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One of the most overlooked costs of buying a home off the beaten path is private road maintenance. These roads are not to be confused with driveways. Instead, they are constructed and maintained by the homeowners along the stretch when there are no city or state roads to service the property.

private road is “often established because an individual needs to gain access to land; such a road can cross another person’s property. A private road can be used by the general public and is open to all who wish to use it, but it primarily benefits those at whose request it was established. Unlike highways that are cared for by the public at large, private roads are maintained at the expense of the private individuals who requested the road.”

Wondering if your road is publicly maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation? Check it out here.

If you discover your road are not maintained by the NC DOT, there are usually three possibilities –

The Home Owners Association maintains the road.

Check with the Home Owners Association (HOA) to see if your fees go towards the maintenance of the roads. Even if your HOA maintains the road, there is still the possibility of a paving assessment every few years.

There is a recorded Private Road Maintenance Agreement in place between the homeowners on the private road.

Because of the expense that the homeowner assumes when purchasing a home with a private road, it is strongly encouraged to have a Private Road Maintenance Agreement (PRMA) in place. The Agreement should be between you and your neighbors who use the road, as well as anyone else who would be affected by diminished access to the property located along the stretch.

If there is no Private Road Maintenance Agreement (PRMA) in place, it is strongly encouraged to reach out to a real estate attorney to get one in place. Without a PRMA, your neighbors will be able to decline the costs of road maintenance.

There is no formal Private Road Maintenance Agreement in place.

Private roads can be expensive, and cost thousands of dollars to maintain. While everyone assumes their neighbors are stand up people, it is best to ensure there is a PRMA in place just in case.

Real estate attorneys are well versed in PRMAs, and are able to assist you and those you share your private road with in maintenance cost agreements.

Want to know more about private road maintenance?

Reach out today!

About Tony Lucarini.

Tony Lucarini is a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Wake Forest Office.

After a career in the oil and gas industry, Tony relocated to Raleigh to begin a career in real estate. He enjoys spending time with clients and working to find their dream homes.

Tony is a member of the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.

Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region.  FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit