Establishing clear boundaries with a vinyl or aluminum fence by Aluminum Fences Direct is a great way to protect your family, protect your home, add style, and add security. Before you install your fence, it’s critical that you establish your property line. The last thing that you want is a neighborly dispute about property lines after the fence is installed. There are many ways to find your property line with ease, precision, and speed.
What are Property Lines?
Property lines are legal boundaries that delineate the amount of land that you own. They establish the boundary between your property and the neighboring property. The acreage of your yard is determined by the dimensions within your property lines. The more acreage, the more value is added to your home.
Because of this, property line disputes are an unfortunately common battle to have between neighbors. That’s why it’s crucial to clearly establish your property lines before you purchase your home and especially before you install a fence. Property line issues can lead to legal penalties down the line depending on the situation, so it’s important to be sure about where your property starts and where it ends.
Hiring a Licensed Land Surveyor
The most accurate way to identify your property boundaries is to hire a licensed land surveyor. The surveyor will be responsible for checking county records to understand how the surrounding area is divided up. In addition, they will look into easements and other important factors that could affect your land and what you ultimately do with it. A licensed land surveyor can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 depending on the location and size of your property.
Check the Property Deed
Your property deed provides a tax description of your property which includes a description of the boundaries. The description with the property deed may also call out specific natural features that are meant to delineate the property line. This is more common on older properties that were delineated prior to the technological age. Nowadays, newer property lines are stored on an online database and accessible online.
Review the Metes and Bounds Survey
Much like the property line description within the property deed, a metes and bounds survey was commonly used on older properties before online maps were available. This survey is a bit more challenging to decipher but may have useful information. For example, a metes and bounds survey may say that, “your property extends 100 yards beyond the pine tree”.
Read the Plat
A plat is a property line map that is typically given to you upon the purchase of a property. If not, then your local county clerk may be able to get you a copy. The plat should have exact measurements of your lot in relation to others in your neighborhood. Each individual property within the area will be numbered and similarly sized. Plats are most commonly available in residential areas. A plat will have information for your entire neighborhood. With a plat, you will also be able to confirm if your neighbor is encroaching onto your property or not
Ask Your Mortgage Company
If you financed your home through a mortgage company, then they may be able to provide assistance with establishing your property line. In some scenarios, the lender may even require (and facilitate) a land surveyor to visit your property. Similarly, the title company that you choose may also run a search to compare results with your mortgage lender before the house is closed on.
Look For Property Line Indicators
During the course of construction, contractors will often place survey pins on the property. These survey pins may still be visible or may be found with the use of a metal detector. They are thin iron bars staked into the ground. A good place to start would be the corners of your property where you think the boundary line is. Property line markers may have also been used by the contractor. These could range from a wooden stake to a piece of metal, to a chunk of concrete.
Check With Your Local Municipality
The local county clerk’s office or zoning department is a great place to start. They may be able to provide any of the above information and more. In fact, they may just do all the heavy lifting for you. The local zoning department should have maps drawn to scale that they can share with you. Unless your home was built prior to the municipality being formed, your zoning department should be able to provide you with a copy of your neighborhood plot for a small fee. This will provide you with the exact dimensions of your lot.
Use An App
It seems like there is an app for everything nowadays – and for property lines are no exception. Many municipalities have migrated their mapping databases to GIS systems, or Geographic Information Systems. A GIS map may be accessible through the county’s website or through any number of available mobile device applications. The LandGlide app uses GPS location to pinpoint the address in question. It has parcel data from over 3,000 counties in the United States which is about 95% of the plots within the US. The LandGlide Map app has more than 149 million properties nationwide available for review.
Establishing a clear property boundary before installing a vinyl or aluminum fence by Aluminum Fences Direct is a great way to avoid encroachment disputes with your neighbor. There are many different ways to identify your property lines which depend on the age of your home, the preference of your county, and your tolerance for quickness, cost, and accuracy.