Converting from Oil to Gas - Run line through neighbor's yard?

6 Replies

I am in a duplex owner/occupy with two oil furnaces.  I'd like to convert to natural gas, but I am in a long driveway at 340 feet.  The gas company will give me 100 ft for free, and then it is $30/ft for the rest of the 240 feet - $7,200 to run a line...ouch!

Across from my neighbor, it's a shorter distance.  Unsure how long, but certainly not 340 feet.  How common is it for people to run lines through an easement of someone's property?  Of course I'd need them to be OK with it to start.

@David Santore You'll need to acquire - and most likely purchase - an easement from your neighbor for the gas line.  Of course, they're under no obligation to accommodate you.

I did this a few years ago at a home I owned, where there were 3 new McMansions being built behind me.  I sold an easement for an underground water main to run through my property for $20,000.

My mortgage company had to approve the easement - and they required that I use $11,000 of the $20,000 to pay down principal on the loan.

Obviously, there will be a break-even number.  You'll have to get the easement for $XX,XXX or less for it to be worth it.  

The other break-even number is the conversion from oil to gas, but I'm sure you've worked that number out already.

Originally posted by @Charlie MacPherson :

@David Santore  I sold an easement for an underground water main to run through my property for $20,000.

$20K WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWWWW!  I already have a driveway easement on the 340ft side - is it possible to use just that vs. having to get another easement?

Easements are typically for a specific use....utilities probably not part of your driveway easement.

@David Santore Yep.  What @Wayne Brooks said.  It's en entirely different easement.

First step is to do the numbers and see what it would take to make it worth your while to buy an easement.  Don't forget legal fees.  

Second step is to talk with the neighbor and feel him out.

$20-50K, depending on distance an location, is a pretty common amount around here, @David Santore .  

Let's be fair:  think of everything your neighbor disposes-of by giving you that Easement:  the right to later install a below ground pool...  the right to install an ABOVE ground pool, because they'd have to move it if (god forbid) they need access to your gas main;  the right to do ANYTHING with any permanence whatsoever on that section of the property.  What might have been black top in his yard now has to be gravel, or he's installing it with the knowledge that you can come back through it any time.  (there goes the tennis court, basketball court , or even a patio in some cases.)   Forget building on it/expansion of a home later.  Heck, even certain tree species can't be planted there for feat that the roots may interfere with your fuel line.  All of this potential has a value and that value is typically pretty high.  

You could ask for it for nothing, but the neighbor would be crazy to submit.    Good luck.  

@Steve McGovern @Charlie MacPherson @Wayne Brooks Thanks guys for putting this all in perspective, that is quite a big pill to swallow especially when factoring the details for the other's property.

In this case, I'll look into the driveway easement side as the only thing that runs there is pavement on a commercial property and it wouldn't affect anything on their business side.  Asking for $20K or above makes sense to cut through someone's backyard, but for an area away from other spots I'd like to just have a heart to heart with the other owner.

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