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Land Locked

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Alan Simmons

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I have a land enigma.

I have been given an assignment on an old 3 to 4-acre piece of land that is landlocked. Over the years (since 1881) it has just become isolated. The current owner who inherited it has kept the taxes current but does not own any of the surrounding land. The nearest road is 1500 feet away. Does anyone have any insights or a good resource that could help?

One odd thought; there is a large creek that runs through the parcel. If somehow this creek has some sort of navigation rights (or is somehow controlled by TVA) this would offer a very snaky access, thus it would not be technically landlocked, would it?

Thanks
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Woah there! Major complex assignment!!!

A maybe navigable waterway with riparian rights is not really considered typical access for a land locked parcel. How many other parcels with that kind of access are in your area? How many of those have sold?
Better start checking your state and local laws regarding forcing an easement and what it would cost to do that. Also, find someone with experience with something like this to work with or turn the assignment down. As is right now.... value is negligible.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Agree with Pam, it may only be worth a wee little bit as excess land to one of the neighbors.
I'm dealing with one now (from a future ex-friend :unsure: ) where the only access would be via an easement, over a deep gully, and he would have to build a bridge. He thinks it's a steal-bargain. I axed 'em if he knew how much his bridge would cost...... may be as much as the land WOULD be worth. So what does that make it worth today? Little to nutin. ;) But he thinks it's the most beautiful piece of dirt on God's green Earth....... if only you could get to it. :rolleyes:
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
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Jan 15, 2002
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I agree, the land really only has any worth to one of the owners of the connecting properties that does have road access. Therefore, little value to the owner, more value to the few prospective buyers that are available. He is at their mercy, unless he owns a portable catapult and a parking space on the closest road. Or, can he put a landing strip or heliport on his parcel? Does he have a backhoe that he could dig a tunnel? :lol:


How does he get access to the land now? Shouldn't there be some sort of ingress/egress easement with title allowing access?
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I actually found a sale of a land-locked piece of land in rural E. Texas back in the 80's. Interestingly enough, it was about 50% of non-land-locked land. Sold to an adjoining property owner and was large enough to make it attractive.

The issue is whether you can force an easement or not. If you can't or can't acquire an easement from an adjoining property owner, it's not worth much.

Roger
 

xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Originally posted by RStrahan@Aug 7 2003, 03:50 PM
<snip>
The issue is whether you can force an easement or not. If you can't or can't acquire an easement from an adjoining property owner, it's not worth much.

Roger
Pardon my being nosy, but would it be correct to value this property as though it had: 1) access; and 2) no road frontage, and then deduct the cost of obtaining an easement to obtain the value?

If that procedure is acceptable, how do you calculate the cost of the easement. Clearly, it would be cheaper to obtain a voluntary easement than to have to go to court and force one. How would you calculate the easment cost?

Major complexity, indeed.

(And, Tim, I know you were joking about the tunnel, but the other owners also have air and subsurface rights. Neither the tunnel nor the helicopter would work.)

Tennessee uses a "jury of view" to condemn an easement. Five people, usually experts. The petitioner has to pay'em. They route the easement across private land to the "nearest public thoroughfare." There are other considerations, such as you can't cut through improvements. Then the "jury of view" places a value on the easement. The petitioner pays the respondent that amount for the easement. He also pays court costs. Oh, and you need a lawyer. Petitioner pays him, too.

Does it sound to you folks as if the cost of this appraisal will exceed the value of the property?
 

Fred

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Virgin Islands
As far as "technically" landlocked, there are actually degrees of 'landlocked'-ness. Can you walk to it, swim to it, fly to it, or can't get there at all without someone's permission? By the definition in some dictionaries (no road access), a private island is landlocked, despite not being locked in by ANY land.

Landlocked sales exist. The properties are almost always bought by abutting owners usually at a hefty discount. You need to find appraisers who have comp sets, which may not be in your state, or you will just hve to do a lot of searching. You need to look at sales around water because it sounds like you have water access. Call some ROW appraisers. Takings sometimes create landlocked strips and such that have to be appraised.
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
Alan, my dad bought a parcel at the tax sale a few years ago that was land locked. As I understand Alabama law someone has to allow an access easement across their adjoining land. Of course if there is several owners then it can end up in court trying to decide who has to say Uncle. Anyway my dad ran into that, there was more than one way to get to the property and no one would willingly give him an easement.

He tried to give the property to one of the adjoining owners and they didn't even want it! I think he finally quit paying taxes on it so they would sell it. So it may really have no value.

One other thing, I remember a sale in Marshall County that was land locked. I don't remember details but if you need I can try to find it. We are not that far apart so you might be able to use it in some way in your report.

Email me if you want me to look.
 

rtubbs

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Alan, I don't know where to locate the statute but, looking through the old "Study Guide for Real Estate", I found this statement:

"Alabama statute gives a landlocked owner of land located outside the city limits the right to secure an easment for ingress and egress across the lands of others. This easement may be no more than 30 feet in width and must be across land that offers the shortest and most direct route to a public road."

Good luck.
 
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