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Are the mineral rights attached to a property deed?

  • 2 min read

When it comes to real estate, understanding the mineral rights attached to a property deed is crucial. However, it’s not always straightforward. Some properties have mineral rights included, while others may have them split off and owned by somebody else.

The Complexity of Mineral Rights
You might own a home and the property it sits on, only to find out that the rights to any minerals, gas, or oil beneath the surface were sold to somebody else long before you purchased the property. This could grant them access to your property for mining or extraction purposes.

Determining Mineral Rights
So, how do you know if your property’s mineral rights are intact? The key lies in running a title search. However, not all title searches are created equal.

Types of title searches
There are three or four different types of title searches, with the most common being a current owner search. This search identifies the current owner and all records from that owner forward. While this is the cheapest and fastest option, it may not reveal split-off mineral rights.

The Importance of Chain Title Search
To truly understand mineral rights, you must conduct a chain of title searches going back several decades. This helps trace any split-off mineral rights, which may not be evident in recent transactions.

Other Non-Standard Vesting Rights
Mineral rights aren’t the only concern. Timber rights and water rights, among others, can also be split off from the surface land. These rights may not appear in standard title searches, necessitating a deeper investigation.

Air Rights in Modern Real Estate
In modern times, air rights have become increasingly important. Companies like cell tower operators may have the right to access your property for installations, highlighting the evolving nature of property rights.

A property deed is more than just a record of ownership transfer; it represents a bundle of rights. Understanding and verifying these rights, especially mineral rights, is essential for any real estate transaction. By conducting thorough title searches, including chain of title searches when necessary, buyers can ensure they’re aware of all rights attached to the land they’re purchasing.

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