Not all Texas homes are accessible from public roads. Private roads are roads on private property and generally do not receive public services. They can be found in rural areas as well as gated communities and subdivisions.

The Texas Transportation Code allows the owners of private roads to regulate or prohibit their use. But that doesn’t always mean anything goes. In some situations, property owners or a subdivision governing body can have arranged for the county to extend speed limits and traffic enforcement to private roads. Additionally, local ordinances could potentially govern the availability of certain municipal or county services available for properties located on or adjacent to a private road.

If your buyer clients are interested in a home on a private road, suggest they find out how the road is maintained. Often there’s a homeowners association or private road maintenance agreement in place. Some lenders—including VA, FHA, USDA, and Fannie Mae—may require permanent easements allowing use of a shared private road and/or an HOA or maintenance agreement before approving a home loan. Buyers should speak with a private attorney if they have any specific questions regarding the road agreements or easements in place for a particular home.