Regularly Requested Questions About Property Boundaries


As a house owner, it’s essential that you simply’re conscious of property strains with the intention to respect your neighbor’s property and keep away from any authorized disputes. In case you’re struggling to seek out your house’s property strains, make the most of one of many aforementioned methods, or go browsing to examine. Keep in mind that earlier than you or your neighbor construct a fence on the property line, ensure to seek the advice of with one another and an actual property agent about your property’s guidelines and rules. For extra details about shopping for actual property, take a look at our different assets for further reading on properties and mortgages.


Herald a Skilled Surveyor

Earlier than you drive your self too loopy with the metes and bounds survey, know that the one legally binding methodology to find out precise property strains—important, for instance, in case you intend to build an addition to your house—is to have knowledgeable survey. Native constructing codes will decide how near your property line you’ll be able to legally construct. An expert survey may value from a couple of hundred to greater than a thousand {dollars}, relying on the dimensions of your property and the complexity of the survey. Pricey, maybe, however including to your dream home whereas holding in your neighbors’ good graces is priceless.


RELATED: How Much Does a Land Survey Cost?


Can My Neighbor Construct A Fence On The Property Line?

In case your neighbor is considering constructing a fence on the property line between your two houses, it’s necessary that they’re conscious of all crucial legal guidelines and rules. The place a neighbor can construct a fence on the property relies on jurisdiction legal guidelines, in addition to any deed restrictions on both of your houses. As a basic rule, legal guidelines usually state {that a} fence have to be constructed at the least 2 – 8 inches from a neighbor’s property line. A fence constructed straight on a property line might lead to a joint accountability of the fence between the neighbors, together with upkeep and prices. Simply as a precaution, in case you or a neighbor are pondering of constructing a fence on or close to certainly one of your house’s property strains, ensure to seek the advice of your real estate agent on any guidelines and rules.

Go to the Native Zoning Division

The zoning division is the municipal workplace that information plats: the maps, drawn to scale, that present land division. Until your house was constructed greater than 100 years in the past, you’ll be able to most likely acquire a replica of your block and lot plat for a minimal price. This offers you the precise dimensions of your lot—in different phrases, the property you legally personal—in relation to different lot strains in your block.

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Why You Would possibly Must Know Your Property Traces

You will want to know your property strains in case you are planning to construct an addition to your house, add a deck to the again, or if you wish to do any main landscaping modifications. Even if you wish to construct a fence, you will want to know your property strains. 

Figuring out property strains can also be necessary in case you are shopping for or promoting actual property. If you’re the vendor, you will want to let potential patrons know precisely what they’re paying for. And in case you are shopping for a property, you wish to make certain of the boundaries of the property you make a suggestion on it. Your mortgage and title firms will possible require your property strains, too, as they put together your paperwork. 

And lastly, realizing your property strains may also help you keep away from disputes along with your neighbors. Having clearly outlined boundaries makes it simpler to know who’s answerable for tree removing, for instance. It is going to additionally show you how to keep away from any problems with encroachment: when one neighbor builds one thing that sits on the opposite’s property. 

There are numerous causes you may want (or want) to know property strains. When you resolve you wish to know your property strains, the following step is to determine the best way to discover property strains.

How Are Property Traces Calculated?

Property strains are virtually at all times calculated utilizing a shared protocol known as the RSS or Rectangular Survey System. Skilled land surveyors use the RSS to create roughly equal rectangular parcels of land, which might finally be added and measured to create a complete property define. By way of the RSS, all land parcels are divided into sections measuring about 1 mile throughout. Nevertheless, the land parcel divisions are often not good due to environmental components like lakes, tree strains, rivers, and roads. Parcel strains are additionally separated into meridians and baselines, which run north to south or east to west.

How To Discover Your Property Stake:

It’s way more frequent for the stakes to be a number of inches underground. Not so deep that they match up with the frost line, however deep sufficient that some digging is necessary. In that case, your finest guess is to purchase or lease a metal detector (cheap ones value lower than $50). Whenever you’ve discovered your goal, dig all the way down to make it possible for it’s actually a stake and never only a misplaced quarter.

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After you’ve got discovered the iron property stake, exchange the dust and hammer in a small piece of wooden as a visual marker.

Word: If finding your property strains exactly—in a authorized dispute, for instance—we strongly advocate that you simply rent knowledgeable surveyor.

Methods to Discover Property Traces for Free

Home-owner’s Deed

A home-owner’s deed ought to embrace a authorized description of the plot of land, together with its measurements, form, block and lot quantity, and different identifiers similar to landmarks and geographical options. If the language is difficult, attain out to your actual property lawyer or agent for assist in deciphering it.

A Tape Measure

If you wish to visually affirm your property strains, you should utilize a tape measure to find out the boundaries. From a identified level detailed within the deed’s description, measure to the property’s edge and place a stake at that time as a marker.

In any case the sides have been decided, measure the gap between the stakes. Evaluate the outcomes to verify they match the corresponding deed or plat.

Present Property Survey from Mortgage or Title Firm

Most mortgage lenders require potential householders to have a present survey, and your title insurance coverage additionally will depend on it. In case you purchased your house not too long ago however don’t have the survey, contact both firm to see if they’ve a replica on file.

Present Property Survey from County or Native Municipality

A property’s historical past and legalrecords are usually saved within the municipality or county’s tax assessor’s workplace or in its land information or constructing division. You possibly can often start your search by logging on to entry the related property information. Most municipalities supply this info without spending a dime, however some places of work might require a small price or ask that you simply entry the information in individual.

Buried Pins

On the corners of your property, you could possibly discover metal bars which were buried, typically nonetheless seen, with a marked cap on the highest finish. These had been possible positioned in your land when a survey was accomplished. In case you can’t readily see the pins (they could have been buried over time), use a metallic detector that will help you find them.

Whereas this isn’t a legally binding approach to decide your property strains, it offers you a good suggestion of the boundaries. Warning: Earlier than you begin digging, name 811, the nationwide call-before-you-dig hotline, to request the situation of buried utilities you don’t wish to inadvertently dig into an underground utility line.

Use an App

Obtain an app like LandGlide that makes use of GPS to find out a parcel’s property strains. LandGlide is free for the primary seven days.


Verify your deed. The deed accommodates an outline of your property’s measurements and bounds in phrases. Measure from the landmarks within the description to the property strains. Mark every nook with a stake or different marker. Measure from every stake to the following all the way in which round your property to make sure the measured strains match the deed. Bodily measuring the boundaries will let you visually decide the place the strains are and keep away from encroaching in your neighbor’s land.

How Property Traces Are Marked

How property lines are marked can vary. The demarkWhen the developer of a chunk of land constructs houses, they may usually have the property strains marked.

How property strains are marked can fluctuate. The demarkation is often accomplished in a single of some other ways, together with:

  • Picket stakes
  • Concrete markers
  • Metallic markers

Over time these markers are inclined to disappear, which might trigger householders to surprise the place the property strains are situated.

As a house owner, you’ll be able to have your property strains marked if this turns into necessary to you. We shall be moving into this momentarily.


Take a look at your property survey. The survey is a doc with a rendering of the property strains and measurements, and will have been given to you if you purchased your house. The gap from your own home to the property line and the road must be proven on the survey. Use the measurements and particulars about surrounding landmarks to visually decide the property strains and keep away from land disputes with neighbors.

Why Are Property Traces Essential?

Property strains are necessary as a result of they remove grey areas in the case of property possession. Due to property strains, you recognize precisely what you’re getting if you start the method of buying a house. Property strains show you how to share info along with your mortgage lender and/or title insurance company, who will usually have to know the property strains as they’re setting the phrases of your agreements with them.

Being conscious of your property strains additionally makes you a good neighbor. By realizing the boundaries of your property, you’ll be able to keep away from disagreements along with your surrounding neighbors, particularly ones that might result in authorized disputes. The very last thing you need is to sink a bunch of cash into an addition on your house, solely to seek out out you constructed a part of it in your neighbor’s land.

Boundary Line Agreements

Boundary line agreements are written authorized contracts between neighbors made to settle disputes over property boundaries. They fluctuate barely by state, however the level is to have a manner the place property homeowners can agree on property line utilization outdoors of going to court docket.

Boundary line agreements will not be the identical as boundary line changes. Boundary line changes are made when property homeowners wish to change land, redefining the property line between them, usually accomplished with out involving cash. Boundary line agreements are particularly used when there’s a dispute over land and its use.

One of the frequent causes for a boundary line settlement is when a neighbor has encroached in your property by constructing a construction on it. Usually, this difficulty is simply made identified since you did a land survey for one more undertaking and found your neighbor constructed in your land.

With the intention to retain the title to that piece of property, you’ll be able to create a boundary line settlement along with your neighbor. On this settlement, your neighbor acknowledges their mistake in encroaching in your property and also you enable the construction to stay standing. This lets you retain authorized possession, your neighbor to make use of what they constructed and for you each to remain out of court docket. You keep the fitting to the property and if the construction is torn down or destroyed, the neighbor should rebuild it on their property.

In case you want to cede the property to your neighbor, you’ll be able to file a boundary line adjustment, although you’ll have to pay overview charges, and the method takes longer than an settlement. No matter your resolution, you should do one thing in case you ever intend to promote or switch the property. A neighbor’s construction in your property might make issues extra sophisticated the longer it goes unaddressed.

What Occurs With Encroachment of Property Traces?

When shopping for and promoting houses, there are occasions when the encroachment of lot strains is found. What this implies is the neighbor has constructed a construction that violates native zoning legal guidelines. One of many extra frequent examples is when a neighbor builds a fence onto the neighbor’s property.

There are some things to think about if you uncover an encroachment. If a neighbor has constructed one thing onto your lot and one thing horrible similar to an damage, occurs in that construction, you possibly can be partially liable and have a declare in opposition to your house insurance coverage. Even when there was by no means a declare, you may find yourself paying larger insurance coverage premiums.

It is usually very important to consider the property’s resale worth when it comes time to promote. You might be positive with the state of affairs now, however what if future patrons don’t really feel the identical manner? Usually, in conditions like this, it’s going to trigger title insurance to be dearer.

What Can You Do About Property Line Disputes With Neighbors?

A property line downside with a neighbor is just not that uncommon. They occur on a regular basis. Property line points can occur in a number of other ways. Typically incorrect assumptions are made about the place loads line exists. Different occasions a deed description won’t be correct.

There are additionally instances the place one neighbor has been utilizing a portion of land for a very long time and claims possession by adverse possession. Methods to resolve property disputes boils all the way down to the state of affairs.

The overwhelming majority of the time, it’s higher to work out the dispute amicably along with your neighbor. Authorized battles over minor lot property line points can turn out to be very expensive. The simplest approach to settle is to show to your neighbor by knowledgeable survey that their assumptions concerning the property line location are incorrect.

If this doesn’t work and the neighbor received’t cooperate, your final resort might embrace providing to divide the property at difficulty or request some type of financial compensation.

Going to court docket over a minor lot line difficulty may value far more cash than the quantity of land it’s price.

You Don’t Have To Resolve This on Your Personal – Get a Lawyer’s Assist

Assembly with a lawyer may also help you perceive your choices and the best way to finest shield your rights. Go to our attorney directory to discover a lawyer close to you who may also help.

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