Property FAQ

Q. What is a deed?

A. A deed is a document that transfers ownership of any property that includes land. If you own your house you got a deed when you bought it, and would sign a deed when you sell.

Q. What is a contract for deed?

A. A contract for deed is a contract to sell property where the buyer makes payments to the seller and only gets a deed when the property is paid off. This is different than buying with a mortgage, where you get the deed right away even though you are making payments to the bank.

Q. What is an easement?

A. An easement is the right to cross over property that does not belong to you. Easements can be in writing, or they can be set up without any written agreement based on use for a certain amount of time, usually 15 years.

Q. What is adverse possession?

A. This is where a person gets the right to use property that belongs to someone else because they have used it for a certain amount of time, usually 15 years. This often happens when a house or garage is built over the property line by mistake.

Q. How do I set up an easement or adverse possession?

A. They are established by the court after whoever wants to set them up files a formal request with the court.

Q. What is a purchase agreement?

A. A purchase agreement signed by one party, usually the buyer first is an offer to buy property at a certain price and terms. When signed by both parties, it is a binding contract. Do not enter into a purchase agreement unless you know all of the terms and what you are required to do.