How to Find Property Lines
It’s possible to build a fence on or over your neighbor’s property line and end up in a dispute or even a court case. It’s important to know where your property stops and the next person’s begins if you want to build an extension, find out who’s responsible for tree removal, or plant a border hedge.
What are the Best Ways to Find Free Property Lines?
1. The first step is to hire a professional land surveyor.
Hiring a surveyor to draw your property lines is the only surefire way to know exactly where your land begins and ends. In order to get a sense of the property’s past, a property surveyor will first investigate the county records.
Afterwards, they’ll learn about any restrictions on what you can do with your land, such as easements or subdivisions. Licensed land surveyors normally charge between $330 and $670 per survey, although the cost might rise to $1,000 per survey depending on the location, size, and history of the property.
2. Make sure you have a copy of the deed to your property.
You’ll find the tax description of your property in the document that accompanies your mortgage. The borders of your land are described in detail in this tax description. Subdivisions and other land features, such as a row of trees, are frequently mentioned in the description despite the fact that they no longer exist in the area. Your county recorder’s office can provide you with a copy of your deed for a cost.
3. Check the metes and bounds survey if you haven’t already.
A metes and bounds survey identifies a landmark, such as a tree, waterway, road, or intersection, to delineate the property borders.
A compass can be used to follow the directions that have been provided. Because of the reliance on landmarks that may or may not exist any more, this survey may be difficult to follow. As an example, a “tall maple” may indicate a property border that extends “fifty metres.” However, the maple tree may no longer exist.
4. Take a look at the property boundary map, sometimes known as a ‘plat.’
A plat, often known as a property line map, is commonly provided to buyers of real estate. To find it, go to the county clerk’s office in your area. Using the plat, you may determine the exact measurements of your lot in relation to the other properties on your street.
You should expect to see rectangles of a similar size lining up on either side of the roadway to show each privately owned property if you live on a residential street. Every single piece of real estate will have a unique identifier.
For tax purposes, this number is distinct from the parcel number, which is incorporated within the parcel number itself. There’s a chance your neighbors can pitch in as well. As a last resort, you can inquire whether they have a copy of their plat map, which depicts the area.
5. Your mortgage or title company should provide you with a copy of the property survey.
A property survey is often required by lenders when financing a home purchase. A copy of this survey should have been provided to your lender during the acquisition of the property. In addition, the title company will conduct a search of your property and obtain a copy of any surveys or property line maps that have been done.
6. Examine your county or local municipality’s current property survey.
You can request a copy of any existing property surveys from your county or municipal government. They’ll have a copy of the survey if it was done by the county or municipality. Typically, they charge a fee to make it.
7. In order to find a hidden survey pin, follow these steps:
Use of survey pins is a common practice during construction. In the region where you expect your property borders to be, look for thin iron bars staked in the ground. When doing a search around your property’s perimeter, a metal detector can be an effective tool.
Survey pins are frequently found near sidewalks or the property’s curb. The problem is that survey pins might be deceiving as utility companies, tree-removal firms, and other contractors may have relocated them during their operation.
8. Pay attention to property boundary markings.
In addition to searching for survey pins, you can also look for property line markers. Metal, wood, or concrete can be used to make property line markers. It’s possible that the property line markers are still in place on a newly constructed home. Wooden stakes are more susceptible to shifting than survey pins or concrete boundary marks. Find property line markers by checking your plat map.
9. Verify that the sidewalks and streetlights are in working order
If you don’t know how to determine property lines, you can use sidewalks and streetlights as visual cues. It is possible that installers have matched sidewalks or street lights with property lines, even though they are not a precise guide.
A good starting point is looking at the sidewalk in front of your home. To separate the properties, a contractor may have carved lines or used slightly different concrete from what was used on the rest of the project. A survey or plat map, in conjunction with this procedure, will ensure accuracy. This method is an excellent start.
10. Go to the local zoning office
The zoning department of your city or town keeps track of all the land division plans. They’ll make scale drawings of your property for you. As long as your house isn’t more than a century old, you can get an inexpensive copy of your neighbourhood and lot plat. Your lot’s measurements can be found in the zoning department’s records.
11. Find your property line by using the internet.
Today, one of the quickest ways to find out about your property is through the use of the internet. There are often plat maps on the official county or assessor’s website, which can be accessed using the GIS system.
This material can serve as a starting point and may assist you get to where you want to go. You can usually find a copy of your property map by entering your address into a search engine. It should display your house and any additional structures, along with your property lines.
Pla maps can be found in other GPS programmes. Among the most popular options for property owners are LandGlide and Landgrid.
With the LandGlide app, you can properly locate the exact location of your property thanks to GPS technology. Over 95% of the United States is covered by this app’s database of parcel records. Apps for iOS and Android are available; a free trial is offered, and a paid subscription service is available when the trial period ends.
More than 149 million properties may be viewed on the Landgrid Map app, which contains ownership and address information. You can construct your survey using the app’s survey editor. The pro version provides access to additional capabilities, including the ability to save properties, run surveys, and more.
12. Take Your Own Measurements of the Property
Alternatively, you might simply measure your property by hand. You’ll need a long measuring tape, a compass, and possibly an accomplice to accomplish this task successfully. Locate the starting point of the surveyor’s journey on the plat. We’ll call this the “point of convergence” or POB. Using a measuring tape, begin following the plat, taking measurements as you go along the way. You should be able to match the plat measurements with your own.