How Do I Know Where My Property Lines Are?

Methods to Discover Property Traces for Free

Figuring out the authorized boundaries of personal property is helpful for a lot of causes. Whether or not you’re a hunter looking for permission to hunt private property or a landowner who needs to know the traces in your property, there are a number of free methods to seek out property traces. 

Anybody can go to their native county report or assessor’s workplace for a single public map of your avenue and look over the plats, that are maps drawn to scale that present land divisions. These are usually out there for properties constructed lower than 100 years in the past. A plat will present the precise dimensions of your lot and present boundaries in relation to your neighbors. 

It’s also possible to monitor down your deed. Some deeds have a “metes and bounds” survey hooked up to it, which describes the precise distances and instructions from one established level in your property line to the following. However these surveys might be laborious to decipher. 

Search for buried pins on the corners of your property. These are metal bars (typically capped with plastic) positioned by skilled surveyors to mark frequent factors. Not all bars are seen; some would require utilizing a metallic detector to find. 

One trick for locating property traces is to search for visible clues. Avenue lights are usually positioned on property traces, and sidewalk cuts and modifications are usually proper on the boundary line. 

Google Earth is not an possibility for locating property traces. U.S. Parcels Knowledge was discontinued by Google on January 29, 2016.

Why is it necessary to know the situation of your property traces? 

Property traces are in place to maintain one property proprietor from encroaching on one other proprietor’s land or compromising their privateness by constructing too near their home. A typical encroachment is perhaps tree limbs that develop previous your property and overhang right into a neighbor’s yard or a driveway poured to increase onto a neighbor’s property. When you recognize precisely the place your property traces fall, you’ll keep away from by chance encroaching in your neighbor’s land.

When you plan to construct a everlasting construction, you’ll wish to be as correct as potential, and ordering your individual land survey is the most suitable choice. In most states, you’re required to name a diggers hotline 811 to request buried utility data earlier than you construct a fence, plant a tree, or lengthen your driveway. This name ensures you recognize the situation of any buried wires or irrigation methods to keep away from inflicting harm. Inside a number of days’ discover, somebody out of your native utility firm ought to have the ability to mark county wires or pipes with spray paint or flags.

Since property line data might be beneficial to somebody you might sell your house to, it would be best to maintain all information. Make a copy of a brand new survey you’ve accomplished, a plat map, or any data from town or county workplaces in digital or laborious copy format. When you do a brand new survey, you might also must register it along with your county assessor or recorder. In the course of the sale of a property, the title company will seek for encroachment of 1 property into one other. They could refuse title insurance coverage to the vendor in the event that they discover a property line dispute.

When you understand how to seek out your property traces, you’ll achieve peace of thoughts for any venture that would come near the sting of the property. Displaying respect to your neighbor and their property rights might help you keep away from a lawsuit. 


How Property Traces Are Decided

We all know that fences don’t line each landowner’s plot, so how can we outline the place one yard ends and the neighbor’s begins? It’s rather less than exact, however to assist make issues extra standardized, almost the complete nation has adopted a protocol referred to as the Rectangular Survey System (RSS).

Land surveyors use RSS to develop a system of rectangular parcels of land that may be added and measured to create a top level view of the property. RSS works by dividing all land parcels into roughly 1-mile sections. The phrase “roughly” is used as a result of these sections are infrequently good.

Roads, creeks, rivers, lakes and tree traces typically get in the way in which of the proper mile. The traces are then separated into two varieties: meridians and baselines. Meridians run north and south, baselines run east and west.

The RSS system was first utilized in jap Ohio in an space referred to as the Seven Ranges. The epicenter of the system is on the Ohio – Pennsylvania border close to Pittsburgh. County traces repeatedly observe this survey, and the creation of it within the Midwest explains why many counties are rectangular in form. This method has since turn into the nationwide normal of how we calculate property traces in the present day.

Property Traces And Dwelling Value determinations

So, what does this imply for dwelling appraisers? Whereas conducting an appraisal of a given property, the appraiser will go to the county assessor’s workplace within the native municipality to accumulate property information. They are going to take a look at the parcel ID and authorized description to confirm the fundamental description of the property location.

If the property is in a subdivision, then it’s going to most probably be measured by RSS, and property traces can typically be recognized on the related plat map. If the appraiser can not confirm the property boundaries, they should request a duplicate of a survey that must be carried out by a licensed surveyor.

Find Hidden Property Pins

Survey pins are skinny iron bars, 2 or 3 ft lengthy and generally capped with plastic, which the unique survey crew inserted on the property traces. When you have entry to a metal detector, transfer the machine over the bottom alongside the sidewalk to the curb to find the survey pin. Pins could also be buried slightly below the floor, or as much as a foot under. A couple of days earlier than you dig, nonetheless, you have to name 811, the free, federally designated quantity that can route you to your native utility firm. Ask the utility firm to come back out and mark any buried traces so that you don’t unintentionally hit one. There’s no cost for this service, however in case you harm a buried utility line, you may find yourself having to pay to restore it.


How do I discover my property line?

One of the best ways to seek out the property line is to seek the advice of the plat to your property. Relying on the urgency, you might wish to measure it your self or name in a surveyor. In both case, it’s an ideal concept to go to your neighborhood’s zoning division. They may give you a duplicate of your plat (for a price) and produce you in control in your native zoning ordinances.

You may additionally wish to go to the register of deeds workplace at your county courthouse. There, you’ll receive a duplicate of your deed. They could even have insights for you as to the historical past of the property. Property homeowners typically dump parts of their tons or purchased items of them — the deed will listing any modifications like this.

Your deed ought to embrace a “metes and bounds” survey. This a part of your deed describes a place to begin from which you’ll measure all of the corners of your property. Nevertheless, it has technical language that may be obscure.

Closing Ideas

Earlier than constructing a brand new construction or putting in a driveway, it’s very important to have an expert come out and mark the property traces. Property pins might be moved through the years, and in some circumstances, the boundary might lengthen previous a property boundary marker if a earlier proprietor purchased or bought land to a neighbor. In a greatest case state of affairs, you could have extra land than you thought you probably did. In a worst case state of affairs, you could have poured the driveway on the neighbors’ land, they usually could make you tear it out.

Why Are Property Traces Vital?

Property traces are necessary as a result of they get rid of grey areas relating to property possession. Due to property traces, you recognize precisely what land you’re getting if you start the method of buying a house. Your mortgage lender and/or title insurance company might want to confirm the property traces that can assist you qualify for a mortgage.

Figuring out your property traces can be useful when beginning a home improvement or main landscaping venture. You’ll wish to have an understanding of the place your yard ends and a neighbor’s begins. That manner, you gained’t find yourself by chance constructing a brand new addition on your private home or placing up a fence round your yard that encroaches in your neighbor’s property.

Lastly, being conscious of your property traces exhibits that you simply’re respectful of the neighboring premises. Figuring out the boundaries of your property might help you keep away from disagreements along with your surrounding neighbors, particularly ones that would result in authorized disputes.

Why is it Vital to Discover Property Traces?

Property traces are necessary since they clear up any confusion or arguments concerning the place somebody’s property begins and the place one other individual’s property ends. Think about, for instance, that you simply wish to plant a brand new row of hedges in your yard to extend privateness and to alter the aesthetic of your yard house. Nevertheless, you don’t have any fences between your property and your neighbor’s. How will you know the place it is best to plant your hedges with out technically invading your neighbor’s house? The reply, in fact, is property traces. By discovering the property traces, you may plant the hedges in a particular spot or row and keep away from any authorized bother later down the highway.

There are many different examples apart from this, as nicely. For instance, if you recognize the property traces for a given piece of property, you’ll know precisely what land you buy if you purchase a home. Figuring out property traces permits you to share the data along with your mortgage lender or title insurance coverage firm. These might help you get quicker and much more engaging mortgage or insurance coverage phrases. As you may see, it’s necessary to seek out property traces for extra causes than only one. Fortunately, there are a number of methods during which you are able to do so!

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Methods to Legally Decide Property Traces

Rent a Licensed Land Surveyor

To get an correct dedication of property traces that can stand as much as authorized scrutiny, you’ll want to rent an expert surveyor. (Observe that almost all states require licensure of land surveyors; examine your state’s necessities.)

Whereas an expert survey might price a a number of to a number of hundred {dollars}—or extra, relying on property location, measurement, form, and terrain—it’s cash nicely spent since property disputes price much more in time, potential hefty authorized charges, and neighborly goodwill.

What Are Boundary Line Agreements?

With out getting too technical, boundary line agreements are particular authorized contracts written between neighbors. They’re used to settle any disputes over present property traces are boundaries. Whereas the precise contract necessities and inclusions will range relying in your state, they’re at all times used to make sure two or extra property homeowners agree on how property traces are used and divided. Observe that boundary line agreements aren’t the very same factor as boundary line changes. Boundary line changes, as an alternative, are created when property homeowners must alternate land. This includes redefining or redrawing property traces between them. In some circumstances, however not all, this will contain cash. For instance, in case you and your neighbor wish to commerce bits of property in your backyards for various parts, you may draw up a boundary line adjustment to make this authorized.

So, what do you utilize boundary line agreements for? One frequent instance happens when one neighbor by chance encroaches on one other individual’s property by planting hedges or constructing a construction. This may increasingly happen if the unique property proprietor does a land survey and discovers the error. In that case, the property proprietor must create a boundary line settlement with their neighbor in the event that they wish to retain the title to that property piece. The ensuing boundary line settlement will embrace an acknowledgment by your neighbor that they by chance encroached on the property, in addition to an acknowledgment in your finish that you’ll let the construction stay standing. On this manner, the construction builder can maintain management of the constructing whilst you retain management of the particular land it’s constructed on.

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