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Thread: New Home Owner Question

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    New Home Owner Question

    So its time to build a fence, or get a fence estimate at least and we have no idea besides where we mow and our neighbors mow where exactly our property lines are. Nothing in my paperwork for the house gives me an idea where they are exactly. I asked my realtor and she had nothing. Now that being said I do have a paper that tells me what "lot number and degrees" the property lines are but I would have to get a surveyor for that. And the average cost of that is $500-700 and aint nobody got time for that. I have contacted the City to see if they have that info on public record but am out of other ideas. So homeowners is there anything else I can do that wont cost me a fortune to find out exactly? My next step will be of course to talk to the neighbors. They are 2 old ladies on each side so its possible they have that info well.
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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    I'd rent a metal detector and try to locate the boundary post's. Most times they are metal rods and driven at the corner spots in my experience. Once located you pretty well know the edges of your property. Then move in say 6 inches to put the fence in so it doesn't straddle the property line. That said though need to be aware of right of ways and such if you but up to roads or have access ways across the property to get to property behind or around yours.
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    The house was built in the 30's would they have put the rods in the ground then?
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    Well...your deed should contain a legal description of your property, including a boundary description. You can use this, if you insist on DIY, to figure out an approximation of your boundaries.

    Here are some ideas: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/out-pro...ouse-3473.html
    This article is a lot more in-depth: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homes...z86sozgoe.aspx
    And...thanks to technology (obviously you need some info for this)--how to use your cell phone to help determine your property lines: https://propertylinemaps.com/p/pdf-c...erty-lines.pdf

    But...my dad started out his career as a civil engineer as a surveyor (now he's a city inspector), and I'm gonna tell you what he has always said: Get your survey done by a licensed professional with a good reputation and a well-written contract--if they make a mistake, they pay for it and you are only out the money you paid them. If you make a mistake, you can owe a heck of a lot more than the money you'd have paid the surveyor. If you make a mistake it can mean legal problems down the line at worst, needing to move your fence and any landscaping at best.

    Probably hindsight now, but this is probably something you should have written into your loan, if you'd known you had wanted to do build a fence, or insisted the prior home owner do as part of buying the house.


    That being said, unless you and your neighbors want to share a fence (an option in come communities), though not one I would EVER consider, my honorary uncle (he's a general contractor) usually tells people to come inside their boundaries the width of a riding lawn mower (if they own one) or 2 lawn mower widths (if you have a regular mower)--any less, and you can't mow it easily with out being in the neighbors yard and you have the option of (to reduce mowing and improve drainage) using the fence-to-property line area as planting space for (what I call) "stay away from my fence" plants--roses, etc.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    Quote Originally Posted by kalynraye View Post
    The house was built in the 30's would they have put the rods in the ground then?
    Possibly. While much older surveys used tree's, rivers, rocks, roads and such as markers many later ones used rods of some sort. It is possible though that in order to sell it the owner may have had it re-surveyed to ensure plats and such are up to date. You can also check with the local court house to see if the surrounding property has been re-surveyed and that is noted. Especially so if surrounding property has been sub-divided in any capacity and borders the property you've purchased.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    .. That being said, unless you and your neighbors want to share a fence (an option in come communities), though not one I would EVER consider, my honorary uncle (he's a general contractor) usually tells people to come inside their boundaries the width of a riding lawn mower (if they own one) or 2 lawn mower widths (if you have a regular mower)--any less, and you can't mow it easily with out being in the neighbors yard and you have the option of (to reduce mowing and improve drainage) using the fence-to-property line area as planting space for (what I call) "stay away from my fence" plants--roses, etc.
    My parents have that issue now as one side has a shared fence and the other back to back fences right on the property line. Gets to be a peeing match at times for them as does the idea of where are tree branches allowed to grow and who is responsible for cutting / trimming them.

    Mowing gets to be an issue depending upon if your city, rural or country. I know 6 to 8 inches was for cities where you had little to no yard, rural seemed to be the 3 to 4 feet and country, well didn't really matter except for what you were doing with it.
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    We didn't get to negotiate anything with the previous owners, the house was a foreclosure which means the bank owned the deed. We got the house is no if, ands, buts about it. I really don't want to do it ourselves but $700 is not something we have at the moment for a surveyor. I contacted the county clerk to see if there are any public records and will find something out Monday.
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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    The title plat should still be on record at the court house with the diagram of the plat as part of the paper work. But i'd think you still should have gotten a plat of the property even if it was a foreclosure property. Imagine either you or the bank as part of the closure cost did a title search for the property and that should have had the plat info as well.
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    Quote Originally Posted by kalynraye View Post
    I really don't want to do it ourselves but $700 is not something we have at the moment for a surveyor.

    Why are you putting up a fence and what kind of fence are you putting up? If you are looking to put one up for privacy--a nice wooden one, the it behooves you to wait, save the money, and do it right in a way that you won't have to rework later. I'd you are doing it for dogs to have a run area, then you can make something smaller and cheaper, like a goat fence, which is also easily movable and removable (or convertible to a hedge boundary, if you have the space for it). If you are doing it for kiddo play space, you have at least a year or two before kiddo is likely to toddle into someone else's yard...
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    I know here the city will come out and mark your property line and underground pipes/wiring for free. But that might just be a local thing if you've already contacted your city.
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    Re: New Home Owner Question

    Fence is for the dogs not for privacy reasons. So they have room to run and so I won't have to walk them when I'm 9 months pregnant. I emailed the county clerk today and will probably call on Monday to see what they say. If I have to pay to have it surveyed I will it's

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    That it's not something we have right now. We'd have to save and that could take a month or two which means I might not get a fence till next year.
    "If you want to know what a man is like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." -- Sirius Black

    "Time is an illusion, lunch time doubly so."-- Ford Prefect

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