Edward Vivona / Sales Associate

507 Broad St / 2nd Floor

Shrewsbury, New Jersey 07702


Voice: (732) 865-4549 / Office: (732) 747-0700

Why Finding Out About Easements Early On Is Extremely Important When Buying A Home!

If you’re here, it could be you noticed I touched on “Assessor’s Map” in my Buyers Response example. Easements are important consideration when thinking about the purchase of any given property, often times they are displayed on the Assessor’s Municipal Map and available for review. Wouldn’t you like to know before you decide to schedule a showing, before you commit to a written offer on a home, that the pool you dreamed of, planned on adding down the road, will not conform to the property due to a conservation easement.

Here is another example of the service I provide, assessor’s maps. If you’re not working with me, be certain to ask your agent to provide the same.

Let’s call this section, “Why can’t I add?….” Subject heading, Easements!

( Please Note: The Following Maps Were "Custom Made By Me" Specifically For My Buyers )

There could be many reasons why a homeowner, on a listed home you’re in love with, has never taken the initiative to add, let’s say,… a paved driveway, a sport-court or a pool. Perhaps your wondering why the home is as close as it is to the street, not set further back as the property is expansive. When you purchase that lovely home, you’re going to plant a row of Cedar trees to hide the ugly retention basin,…the deer in the area won’t eat them, yeah, that’ll fix it.

As I stated, there could be many reasons why things are they way they are, and some can be remedied with some initiative, and some will not. Not paving the driveway could have something to do with “lot coverage”, which could also be applicable to not adding the sport-court & pool. The home being pushed to the front of the property could have everything to do with the stream in the back, the 300 ft. set-back, depending on the designation attributed to it. As for that retention basin which you plan on hiding with trees, well that area is part of a “conservation easement”, which goes almost to the right to the corner of the home and in many cases,….you can’t touch it.

Yes, there are many reasons why you’ll be able to do what you like once you move in, after all you own the property, and others reasons why you won’t. There are also many types of restrictions, many types of easements. Some familiar names may be: Utility, Landscape, Drainage and Conservation to name a few. So, let’s digress for a moment, revisit, perhaps why there is no pool.

Below is an aerial map, a satellite image of a subject area. Perhaps you have the wherewithal to pull these yourself, Bing & Google work nicely. Let’s suggest home #9 is listed for sale, a lovely home, nicely appointed, offers everything you had hope for and more. It features lovely curb appeal, a great neighborhood, a convenient location and an expansive property,…but no pool, unlike the homes on either side, the neighbors, properties #8 & #10. Assumption could suggest you’ll simply add a pool after you Close on the home, perhaps a pool with a waterfall, maybe a gazebo or cabana, an outside shower, a lovely stamped concrete patio with a lounging area,…perfect.

Next up, the Assessor’s Map, a matter of record on-line for Real Estate Agents or available for review in the municipal offices of any given municipality. If you’ve taken the initiative, if your agent has taken the initiative, you’ll notice the subject property shows as 1.66 acres,…loads of room, hot damn! Once you’ve tempered your enthusiasm, you noticed there is an indication of a conservation easement on the property. No worries, the neighbors did it!

The next reference is the same area, highlighted with green arrows, this is where it starts getting good…

Ah, magic,…this reference is the initial satellite map, superimposed over the assessor’s map, not 100% accurate but enough to suggest suspicion about the feasibility to do what you had planned. In case you were wondering why the neighbors pool on home #8 is as close to the home as it is,…maybe this is the reason. Perhaps you’ve noticed the pond on property #8, the fact that there are no fences, you know how kids like to explore,…. and while we’re at it….

The NJ Transit commuter railroad tracks are directly behind the home, separated only, by another street. 

So humor me for a moment. Let’s hypothetically suggest you were interested in home #9, that it is available for purchase, seemingly everything that you had hoped for in reading the details, viewing the normally, limited number of photographs provided on the home search websites.

In contacting me, you’ve already witnessed examples of what you would have received prior to perhaps speaking with me, scheduling a showing, considered wasting your time, wasting your money in paying of the baby sitter,….I could go on. I would rather disappoint you from your initial interest, than have you disappointed much later, say just prior to Closing. Case in point.
If you were unaware of what I’ve offered, you may have submitted an offer on the home. Perhaps it would have been accepted. The contract went through attorney review seamlessly, things are moving forward. The home inspection (engineering report) came back with no issues. The $400 or so dollars you spent, perhaps more, was worth every penny, the report in concise, full featured, everything you had hoped for,…life is grand. You’ve gone back to your preferred lender, the one who supplied the pre-approval letter for contract submission, made application, pulled all your required doc’s, you got a great rate, paid the bank fee and the appraisal fee,….whoops, a survey had to be ordered, monuments, no monuments, your choice. No problem, you pay that as well. The appraisal comes back,… the home is worth exactly what you offered. Whew!
After 3 trips to the paint store you’ve got the color scheme worked out for the Family Room, the estimate just arrived from your contractor for the ceiling molding you’ll be adding on the first floor, you’ve blocked out the time for the work to be preformed, based on your proposed Closing date. You’ve already told your boss that James will be covering for you in your absence…you’re buying a home! The movers are also on board. Perhaps right about now….
Your attorney informs you the title work just came back,…asks if you were aware of the conservation easement on the property, that there’s a real good chance you can’t do what you had planned. If you’re somewhat lucky, this is how it may have played out, I know of this happening at Closing. You can stand on your head and sing Cumbaya, chances are, it won’t change a thing. You ask yourself, “How did this happen?” “What happens now?”
Perhaps right about now, someone may mention the sellers disclosure  statement for the home,….if there was one. Maybe they are asking if you reviewed the document, asking if you signed the document, if you understood what you signed. Below and in the case of the example I have provided, this is what they would have been alluding to, question #72, line item #195 : a lift from the actual New Jersey Association Of Realtors Standard Form / Sellers Property Condition Disclosure Statement.
It is clearly stated on the form, the Disclosure Statement is not intended to be a substitute for prospective Buyers hiring of qualified experts to inspect the Property. Also clearly stated, the Disclosure Statement is to disclose, to the best of Sellers knowledge the condition of the property. In fairness to the homeowners, at times, they simply do not know, at times, provide misinformation.


My point, if you were working with someone like me, there is a good chance this would never have happened. At the very least, I would have looked into your interest, provided you the opportunity to speak with an attorney, to check with the municipal offices to make an informed decision before doing anything. Perhaps there are those, which might suggest this never happens. Nonsense. Don’t take my word for it, ask any attorney you know of, if what I’ve suggested doesn’t happen. It’s probably more likely you just don’t hear about it. Ask yourself this as well, do you think it is pure coincidence that I would be able to locate, from the thousands homes, all the available municipal maps, the perfect scenario to provide the examples I’ve offered. Here’s a better one, what is the likelihood you will ever, in your Real Estate travels, find an agent with the skill sets to provide what I’ve just shown you through the visuals I’ve just provided.


Just like conservation easements, there are many such scenarios, various types of considerations, probably more forthcoming, I’ve only scratched the surface. Simply put and besides the obvious,…the desire for an updated Granite Kitchen, the finished walkout basement or anything you may consider wanting to change, amenities to enhance your potential new home, there are some things you will not be able to, location being be one of them,… something I find more important, than if the drapes match the carpet and all that comes with it.

What I’ve suggested is a complimentary service I provide for the courtesy of your interest. I know there are many agents out there for you to choose from, the onus on you to align yourself with someone like me. If I leave you with nothing else, simply remember, ownership is not necessarily a qualifier for entitlement. Assume the responsibility of empowering yourself toward making an informed decision, likely the most important decision you’ll ever make, hopefully through the efforts of someone like myself.

Why not do yourself a favor, contact me for all your real estate needs…as I’ve just shown you, there is so much more to searching for your next home…this one instance, represents a small sampling of the unique services I provide for my clients.

Need more reasons to work with Edward Vivona?

If You Would Like To Receive These Type Of Buyer Custom Overviews For Homes You Have An Interest In, Then Please Fill Out The Form On Any Of My Pages, Send Me Your Search Criteria, I Would Be Happy To Add You To My Exclusive Homes Search, Update Campaign!…And Of Course, You Can Cancel At Any Time.


Contact Ed Today!

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