states where water is scarce, ownership and use of water are often determined by the doctrine of prior appropriation. Under this doctrine, the right to use any water, with the exception of limited domestic use, is controlled by the state rather than by the landowner adjacent to the water.To secure water rights in prior appropriation states, a landowner must demonstrate to a state agency that the owner's plans are for beneficial use, such as crop irrigation. If the state's requirements are met, the landowner receives a permit to use a specified amount of water for the limited purpose of the beneficial use. Although statutes governing prior appropriation vary from state to state, the priority of water rights is usually determined by the oldest recorded permit date. Under some state laws, water rights, once granted, attach to the land of the permit holder. The permit holder may sell a water right to another party; however, issuance of a water permit does not grant access to the water source. All access rights-of-way over the land of another (easements) must be obtained from the property owner. Townships are subdivided into sections and subsections called halves and quarters, which can be further divided. Each township contains 36 sections. Each section is one square mile or 640 acres, with 43,560 square feet in each acre. Sections are numbered 1 through 36, as shown in Figure 6.5. Section 1 is always in the northeast, or upper right-hand, corner. The numbering proceeds right to left to the upper left-hand corner. From there, the numbers drop down to the next tier and continue from left to right, then back from right to left. By law, each Section 16 was set aside for school purposes, and the sale or rental proceeds from this land were originally available for township school use. The schoolhouse was usually located in this section so it would be centrally located for all the students in the township. As a result, Section 16 is commonly called a school section. Land Acquisition Costs
To calculate the cost of purchasing land, use the same unit in which the cost is given. Costs quoted per square foot must be multiplied by the proper number of square feet; costs quoted per acre must be multiplied by the proper number of acres; and so on.
To calculate the cost of a parcel of land of three acres at $1.10 per square foot, convert the acreage to square feet before multiplying:
43,560 square feet per acre × 3 acres = 130,680 square feet
130,680 square feet × $1.10 per square foot = $143,748
To calculate the cost of a parcel of land of 17,500 square feet at $60,000 per acre, convert the cost per acre into the cost per square foot before multiplying by the number of square feet in the parcel:
$60,000 per acre ÷ 43,560 square feet per acre = $1.38 (rounded) per square foot
17,500 square feet × $1.38 per square foot = $24,150
A growing number of brokerages offer limited-service listing agreements. The real estate broker may offer no services other than that of listing a property in the MLS. When sellers enter into this kind of agreement, they are essentially representing themselves, accepting communications from prospective buyers, showing the property, and perhaps hiring an attorney to assist with completing a transaction. If questions emerge during the negotiation or completion of such a transaction, the seller may turn to the real estate professional working for the buyer for answers, which can put the real estate professional in an awkward position or, worse, involve the real estate professional in an unethical or even illegal position if even an implication that the real estate professional has worked on behalf of both parties to the transaction without their informed consent is present.
In response to this potential problem, some states have enacted legislation defining an exclusive brokerage agreement. Other states have proposed regulations that define the minimum level of services a consumer should expect from a real estate professional.
For example, one state now requires all exclusive brokerage agreements to specify that the broker—through one or more sponsored sales associates—must, at a minimum,◾accept delivery of and present offers and counteroffers to the client;◾assist the client in developing, negotiating, and presenting offers and counteroffers; and◾answer the client's questions about offers, counteroffers, and contingencies.
was created by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, www.uniformlaws.org. At present, UETA has been adopted by all but three states (Illinois, New York, and Washington). The law sets forth basic rules for entering an enforceable contract using electronic means. The primary purpose of UETA is to remove barriers in electronic commerce that would otherwise prevent enforceability of contracts. UETA validates and effectuates electronic records and signatures in a procedural manner and is intended to complement a state's digital signature statute, but it does not in any way require parties to use electronic means. UETA's four key provisions are the following:◾A contract cannot be denied its legal effect just because an electronic record was used.◾A record or signature cannot be denied its legal effect just because it is in an electronic format.◾If a state's law requires a signature on a contract, an electronic signature is sufficient.◾If a state's law requires a written record, an electronic record is sufficient.
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign) was passed by Congress in 2000. E-Sign functions as the electronic transactions law in states that have not enacted UETA, and some sections of E-Sign apply to states that have enacted UETA. The purpose of E-Sign is to make contracts (including signatures) and records legally enforceable, regardless of the medium in which they are created. For example, contracts formed using email or transmitted electronically rather than by paper have the same legal significance as those formed on paper.