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Old 02-18-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
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Default Mineral rights or other deed issues when buying rural land?

Anyone have just a basic general list of things to look for when we're scouting land? I heard from someone on the TN section that bought land and later found out that someone purchased her mineral rights out from under her. I didn't even know that was a problem or legal!

Apparently if she has title insurance she can go back through them and try to straighten it out. But it made me wonder if there is anything like that we should be looking for that could be hidden in a deed somewhere. I don't want to get emotionally invested (yes, it's stupid but I've very emotionall invested in the land I own) and then find out there's some weird deed restriction or the mineral or timber rights don't transfer or anything.

Any ideas?

We're looking in the south western part of the state near the KY border - Wayne, Putnam, Roane, Wirt and Lincoln counties.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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Generally speaking, mineral rights may be sold separately from the land they're under. If the deed doesn't specifically include mineral rights, somebody else probably already owns them.

Spending a few more $$$ for a good real-estate lawyer is going to be money well spent.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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i'm in the oil and gas biz...and have done title searches in WV for my parents there.

if the seller owns the minerals, and wants to keep them, you'll see clearly in the deed that the seller is reserving 100% (or however much) of the oil and gas, and other minerals.

if that language isn't in your deed, that doesn't necessarily mean the minerals are transfering to you...the minerals could have been seperated at some point earlier in the title chain...and in most cases in wv, that's the case.

in order to know 100% where the minerals are, you would need to do a title search in the Deed Records room at the Courthouse...which, if you've never done before, could be a hard task.

depending on the acreage amount you're buying, it may or may not be worth your while to hire someone to do the work for you...
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
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Thanks to both of you.

I was hoping there'd be an easy way to tell when we first look at the property. I'd not planned on hiring an attorney or title company until we get ready to close.

We'd be looking at a minimum of 50 acres, as much as 200+.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
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Land farther east in the east in the state used to be somewhat immune from mineral right issues, as none really existed. However with the marcellus play that cannot be trusted.

Ask the seller and or realtor if rights convey. If you buy enough property a lot of times you will get free gas, which in some cases is quite nice.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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Any Assessors Office can tell you who owns the mineral rights to a certain land parcel...
It's usually the person paying the Oil & Gas Taxes on them.

In the last few years, sheriffs, lawyers and other questionable characters have filtered the land records and lost certain oil and gas properties...only to have them appear mysteriously in some close relatives name...A lot of this 'Claim Jumping is going on.

We have a gas well in our back meadow, it had lain dormant from domestic use for nearly 40 years.
I hooked up the line, set some valves and a drier and plumbed it into the house.
The next week, a well hand was knocking on my door wanting to know what I was doing stealing his gas.
I laughed at him and said.."Buddy, I own 1/8 of that well and I'm burning my gas."
He said, "Nobody is supposed to use this gas...It's ours."
I said, "Let me make you a copy of the lease that was negotiated in 1925...the one that's still in effect, because I signed the renewal in 1982."
He took a copy to the company and they put the well on vacuum and pulled the pressure away from my valve assembly.
I took the pipes apart and re-plumbed the well to my satisfaction...
I get my gas (2 lbs on the guage) and they get the remainder (16/28 lbs depending on the barometer).

Having gas on any property will be worth thousands...but don't think the weasels are not out there to take it from you.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kennedy View Post
Any Assessors Office can tell you who owns the mineral rights to a certain land parcel...
It's usually the person paying the Oil & Gas Taxes on them.

In the last few years, sheriffs, lawyers and other questionable characters have filtered the land records and lost certain oil and gas properties...only to have them appear mysteriously in some close relatives name...A lot of this 'Claim Jumping is going on.

We have a gas well in our back meadow, it had lain dormant from domestic use for nearly 40 years.
I hooked up the line, set some valves and a drier and plumbed it into the house.
The next week, a well hand was knocking on my door wanting to know what I was doing stealing his gas.
I laughed at him and said.."Buddy, I own 1/8 of that well and I'm burning my gas."
He said, "Nobody is supposed to use this gas...It's ours."
I said, "Let me make you a copy of the lease that was negotiated in 1925...the one that's still in effect, because I signed the renewal in 1982."
He took a copy to the company and they put the well on vacuum and pulled the pressure away from my valve assembly.
I took the pipes apart and re-plumbed the well to my satisfaction...
I get my gas (2 lbs on the guage) and they get the remainder (16/28 lbs depending on the barometer).

Having gas on any property will be worth thousands...but don't think the weasels are not out there to take it from you.

that's awesome! but really, it's just not that easy to find out who owns the mineral rights...
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Old 02-20-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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In West Virginia and Ohio (I don't know about other states) the land and the mineral rights are two different issues. When you buy land, you aren't necessarily buying the mineral rights. In fact, I recently was paid a significant sum for 1/12 interest in mineral rights on a piece of land my long deceased grandfather owned. Title to the property passed, but he maintained the mineral rights. The natural gas folks came and leased them for five years. I didn't even know I had an interest in them.

They are leasing mineral rights all over West Virginia right now for the Marcellus Shale
natural gas (except for Cabell - Wayne, which does not have those deposits).
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