Easement issues.

Experts,
I am buying a house and I am deep into the contract with inspection etc done.
I came to know just yesterday that due to the electric poles with are in my back yard there is something called easement, and utility companies can come to my backyard anytime. I am OK with that but I came to know that there will be restriction on me on what I can do in my backyard. For example: I can't have a swimming pool there.
My agent never told me about easements before.

My questions are:
1. What are the restrictions on the owner due to easements.
2. Do these poles pose any hazard? e.g., can they fall on my house in a storm/earth quake? Who will be responsible?
3. Do these poles negatively affect the price of the property?

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October 26 2011 - Fremont
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Answers (2)

Profile picture for B Mike West
Easements are very common in every area of the country.  If you do not like the impact that they have on the property you can back out of the deal and find another home with lesser or no easements--if you have not already removed all contingencies.
My mother's home in Colorado has a similar situation.  The utility company comes every few years and trims the trees so that they do not interfere with the utility lines.  There, you can not grow trees under the lines that grow into the lines.  Other than they are no big deal.  The chances of a pole coming down are very slim and if they did it is more than likely that the utility company would have to fix the pole and repair any associated damage.
 
Where there is one property with this kind of easement chances are that every other property in the area has the same issue, so the impact on property value would be slim.
You could buy a home in a newer development with underground utilities.  There would be no poles but there will still be utility easements so that the cables and pipes can be serviced. The property price is likely to me much higher.

So, the short answer is that your subject property is probably just like every other property in that area.
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October 26 2011
In my area, utility poles are outside the fence, and along the back alleys. Yes, it would pose potential risks of falling. But that risk is small. The exact restriction should be spelled out on papers in your area. Get those documents and see what exactly are the restrictions. In my area, for example, we do not allow two story houses.
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October 26 2011
 
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