Property Lines - Their Importance And The Location Of The Markers In Your Yard

If you want to add a fence, pool, gazebo, or other structure to your property, then you need to understand where your property lines are located. These lines separate every property and they are distinctive invisible lines that help homeowners understand where their lawns end and where their neighbors' begins. Unfortunately, since the property lines are not marked with ropes or stakes, disputes can occur if structures are placed even a few feet outside property boundaries. To learn more about the importance of locating your property markers and to also find out how to locate these markers with your neighbors in mind, read on.

Importance of Locating Property Lines

Adverse Possession

Locating the correct property lines for your property is important to stop disputes with your neighbors before they begin. This is one reason why it is wise to look at both your own and your neighbor's deed when starting the process. While both deeds should show the same property lines, this is not always the case.

Property lines may be changed over time if one property owner continually uses and maintains a certain space close to the property boundary. They can then acquire it through adverse possession. This is common if a natural boundary, like a line of trees, sits several feet inside your property line. The trees may be used as the boundary of the property even though several feet of your yard may sit on the other side. When a situation like this occurs, then the neighbor can acquire the extra yard space and a deed may be changed. If this change was made without your knowledge, or if old property owners agreed to the change without updating the two sets of deeds, then a discrepancy will be seen.

Other Boundary Issues

You may also see some basic errors in the way the property boundaries are noted on the deed in relation to your house. Old surveys may have these errors that were later fixed when a town survey was completed. Not everyone will be provided with the correct survey information, but you likely can find what you need online.

You may be responsible for tearing down new structures if a property line dispute occurs, regardless of the reasons for the discrepancies. You and your neighbor can split the cost for an official survey to be completed if an issue arises, but this may only happen if you have a good relationship with them. You may otherwise need to pay for the survey yourself, go to court over the dispute, or remove the structure to simply solve the issue amicably.

Taking Measurements

If you and your neighbor seem to have deeds with matching property line locations, then consider measuring for property lines by using both the deeds. Start by finding the shortest distance on your own deed. For example, the paperwork may show the distance from your shed to the right or left property marker. Use a tape measure to measure the distance and secure a stake in place. Use this stake or measurement to locate the nearest corner of your property. Place a stake in this location and find the next shortest measurements on your deed. Continue taking measurements and marking them. Use caution tape or a string to connect all posts. Your property lines may not be completely straight once the ropes are secured, but the lines should match the angles of the boundaries drawn on your deed.

Adding Markers

After you use your own deed to measure the property, use your neighbor's to take similar measurements to verify the line that separates the two plots. If the measurements match up, then ask your neighbor if he or she agrees with the position of the line. If so, then think about placing some permanent metal posts in the ground to mark all four corners of your property. Professional surveyors use metal pins or concrete formations to mark them. You do not want to do this, since you are not working in a professional capacity. Solid steel spikes secured several inches in the earth are a good choice though, since they can easily be located with a metal detector.

Of course, if measurements did not line up correctly, then do not place markers in the ground based on a guess. Hire a professional surveyor instead, or contact your town to inform them that new land surveys need to be completed in the area due to property discrepancies and outdated data.