Blog Stories Easements, laterals and Siamese splits - oh my!

Easements, laterals and Siamese splits – oh my!

By Shannon Baird, February 7, 2018

Yesterday was a fun scrambly educational real estate day. Sometimes real estate can feel repetitive –

here’s a house. yes it is old. it needs repairs. negotiate. close. hand-off keys. done. rinse. repeat.

BUT Occasionally, there are tidbits of information or technicalities that we find fascinating and get us excited about learning something new in real estate.

Yesterday we were trying to negotiate an offer for a client when we discovered that the house had a sewer line that ran through the lot behind it. Looking at plot maps, quick calls to the City of Portland, conference calls with our favorite sewer expert – all trying to find and answer to the question “what would happen if the easement was revoked?” or “what would happen if the empty lot behind was sold to a developer?”. In all of this research we discovered a few things:

  1. There are no sewer lines on the South side of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery. Not-a-one on that stretch of SE Morrison.
  2. The city still allows for a special type of party sewer. It’s called a Siamese Split! Our new favorite plumbing term for sure. A Siamese Split occurs when 2 or more properties require easements and make a shared connection before connecting to the city main. Here’s an example of a new one that was approved just a few years ago. See the 2 diagonal lines connecting to the 3rd straight line before it even gets to the lateral at the main line? Yep. That’s a Siamese Split folks.  
  3. Not all easements are permanent. There are actually 2 types of Easements – non-revokable and revokable. We tend to think that all easements should be permanent, as they allow for basic needs of a home but that is not always true. Read the easement statements carefully!
  4. The City of Portland has a non-conforming sewer hotline AND they actually answer the phone. Here’s their number: 503-823-7869. Libby is the best.

While showing property is nice of course, it is the research we think is the most important. And the most fun.

Shannon Baird

Earth Advantage Broker

About Shannon As a native of Portland, Shannon is well acquainted with all areas of the city, the surrounding suburbs, and what the various neighborhoods have to offer. Her 14 years of experience working in the real estate industry has helped to develop a true understanding of how a house has to function to become a home and knowledge of architecture and design, which can help in the evaluation and potential enjoyment of a home. Shannon has the ability to provide solid counsel. Her knowledge of real estate matters and absolute trustworthiness are invaluable in the process of any transaction. Having worked for 15 years as a manager of assets for executives living locally and in Europe, Shannon has developed and maintained the trust, organization, professionalism, and effective negotiating skills inherent to the business of real estate. Recipient of the Elizabeth Potter award from the State of Oregon Historic Preservation Office for work in restoration, remodeling and design in residential homes and commercial buildings in Oregon. The award provided for the attendance to a week long historic preservation conference in Mobile, Alabama where the art of preservation was taught by national and internationally renowned craftsman. A member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Oregon Association of Realtors (OAR) and the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR), Shannon also holds a Diamond-Platinum designation in the Million Dollar Club of the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors. Other designations include: Seniors Real Estate Specialist
For a look into the history of Shannon's real estate business before she joined Living Room Realty, you can view her blog that documented her sales, press exposure, testimonials and insights as an agent from 2009-2016. Arts + Culture New involvement in the arts, along with music projects completed this year. My 25 years of experience and knowledge in design and project management were directly related to the following. Founder and Principal of SBaird Design - A locally based boutique design firm with a global soul. Serving clients locally + internationally in a diverse range of projects: smaller and large residential remodels, commercial design, furniture design, home staging consultation, color consultations and branding. One of the founding members of YU Contemporary – A visionary art center empowering artistic imagination and cultural life, destined to become the most provocative supporter of the arts that the region has ever seen. Co – Executive producer – From the Land of Ice and Snow, a compilation CD, 6 years in the making. Led Zeppelin covered by eminent NW musicians. I co-produced the live show ( it sold out ) and the release of the album at Doug Fir Lounge. Press from National Public Radio and all of the local print media. Websites/blogs wrote stories on an  international level. Co-producer – of the final  live concert held at the venerable Berbati’s Pan, venue opened in 1994, closing show on New Years Eve 2010. Hired publicity, managing band necessities, managed merchandise sales, venue and supporting staff’s expectations.
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  • T: 503-799-5095
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Shannon Baird

Earth Advantage Broker

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