How to Find Your Property Lot Lines
Why is Knowing Your Official Property Line Important?
Knowing the accurate and legal boundaries of your property makes it easier to complete projects on the property without a problem and helps to move the transaction of selling your home along more smoothly.
In most scenarios, hiring someone to conduct an official new survey is the best course of action. If you are planning to build a guest home or swimming pool in the backyard, you need to be 100% aware of the local development laws for your property and just exactly where your property lines are to make sure the necessary easements are adhered to. An easement is the required amount of space you need between a structure on your land and the property line.
When you buy a home it is not uncommon for the mortgage lender to request a new survey of the property to determine where the property lines lie. If the mortgage lender does not request it, the title company will often recommend a new survey be conducted. They want to make sure the development of the property and neighboring properties is done within proper boundaries to avoid costly fixes to mistakes. Finding issues with the property lines in a survey can help you determine if you need to ask the seller to fix issues or decide to walk away from a potential issue that will cost thousands to make right.
Who Decides Property Lines?
Depending upon how the neighborhood the home was built in began, the developer of the land most often is the authority who sets property lines. It could have been portioned off by the city, county, or state. In some cases a neighbor could have sold off property they had to a developer and they set the boundaries of what they were willing to sell. An official surveyor plays a vital role in discovering the formal boundaries of a property and marking them out.
Neighbors can agree to change up property lines, but the best way to go about this is with a formal boundary line agreement. This can also be called a lot line agreement which involves deeding the land being changed and going through legal measures to officially change the property lines.
How Do I Find My Official Property Lines?
Check the Deed to Your Home
Your official property lines are recorded in a couple different locations. Some of the locations where you can find written record of your official property lines include the legal description of the lot on the property deed or the plat mat. If this was not included in the large amount of paperwork you received when you purchased the home it can be found through the local assessor’s office or the planning office.
The deed is the most accessibly easy way to find written record of property lines. There are a few ways in which the property description can be written in a deed. It can be in the form of description of the exact location on a plat map or it can be written in specific detail and precise measurement allowing you to find property lines by walking them with a precise starting point.
The plat map for a property shows the property outlines for the entire neighborhood or general area. Every individual property will be labeled with a different number known as the parcel number.
Spot Survey Markers
Many properties have hidden markers at the corners to help someone follow and find the boundaries. When a survey is conducted by a professional they will place flags or stakes in the ground where the markers are located and buried in the ground.
Even if your property does not have markers, it should have pins, or metal poles usually made of rebar that can be buried as much as 10 inches below ground surface. You can find them with a metal detector and digging to ensure that is what the metal detector found. Before digging just make sure there are not wires or pipes where you are digging, of course. This can be done with a call to 811.
An Official Survey
A surveyor specializes in making precise measurements to locate exact property lines or the exact legal boundaries of a plot of land. A surveyor may also bury pins at the corners if they are not already there as well as put stakes or flags where markers have been placed for easy use by the landowner. How long a survey takes to complete really depends upon the land, it can take as few as thirty minutes or as many as three hours. The price of a survey can depend upon the location you live as well as the size of the property it can cost anywhere from $346 to over $1000.
When finding the boundaries of your property you want to avoid trusting fence or lawn lines or a garden as an official boundary. It is important to know official and legal property lines if you plan to make improvements to your property or if your neighbor is making improvements and you believe they could be overstepping their bounds. Not only will this be useful information right now it comes in very handy when you are trying to sell your home.
For more information on selling a home in Columbus or surrounding areas please contact me any time.
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