So you have a property survey when you purchased the property and you go to build a fence…you begin construction within your boundaries (as stated by that survey) and the neighbor throws a fit. You say…I am within the boundaries of my property…see…look at my survey…and the neighbor says no you are on my property…look at MY survey. Which survey is correct? Well…they both are…or they are both incorrect may be more accurate.
When you purchase a home, the bank requires a survey to lend on the property. This is called a “location survey”. All this basically says is that there is a house where you say it is and the land that it sits on is the size it is supposed to be. This type of survey is NOT accurate in terms of where your boundary lines stop and another homeowner’s begins. To determine this, you need a boundary survey…but unfortunately, if you own a historic property (like the ones here in Old Town Alexandria, VA), the original property lines were determined something like: from the boulder at the end of the North Corner of the Anderson property, take 300 paces south to the old oak tree…and so on and so forth. Well, 400 years later, the boulder has disappeared and the tree cut down…so where does the property start now? You can look back in the records in this case, and still come up short and have 5 different surveys and all of them end up different. What do you do…well I suggest that you make good friends with your neighbor in this case and come to an agreement because otherwise you have to get an easement to build the fence where you originally wanted to and pay a ton of money for it.
In a non-historic neighborhood where the boundries were drawn a little more cut and dry, you will have to get a boundary survey to determine the property lines. This can be costly and upsetting if you were under the impression that the property you purchased included some part of land that it actually does not include.
If you are unsure and it matters to you where the ACTUAL boundaries are, have the title company have a boundary survey completed prior to settlement and not only the bank ordered property location survey so that you know the facts when you purchase the home.
Hope this helps…happy Tuesday!