Often, selling a piece of land is selling a lifestyle that goes along with it. And the presence of a good source of water such as a lake is just as important to a property buyer as a land. A land with a lake is a perfect package, especially for homesteaders. The land investors at Checklands.com have purchased and sold many properties that include access to or ownership of a lake. They are happy to answer any questions you may have if you are considering selling your land and lake property. If you are planning to sell a piece of land and lake together, the following information is what you need:
Understanding Real Estate Land Rights and Real Estate Water Rights
Real estate land rights pertain to the right to ownership, as well as access, use, possession, and occupation of land. Water rights are legal rights granted to property owners to access and use bodies of water adjacent to lands they hold. Littoral rights are a kind of water rights that ensures access to lakes, oceans, and seas. If you own a property that borders a flowing bod of water, you have riparian rights. Water rights run on the land and not to the owner. Thus, if your property is sold, the new owner gets the littoral rights and the you relinquish your rights.
Selling your Land Separate from Your Lake or Together As a Package
When buyers look for a piece of land on which to construct a home, they pay attention to where they will get water. The availability of water on your land can greatly impact its use and value. You may choose to sell your land separately the new owner still has access to water. If your land has a lake and you choose to sell them together, check if you have legal rights over the lake that you can transfer to the new owner. Depending on the US state you live in, you may only own access to the lake and not the lake itself. Be sure to check counties laws to understand if you own the lake you are trying to sell.
Check your Deeds
Make sure the entirety of your property is listed in the legal description, including any water features. A complicated patchwork of local, state, and federal laws regulates water ownership, access, and use. Plus, there might be some environmental regulations and zoning issues that supersede the water laws and impact your rights and responsibilities.
If your land has a smaller lake and you own the lands around it, you would also own the land under the water. This means you could use the water for domestic purposes or swim on it; however, you could would not be allowed to drain the water for any other use without additional permitting.