Fannie Mae guidelines require that if property fronts a private way, an enforceable agreement for its maintenance be in place, or in the alternative, that a state statute impose a duty of maintenance. If neither of these are present, Fannie Mae might impose conditions on its purchase of a mortgage on the property unacceptable to the lender. SOmetimes this can makemit more difficult for abutters to private ways to obtain a mortgage.
Massachusetts has statutes addressing the issue of maintenance processes and private associations for legally ongoing maintenance of a private way. The problem is the statutes, G.L. c. 84 s.' 12-14 are archaic and likely do not fulfill the Fannie Mae requirements.
Current MA Senate Bill S1910 is intended to address the issue of private ways for which there is no covenant or enforceable agreement for maintenance. It is much more comprehensive than the existing statutes and addresses not only private roads but bridges, private utility lines, recreational areas, etc., and provides detailed provisions for establishment of maintenance associations with lien and enforcement powers. If S1910 does what it is intended to do, and passes, it may make it easier for Massachusetts residents whose homes abut private ways to obtain financing. A link to S1910 is here
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