AK Bearcat View Post
          How large is the parcel and what type of right away is it? If the parcel is large enough, then a right away may not be too big of an issue. When we bought our place, we knew that there was/is a right away along our back side, but that goes with being on a section line.
          It is 1.03 acres. I'm assuming from what I've been led to understand that the right of way is along the highway frontage, which would make sense. We are looking into it deeper.
          AGL: yeah we are trying to find out everything, last thing I want is to buy the place and then have it stripped from us later. We are being cautious. The place is exactly what we want, and just outside our price range but certainly doable. almost seems too perfect.
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          • #6
            Does it say the right of way is for road "ONLY"........Sometimes utility companies will attempt to use road right of ways. It sounds like a no big deal, but I would check for any EASEMENTS. I thunk your biggest issue might be mud'slides, or avalanche. Homes have been destroyed and people killed in the homes in that area.

            How wide is the road right of way.........???



            Originally posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
            It is 1.03 acres. I'm assuming from what I've been led to understand that the right of way is along the highway frontage, which would make sense. We are looking into it deeper.
            AGL: yeah we are trying to find out everything, last thing I want is to buy the place and then have it stripped from us later. We are being cautious. The place is exactly what we want, and just outside our price range but certainly doable. almost seems too perfect.
            "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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            • #7
              I'm guessing the right of way has to do with the highway frontage? Regardless, a right of way is just as it says; the state, and generally the public has the "right of way" within that corridor. That means at any time the state may come along and develop or make improvements to (widen) existing development within that corridor i.e. build a road or improve an existing road. All section lines, unless expressly vacated, are generally reserved by the state as public transportation rights of way, so your situation isn't uncommon. My property is bounded by such a section line. The odds of the state building a road on my property line is very remote, and I have never had any individuals walking through my property along the section line, but they have every legal right to do so (and if they did, I would lose up to 50' of property). That's what a right of way is all about.

              Edit: We were posting simultaneously.... So the highway right of way should be pretty straightforward. You'll want to look at the survey plat and determine the location of the right of way relative to existing improvements, and determine how much (if any) additional ground you would lose if the right of way was fully developed (assuming it's not already), and decide if that would be acceptable to you or not.

              You generally don't have any say over a public right of way. Easements are a different matter. An easement is granted by the landowner to a specific person or entity (such as a utility company) to cross your land in some manner. The easement allows ONLY that person or entity to cross your land , and only for the purposes defined in the easement agreement. An easement clearing (such as for a power line) remains your private property. It does NOT allow for public right of way.
              ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
              I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
              The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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              • #8
                Section Lines are "Easements".........and NOT Right of Ways. There is a massive difference between them. Only the entity that has a easement can use the easement.......Not the general public.



                Originally posted by iofthetaiga View Post
                I'm guessing the right of way has to do with the highway frontage? Regardless, a right of way is just as it says; the state, and generally the public has the "right of way" within that corridor. That means at any time the state may come along and develop or make improvements to (widen) existing development within that corridor i.e. build a road or improve an existing road. All section lines, unless expressly vacated, are generally reserved by the state as public transportation rights of way, so your situation isn't uncommon. My property is bounded by such a section line. The odds of the state building a road on my property line is very remote, and I have never had any individuals walking through my property along the section line, but they have every legal right to do so. That's what a right of way is all about.
                "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AGL4now View Post
                  Originally posted by iofthetaiga View Post
                  All section lines, unless expressly vacated, are generally reserved by the state as public transportation rights of way...
                  Section Lines are "Easements".........and NOT Right of Ways. There is a massive difference between them. Only the entity that has a easement can use the easement.......Not the general public.
                  What are section-line easements? And what do they have to do with R.S. 2477
                  rights-of-way? A section-line easement is a public right-of-way, 33, 50, 66, 83 or 100 feet
                  wide, that runs along a section line of the rectangular survey system. All 33- and 66-foot-
                  wide section-line easements were acquired by the state under R.S. 2477, regardless of
                  whether trails have ever been developed along them. Also, some 50- and 100-foot-wide
                  easements along section lines have narrower R.S. 2477 rights-of-way “inside” them. An
                  R. S. 2477 right-of-way is a type of public easement that the State of Alaska acquired under
                  long-standing federal law.
                  http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/vacate.pdf.
                  ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                  I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                  The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by iofthetaiga View Post
                    To learn more about R.S. 2477 rights-of-way, look for DNR’s fact
                    sheet on that topic or visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/trails/rs2477/index.cfm
                    Thanks iott. I jus sent a message to the dot inquiring what that section of highway falls under and what I need to be aware of. Ill contact BLM after I receive a response from them. Still much to learn and research. It is zoned under R-5 rural res.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AGL4now View Post
                      Does it say the right of way is for road "ONLY"........Sometimes utility companies will attempt to use road right of ways. It sounds like a no big deal, but I would check for any EASEMENTS. I thunk your biggest issue might be mud'slides, or avalanche. Homes have been destroyed and people killed in the homes in that area.

                      How wide is the road right of way.........???
                      Though mudslide could be a possibility, the land backs up to a nice heavily treed rounded hill around 800-1000 feet high. It's not far from fire lakes.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
                        It is zoned under R-5 rural res.
                        If it's within the borough, you should be able to get a copy of the legal survey plat from them. (And that document needs to be provided by the seller as part of your purchase agreement package). I wouldn't necessarily trust any info from DOT.
                        ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                        I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                        The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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                        • #13
                          I must have had a brain'fart........I misunderstood the location.


                          Originally posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
                          Though mudslide could be a possibility, the land backs up to a nice heavily treed rounded hill around 800-1000 feet high. It's not far from fire lakes.
                          "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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                          • #14
                            I have a 1 acre parcel with highway frontage. The right of way is not part of my lot, it is adjacent to my lot. Many times that highway right of way is treed and landowners are pissed when the state clears their right of way to the boundaries. This happened north of Willow. I happen to know where the line is and have allowed the trees to grow on MY side of the line.
                            Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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                            • #15
                              I'll also add that any time you buy property with road frontage you are in risk of the government declaring eminent domain and forcing you to sell the property to them.
                              Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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