Did you know that the United States is one of the few remaining nations to allow private citizens and companies to own underground natural resources? That’s right, mineral rights refer to the ownership of the land below the surface of a property, which used to be sold as a package deal with a property. Now, however, they are sold separately, since many property owners wanted nothing to do with the minerals or the mining and extracting process. The separation between surface rights—the right to use the land for farming and building—and mineral rights can lead to some confusion when purchasing a home.

So what kinds of things should you consider before buying a property’s mineral rights?

Money – This is one of the only reasons to not buy the mineral rights, since many regular families have no interest in mineral rights or believe that they may strike gold in the form of oil. You may be able to save some money in the initial purchase of the property, but once you read the next few considerations, we hope you do your due diligence before signing the rights over.

Owners don’t need permission to mine – That’s right, whether the mineral rights owner is a mining company, or if they are merely leasing to a mining company, the law grants the “reasonable use” of the surface while accommodating your use as well. In most cases, if the case goes to court, a judge won’t allow a building to be demolished, but very often a mineral right owner will win out over a surface owner if they want to drill where you have intentions of building. Also, depending on the mineral rights owner’s specific agreement, they may be able to remove minerals “at any time, by any means.”

Damage to the Surface – If the mining, invasion onto your land and loud, busy work isn’t enough to drive a homeowner crazy, often times the mineral rights owner may not be held accountable for the damage to the surface of your property.

Disclosures – If you’re buying a new home, it’s very important that you, your real estate agent and your title company do your due diligence on mineral rights on homes for sale in Denver CO, since depending on where you buy, a seller may not even be required to disclose that you’re only buying the surface rights to a property.

About PorchLight Real Estate: PorchLight Real Estate Group has the most experienced and knowledgeable Denver real estate agents in Colorado. For more information about homes for sale in Denver CO or specific neighborhood homes please visit www.porchlightgroup.com.

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