Shared driveway problems are dictated by the people that share them. If you and your shared driveway neighbor are highly responsible people, and get along well, then most likely there will be no issues and both will keep the driveway well maintained and available for both homes. If relationships deteriorate then it can become a method of contention. If your neighbor falls into financial hardship when maintenance is required then it can potentially be left to you for maintenance. If your neighbor sells to an irresponsible person then it can potentially be an issue to you.
In my opinion if I were to look at a home with a shared driveway I would certainly look at the deed to spell out restrictions in the driveways use, maintenance, etc., etc., much like deed restrictions by an HOA association. Even with that you should prepare yourself that it is always possible you might have to resort to stronger methods to enforce your neighbors responsibilities. If there is nothing in writing that both parties have signed then many times it is always a potential problem area.
As much as we would like to look towards the good side of others, this is not one of the areas that you can rely on. You will be paying a lot of money for this home, going into debt with a loan and most likely have to live there for many years. Why place yourself in a position that you will kick yourself forever for?
O.K. RE Agents, you can start blasting me for being forward thinking and offering opinions based on practical experiences!!
Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
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CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor
Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
As a homeowner, I have a shared driveway with my neighbor. That house has had 2 owners since I bought my house in 1996 and I've never had a problem. We share the plowing costs and we have extra parking for guests since the driveway is oversized.
As a Realtor, it is ultimately up to the buyer to just know going into the situation that the house has a shared driveway. If you have not done so already, it may benefit you to ask the question of how the driveway is maintained between the two owners now, when it was last paved, etc.
If I can be of any other help, do not hesitate to call me at 508-981-7790 or email me directly at email@example.com