Have you been searching for that perfect home or piece of property? If you said yes, we are sure you have numerous questions going through your head right now. You may also be filled with excitement and unaware that you may be missing a key component, as you check out each property. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is forgetting to confirm the boundary lines for any home or land they are purchasing. This may not seem to be a big deal, but it can be if you are paying for space you cannot use because the neighbor is using it as their own personal space.
When you look at a piece of property, you may have a real estate agent, or the seller, telling you the fence is on the property line. Or the line of trees is yours, when in fact, they are your neighbors. Before you even think about purchasing the property, we would like to urge you to confirm the location of the boundary lines. You can do this by requesting a property survey.
A Property Survey
When a property survey is completed, a surveyor will go to the property. They will take the most recent deed to the property, as well as the most recent legal description and historical maps and records. This information will all be used to identify borderlines and dimensions.
The surveyor will map out the property by measuring the land. All utilities, easements, and setbacks will be noted. In the end, you will be given a map that shows the boundary lines of the property, as well as any notable features.
This survey can be used to secure a mortgage, settle any boundary line questions and concerns, and allows you to know exactly where your property lines are located. You can even use the survey to negotiate a lower price if there isn’t as much land as the owner thought. Certain issues like sinkholes or flood risks may be noticed during a survey as well. Bringing those issues to the attention of the owner can ensure those items are either fixed prior to the purchase or the price can be lowered before the sale.
If you happened to purchase a home or land without having a survey completed, you should do it prior to making any improvements to your new property. This will ensure you are placing a new shed or patio on your property instead of encroaching onto your neighbor’s land. Trust us when we say you won’t want to move these items in the future when a new neighbor moves in.
Although, if an encroachment has been in place for quite some time, you may be looking at adverse possession. So, if a neighbor of the property you are thinking of purchasing has had their fence on your property for twenty years, they may be able to claim that land as theirs. In order for this to happen, the land claimed must have been in use without the permission of the actual owner for that length of time. The actual owner should have noticed this was happening as well.
As you can see, having a survey completed for any land or home you are considering purchasing is necessary. Failure to have one done can mean headaches and large issues that could have been avoided. If you are struggling with boundary line issues or think you might in the future, contact our office today.