An often overlooked problem area for landowners and developers is private restraints on development. While attorneys and title insurance companies are usually careful about examining deeds and plats to find potential problems for their clients, purchasers of land do not always ask the right questions during the excitement of viewing a new parcel.
These restrictions might take the form of building and use restraints (recorded at the register of deeds office), or reciprocal negative easements, which are usually not recorded. Besides carefully reviewing all documents of title, be sure to visit surrounding landowners to discuss any covenants or agreements that might be common knowledge in the community, but not obvious to a newcomer. Also study the lay of the land carefully. The lack of fences between properties might mean that a covenant against fencing exists. If all the houses in your prospective neighborhood are painted the same color, check to find out whether that is the result of an informal or formal agreement.
Consult with an Ann Arbor lawyer who specializing in real estate matters to ensure that you are aware of any legal hurdles to your complete ownership of property. The Law Office of Nicklaus Suino offers title reviews and many other services related to buying and selling Michigan real estate.