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 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, the real estate agent, or seller, may tell 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 urge you to confirm the location of the boundary lines. You can do this by requesting a property survey.
A Property Survey
First, 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 be used to identify borderlines and dimensions.
The surveyor will map out the property by measuring the land. They will note all utilities, easements, and setbacks. In the end, you will be given a map that shows the boundary lines of the property, as well as any notable features.
You can use this survey to secure a mortgage and settle any boundary line questions and concerns. In addition, it 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. A surveyor may notice certain issues like sinkholes or flood risks during a survey as well. You should bring those issues to the attention of the owner. That way, you can ensure those items are fixed prior to the purchase or the owner can lower the price before the sale.
If you purchased land or a home without a completed survey, you should have one done 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, 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. If a neighbor of the property you are thinking of purchasing has had their fence on said 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, it is necessary to complete a survey for any land or home you are considering purchasing. 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.