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Real estate encumbrances: What you need to know

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

The real estate market has grown considerably in the past decade, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon in Oregon. If you’re looking to purchase property, you’ll need to be familiar with real estate law, which includes the different types of encumbrances. Here are three types of encumbrances that apply specifically to real estate.

Property tax liens

Property tax liens are real estate encumbrances placed on a piece of property by the government. These liens state how much money the owner owes to the governing body for real estate taxes. This lien will take priority over any other claim until it’s paid off in full. You can find out if a property has a real estate tax lien by searching the county’s real estate records.


A mortgage is a real estate encumbrance that takes priority over all other claims when the real property goes into foreclosure. This means that if you have a mortgage and someone tries to foreclose on your real estate, they’ll need to pay off your debt before taking ownership of your home or business.

According to real estate law, when a real estate property goes into foreclosure, the mortgage holder will be able to take ownership of your real property if you do not pay off your debt. In some cases, this means that they may foreclose on it even though there are other real estate encumbrances in place.


An easement is an encumbrance that allows an individual or entity to use another person’s real property. Some examples of this are public utilities having the right-of-way over your land, a neighbor being able to access their home through your backyard, and utility companies maintaining equipment on private real estate in exchange for compensation. Easements are real estate encumbrances that are in place to protect the public’s best interests.

Now that you know which real estate encumbrances might apply to your property or a property that you’re interested in, you’ll be better prepared when it comes time to selling or purchasing real estate. Whether you’re buying a home or any other kind of real estate, remember to check all available records in advance.