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Whether buying or selling a Silicon Valley home, you’ll want to read the preliminary title report, CCRs (if any) and related documents carefully.  A question often arises as to where specific easements are located.  The title company which is handling the escrow (and which provided the preliminary title report) can generate a color coded easement map for you if you or your real estate agent requests it.

How is a color coded easment map made? Essentially, someone takes the plat map, found at the back of the preliminary title report, and marks it up where the easements are – generally.  Here’s what one looks like:

Color coded easement map

Although this is not as precise as a survey, seeing the visual is very helpful in understanding what’s being discussed. In the image above, the green area is the “setback” line, meaning the area where you cannot build your house or garage.  Other colors are for different easements, such as for power, water, sewer.  Some areas have slope or drainage easements too.

Related reading:

What is an Easement and Why Should You Care? (Live in Los Gatos blog)

What Is A Plat Map, And What Can You Learn From It? (this blog)