Thursday, June 30, 2016

The "Orphaned Roads" Bill - what is it & why should you care?

Last week, I had the honor of attending the NC Realtors Legislative days in Raleigh. This event is three days of intense meetings regarding issues that effect private property rights, lending practices, real estate practices and property management on a state level. The days consist of meetings with other Realtors across the state, listening to updates on market viability, challenges and opportunities.

This year has been a very positive year for Realtors statewide as our efforts to preserve mortgage interest deductions and halt a tax on services have proven successful. This success translates to a savings of millions of dollars, for North Carolina homeowners.

 There were also several new agenda items that were being addressed this year. One was the “Orphaned Roads” bill. This bill would seek to classify and note roads that have not been taken over by the state for a variety of reasons. These roads could be private or not up to DOT standards. The bill would seek to establish bonding from the developers of future roads for prevention of additional “orphaned roads”. This may not seem like a huge deal to most property owners who live on state maintained roads, but many buyers and sellers realize very quickly that if you do live on a non-DOT maintained road, that this can be a serious hindrance to obtaining a new loan. Lenders require road maintenance agreements for private roads which can be difficult to obtain if all property owners that front the road are not on board or are unreachable. Heirs are sometimes hard to find and one person that does not agree to upkeep can sometimes “kill” the entire deal. Some roads were actually built by developers with the intention of turning them over to the DOT to maintain but homeowners find out years later that the road was not built up to the DOT standards and the homeowners are now left with potholes and no money to make repairs or bring up to today’s requirements. The effort to identify and move proactively forward is one that has been needed for quite sometime and it is good to see the NC Realtors taking the lead.

Our NC Realtors do a great job of staying on top of issues like the one above and so many more that homeowners never see. This is invaluable, as most Realtors and homeowners alike need the assurance that the association and it’s legislative team are watching over their interests and that harmful bills, laws and regulations never see the light of day. Issues such as this are near and dear to the heart of the Realtor community and we will continue to advocate for private property rights and home ownership. If you have questions or would like to know more about our efforts locally and statewide, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.