Many people who buy a home are under the impression that their property lines lie exactly where they're supposed to according to the seller's land survey. This can lead buyers into a false sense of security where the property lines are concerned. It can also lead to misunderstandings about property lines, easements and even where you can park your car. If you think you don't need a precise property survey, think again. Here are just some of the ways that knowing your property boundaries can help make you a better neighbor.
Good fences make good neighbors
If you want to erect a fence, or even if you want to replace the current fence, you should get a current property survey, especially if you've never had one completed just for you before. Don't rely on the survey done by the previous property owner. Just because the property lines may not change, it doesn't mean that the buildings and structures on the property have not been changed, so if you're using an old survey to gauge the distance for your fence, you could be encroaching on your neighbor's property.
Property disputes can be avoided
It may seem like a small thing, but cutting your lawn, letting your kids play outside or even letting your pets roam in your yard can trigger a property dispute. If you are unfortunate enough to have a neighbor that doesn't want anyone walking on their lawn, you could be in for some arguments if you can't prove exactly where your property lines lie. A current survey can solve this problem and keep your neighbor from getting angry at you for being on their side of the property.
Driveways won't be a bone of contention
Even if your driveway lies correctly within your property lines, you could still be "crossing the line" if it lies right on the edge. Encroachment, when one driveway extends improperly onto the adjacent property, may be an obvious issue, but so is a driveway that lies so close to the property line that it causes heavy foot traffic on the neighboring property's grass. If your neighbor takes issue with you walking on the grass to get into the car, a survey could help, or hurt, your situation. If the survey shows that the driveway doesn't actually form the property boundary, you're okay, but if it shows that the driveway is the boundary, or worse, encroaches onto your neighbor's property, you could be forced to correct the issue.
This also works the other way around, especially if your neighbor wants to erect a fence along the edge of your driveway. Some places specifically prohibit the placement of fences too close to a driveway because it could block the view of the street, making it dangerous for cars pulling out of the driveway. If you think your neighbor is breaking the law with their fence positioning, check your local ordinances, and get a survey to verify where your property lines actually lie.
Make access and easement issues easier
Imagine coming home one day and finding the electric company digging up your yard to repair your neighbor's electricity. You might get pretty angry, but if the easement for the electrical equipment is on your property, there's not much you can do about it. If you have a current land survey, you will know exactly where any easements lie, so you can be prepared in case you or your neighbor need access to the utilities there.
Knowing where your property lines lie can save you many arguments, and it can also protect your rights as a property owner. A survey may cost several hundred dollars, but it could save you a lot of hassle and bad feelings between you and your neighbors later on. If you don't have a current land survey, consider having one done, so you'll know exactly where you stand.
For more information, contact a local land surveys company.