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Rural Property Transactions
Sally Jo Wickham a Realtor for Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield,
Inc, has represented numerous clients involved in the sale or purchase
of rural property in Lane County. As I have gained expertise and experience
in these transactions, particularly in recent years with respect to properties
that are to be developed for residential purposes, I have developed an
awareness of several key issues that should be addressed by the parties
to such transactions. The list of issues that appears below will apply
to property zoned Exclusive Farm Use, Forest, or Rural Residential. It
is not intended to be an all-inclusive list since the rules governing rural
residential development are changing almost monthly. This , however, is
an excellent list of issues that I believe any seller or buyer of rural
property should consider prior to execution of an earnest money agreement.
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Is there satisfactory evidence that the property consists of at least one
"legal lot" approved for separate conveyance, ownership and use?
Has Buyer applied for and received approval of any permits necessary for
construction of a residence on the subject parcel, including approval of
an on-sit septic system, wells, special use permits, or conditional use
Has sufficient time been allowed in agreements for obtaining such permits
and approvals and legal lot determination?
Is the zoning known and satisfactory?
Have the boundaries of the property been identified and surveyed and are
there any physical encroachments of potential claims of adverse possession
or implied easements?
Does the property have a potable domestic water supply capable of providing
5 gallons of water per minute for a 5 hour period to the proposed building
site? Does the water supply satisfy applicable domestic water quality standards
adopted by the State of Oregon and any other government agencies?
Are there "wetlands" or "wet sails" as defined by applicable regulations
promulgated by the Oregon Division of State land located in the area of
the proposed building site?
Is the proposed building site located in a floodplain of floodway area
that would prevent or substantially restrict construction of a residence?
Is there an area within a reasonable distance of Buyer's proposed building
site that is suitable, approved and permitted for a residential subsurface
sewage disposal system?
Is there legal and direct access to the property from a public road?
Can electrical and telephone service be extended to the proposed building
site for a reasonable and acceptable cost?
Is the property in or can the property be annexed to a fire protection
district or can it receive fire protection by contract? Can the property
be insured against loss by fire? How much will fire insurance cost?
Are there any known or suspected spills or releases of hazardous or toxic
waste, pesticides, herbicides or other hazardous substances anywhere within
or near the property?
Are there any restrictions on the property other than restrictions set
forth in the Lane County, Eugene, or Rural City Code?
Do Buyer and Buyer's agents have the right at all reasonable times and
without notice to go upon and inspect the property and the right to conduct
tests and take whatever action is necessary to satisfy conditions set forth
in the sales agreement?
Does the preliminary title report indicate any defects in the title, including
any easements or any restrictions that may affect Buyer's use and enjoyment
of the property as a residential home site? Such adverse easements or restrictions
may include, but are not limited to and easement that would allow others
to travel through the property for any purpose, including farm or agricultural
Has a competent engineer reviewed the proposed home site been to determine
that the soil type and other conditions are suitable for construction of
Are there tax deferrals for farm of forest land that will be lost, or special
assessments for the declassification of the property which will need to
Are there any water rights for the property and, if so, what is the status
of the rights?
More questions? please email
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