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Old 07-02-2008, 11:31 PM   #1
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Finding Property Lines


I would like to install a fence and I am assuming finding out exactly where my property lines are would be the first step.

Is there a way for me to acuratly find out where my property lines are without hiring a surveyor?

If I hire a fencing contractor can they find the property lines?

Once I figure out where my property lines are is there a way to permently mark this. Some sort of stake in the ground?

Any ideas will be appreciated.
Jason

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Old 07-03-2008, 06:27 AM   #2
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Finding Property Lines


was the home surveyed prior to purchase?

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Old 07-03-2008, 03:58 PM   #3
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Finding Property Lines


How big is your yard/property? If the answer to redline's question is yes, you should be able to find an iron pin in the ground for each corner. May need to get hold of a metal detector.

If you can find at least one pin, and you have your deed plat, and you are fairly proficient with a protractor of compass, you might could find it close enough.

If push comes to shove, a surveyor is the only way for you to know EXACTLY where the line is, at least in Georgia. Probably would be worth it, depending on how much you plan on spending on a fence.

FYI- Around here, a simple one acre more or less square lot costs about $600-$800, depending on how far they have to run from the county land lot marker for a legal starting reference point.

Fencing contractor will install the fence where you tell him to.


Just asking, but why the fence?
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:50 PM   #4
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Finding Property Lines


Make sure you install the fence on your side of the property and obey all setback requirements otherwise your neighbor could have you pull it all out and redo it. Also, make sure that the right side of the fence is facing outwards; some places require the "nice" side of the fence to face your neighbor and not your house.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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Finding Property Lines


20 years ago I paid $550 for a 3/4 acre survey, you might be able to get a survey map at your town hall, if one was ever filed. Also in your papers from your closing, it should have the dimensions of your lot, though finding the pins could be hard.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:30 AM   #6
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Finding Property Lines


as some of the others have said, if there has already been a survey done in the past, there should be pins in the ground. If you cannot find the pins, there is nothing short of an actual survey that would tell you where the property lines are.

IF you have anything other than straight lines in your property, it is very difficult to calculate the line, even if you have some pins found.

If you have a metes and bounds property description, I would depend on nothing other than a legal survey.

metes and bounds descriptions are where landmarks were used for reference points. Since trees get cut down and fence posts are moved, it becomes difficult to interpret exactly what the lines are.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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Finding Property Lines


You can go on to the county assessors web site and it will show you an Ariel view of you house and property with the survey measurements of your property. It will get you in the general area of your property line. From there if you have a metal detector you can start looking around for a metal survey steak that is usually put in the ground when your plot was originally surveyed.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:09 AM   #8
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Finding Property Lines


Quote:
Is there a way for me to acuratly find out where my property lines are without hiring a surveyor?
Quote:
If you cannot find the pins, there is nothing short of an actual survey that would tell you where the property lines are.
Quote:
depending on how much you plan on spending on a fence.
Bottom line- how much do you want to gamble on being wrong? Go to HD, get some dog pen wire and a few posts, have to tear it down and you are out of maybe $75.00

Hire a fencing contractor to put up a nice fence for (? $1000.00 plus) and may be wrong.

Get arrested for trespassing if the other party gets a "legal" survey- Court costs, fines, lawyer's fees.

So?

PS: I have personally seen aerial surveys from the county office where the "line" was off probably fifty feet and actually went through the end of the house.

Quote:
Just asking, but why the fence?
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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Finding Property Lines


The 1/2" metal pins are normally there, but can be a booger to find. I work in a city that has 80+ year old homes and lots, and the pins are often well over a foot deep. If your house is new, your pins should be easier to find, but you'll still need a metal detector.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:01 PM   #10
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If the property has been surveyed with the last twenty years or so, the corners are typically marked with pins ( pieces of rebar driven into the ground). This does not mean they are easy to find though; it is not uncommon to have fill on top of them, and I have seen them end up 12" or more below grade over the years. If you are in a subdivision and at least have references from neighbors fences, you could at least try to find them yourself. If it is rural property, I'd go directly for a professional survey. If you cannot find the pins themselves, do not be tempted to use existing fence corners, as they can get pretty far off over the years, and you do not want a knock on your door one day from a purcaser of an adjacenet piece of property with a survey in hand complaining that your fence is on his property.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:22 PM   #11
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Finding Property Lines


Thank you everyone for all of the helpfull replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
Just asking, but why the fence?
We have a couple of pomeranians and we would like to just let them out the door instead of always having to tie them up. One of them likes to chase motorcycles so leaving her out without being tied up is impossible. I was thinking a vinyl coated chain link fence would work out nicely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post
How big is your yard/property?
I have a city lot 112' x 143' with all straignt lines.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
was the home surveyed prior to purchase?
I am not sure. I have been looking over the papers I recieved when I bought the house and found the legal description:

Lot Two (2), Volume 32 Certified Survey Maps, Page 118, Map No. 4965; said map being part of Lot One(1) blah, blah, blah

The phrase "Certified Survey Maps" makes be belive something was surveyed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbrena View Post
You can go on to the county assessors web site and it will show you an Ariel view of you house and property with the survey measurements of your property. It will get you in the general area of your property line. From there if you have a metal detector you can start looking around for a metal survey steak that is usually put in the ground when your plot was originally surveyed.
Thanks for informing me about this website, I have found my plot and will attach a picture of what I found. If you look closely at my backyard you can see the cedar bushes. These bushes are perpendicular to the street in front of my house. The property lines shown on the website are not parallel to these bushes. Do you think my property lines are actually skewed like this or is the picture on the internet just inacurate?

My house was built in 2000, I think the lot was created in 1995 according to the county website. Do you think I would have those metal pins in the ground? If so I will rent a metal detector and start looking.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:36 PM   #12
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Finding Property Lines


I'm not really sure about if the picture is accurate or not. I know that in my plot overview it also showed the lines setback in my property. I believe that it is because the City or County you live in has an easement portion of your property. The property lines on my plot overview were very accurate. When I looked at the web site overview It appeared that a large portion of my property was in my neighbors yard. When a developer bought a sewer easement threw my yard they did a survey. Sure enough, 18 feet of my property was in there yard. Fortunetly, I spoke to them and they let me have it back. legally they didn't have to because of adverse possession. It pays to be nice to your neighbors.

My house was built in 1969 and when they did the survey they found the steaks. So I bet you do have steaks in the ground. You should just buy a metal detector, You may have all kinds of treasures in your yard. Lol. Good luck.

Kelly
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:48 PM   #13
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Finding Property Lines


I was looking at your photo and now I see what you are talking about. If I new how to post a photo you would see how mine is almost exactly like yours. I had a hedge that divided my property, I was able to see the hedge in the plot photo and that's how I noticed my property was in my neighbors yard.

You may want to call a attorney and ask the time frame for adverse possession. In my WA State it's 10 years.
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:26 PM   #14
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Finding Property Lines


Wisconsin adverse possession:

under color of title: 10 years

not under color of title: 20 years

claim for a prescriptive easement: 20 years

I believe time tacks on in Wisconsin.
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:06 PM   #15
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Finding Property Lines


You apparently have a rectangular lot the was recently surveyed (within 10-15 years). The corners may have been put in, but they may have been destroyrd/moved during grading or construction. The house should hsve been built where it was supoosed to be if it was located from 3 or the four undistubed pins. The utilite may have also been placed accurately if they went off undistubed pins.

If you look at the aerial photo closely, you will see both the property lines parallel and supposedly perpendicular to the road are dashed, but the road is not dashed, so the property may be square, but not at right angles to the road, although someone thought that when they planted bushes. - that is hoe property line cane be distorted.

If you are really concerned, buy/rent a metal detector and find 3 or 4 of the corners and determine wher your property is within reason since you are looking at a much bigger cost in installing a fence. A contractors word that thought it was right based on what information you supplied is worthless in a land suit.


Last edited by concretemasonry; 07-09-2008 at 08:31 PM.
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