Trying to approximate property boundary line

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  #1  
Old 10-04-18, 09:29 PM
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Trying to approximate property boundary line

I'm trying to determine my residential property line without hiring a surveyor. I did some research and I was able to look at plat map and deed. Didn't help too much. The only way might be locating the property pins under the soil. I can try this.

But If I am unable to locate the exact boundary line, can I at least narrow down the area where the property line is from the attached photo? If you look just over the top of the blue recycling container, you can see the top of a phone co. utility box with an orange sticker. That white stucco wall edge closest to the blue car should be the area of the property line. I live at the left side house

By the way, that phone co. utility box has my house number on it. The phone utility box is almost surely on my property...........do you agree?

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Last edited by PJmax; 10-05-18 at 11:14 PM. Reason: reoriented picture
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  #2  
Old 10-05-18, 03:23 AM
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The only way to know for sure would be to locate the pins. A metal detector should be helpful. Is there a fence between the properties?
 
  #3  
Old 10-05-18, 04:21 AM
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I would not count on any utilities being indicators. Personally, I would not post it online, but, in general, how detailed is your legal description? Is it a paragraph, with a description of locating the POB (point of beginning), such as so many degrees and so many feet from point X, and then so many degrees and so many feet to the next point, and so on around the property? Or is it shorter, like "lot 37 of Pine Woods Subdivision? If the former, you may find verbiage in the description like "set IP (set iron pin or pipe), so with a compass, long tape, and a few rudimentary skills you might have success locating some markers. If the latter, you would need to obtain a detail of the plot map for the subdivision from your local clerk, but even it may not provide enough for us laymen to work with.
 
  #4  
Old 10-05-18, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bluesbreaker
". . . The phone utility box is almost surely on my property...........do you agree? . . ."
The telephone company is only concerned that they keep their equipment within the limits of the legal easement,, which probably parallels the entire length of the street; regardless of the lines between individual property owners..

That someone painted your street address on the switching box doesn't really indicate anything about it being on your property . . . . that same multiplex box is probably used for handling the calls for hundreds of its customers in your neighborhood; not just yours.

Some prior owner just thought it was a convenient place to locate his/her address . . . . and no one complained.
 
  #5  
Old 10-05-18, 05:55 AM
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Many of the towns around me have updated their tax maps to a GIS (geographic information system). It probably isn't accurate enough but one more tool to help narrow down the approximate pin location.

You can also check your registry of deeds for adjacent properties to see how they describe the boundary between your properties. Even locating a pin on the opposite side will give you a good reference.

Your own building application might have included the setbacks when built.

Bud
 
  #6  
Old 10-05-18, 08:27 AM
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Unfortunately, the plat map and deed don't have any of the details Pedro mentioned. I was looking for those. Only a compass bearing. There is no survey on file with the city or county that I know of. That number on the utility box is more permanent. No previous owner. So utility company, city, or county put it on there.

Bud suggested checking the deeds of adjacent properties. That's a good idea.
I'll look for the pins also when I have time. Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 10-05-18, 10:13 AM
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You can go to the courthouse and buy a copy of your deed or anyone elses. Uncertified copies are fairly cheap. The deed always give a description of where the pins are - the starting point, distance and direction to the next pin.
 
  #8  
Old 10-05-18, 01:33 PM
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There are also online programs, maybe a trial versions, where you can plug in whatever language is used on a deed description and it will draw a map with feet and inches as needed.

Bud
 
  #9  
Old 10-05-18, 10:43 PM
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I already looked at my deed. It contains nothing about survey information or pins
The plat map has little circle symbols for pins in the far corners of the property.
 
  #10  
Old 10-06-18, 02:24 AM
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From the photo it looks like building code requires buildings be 10 feet minimum form property line.

It might be interesting to see if bluesbreaker's house is 20 feet or whatever from neighbor”s. Also the distances from each house to where the different types of fences meet.

Chances are whoever put up the fences had some reference point to property line.

Of course given the financial incentive, the developer of the area might have put houses closer and paid off the building inspector. We have 20 foot code and neighbor's mortgage survey shows 19.55 feet, This is New York a "pay to play state."
 

Last edited by doughess; 10-06-18 at 03:22 AM.
  #11  
Old 10-06-18, 03:45 AM
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What problem are we trying to overcome here; or is that confidential ?
 
  #12  
Old 10-06-18, 04:07 AM
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I already looked at my deed. It contains nothing about survey information or pins
How does it describe the property? Every deed I've ever had or looked at has a long paragraph stating the length and direction between pins.
 
  #13  
Old 10-06-18, 04:42 AM
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Here in Vermont, many deeds are written by Attorneys who simply say that the purchase is for something like:

"all and the same property as was previously purchased by party X from Y in 1980; it being all and the same property as was previously purchased by Y from Z in 1950; and it being all and the same property as was previously purchased by Z in 1920".

By doing this, they limit their costs and their liability for making typographical errors in reciting the detailed Metes and Bounds of the parcel. And as a practical matter, these people didn't have type writers, word processors, or photocopy machines to accurately carry detailed verbiage forward from document to document.

That often makes it necessary for current Owners and Attorneys and Real Estate Practitioners to read all of the intervening transfers and go back to when the parcel's Metes and Bounds were actually defined in detail.

It also explains why Title Searches and Abstracts can become quite expensive and why the people who perform them typically wear glasses from going blind trying to read varying long hand penmanship from days gone by.
 
  #14  
Old 10-06-18, 04:46 AM
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Thanks for the explanation Vermont! I guess they do things different up there as I've never seen a title or land description like that. Some of the old tittles around here will use trees [even dead/fallen ones] or rocks instead of pins for the boundary markers as described in the title.
 
  #15  
Old 10-06-18, 04:57 AM
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Yeah, the original Metes and Bounds will often make reference to old Stone Walls and Fences or Stream Beds (which shift). or long living trees . . . . or say follow that line all the way to the property now or previously owned by "Smith" (whoever s/he was).

My favorite was a deed that used old Truck Axles and Leaf Springs as the corner monuments.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 10-06-18 at 05:13 AM.
  #16  
Old 10-06-18, 05:11 AM
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There should also be a common setback from the road. Knowing that narrows down the search for the front pins. I have driven up and down roads in an area of interest to find an exposed pin, often flagged from a previous survey. But it provides a setback from the center of the road. The closer it is to your house the more likely your will be similar.

Bud
 
  #17  
Old 10-06-18, 06:08 AM
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My favorite was a deed that used old Truck Axles and Leaf Springs as the corner monuments
A truck axle shaft is one of my boundary pins
 
  #18  
Old 10-06-18, 06:23 AM
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Not to belabor the point . . . . but a Truck Axle seems to make a fine marker; much better than some old Dogwood, and more durable than the typical Rebar.
 
  #19  
Old 10-06-18, 06:41 AM
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I agree, and along the road frontage the county isn't going to snag the top and pull it out like they have the rebar pins.
 
  #20  
Old 10-06-18, 09:36 AM
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I already looked at my deed. It contains nothing about survey information or pins
Most east coast deeds are metes-and-bounds (aka treasure map) which lead you to the boundary markers.

For new homes in subdivisions, it is becoming common to skip the individual metes and bounds in each deed and just refer to a recorded master plat, e.g. you own lot #10 of sunny acres subdivision, to get the boundaries you need to go look a the measurements on the sunny acres subdivision master map.
 
  #21  
Old 10-07-18, 09:00 AM
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OP.....post# 11 asked a question. Did you want to reply ?

We marked a wood stake "APPROX" in the area I thought the metal pipe should be....when we sold our rural home in 2006. Big mistake.

If you need accurate info....hire a surveyor. Or.....contact a fence builder and ask for a bid to replace your fence...but you are not sure where the boundaries are. OR...be honest and ask him to come over for an agreed fee, and find them for you. They use a "pin locator"...more accurate than a metal detector
 
  #22  
Old 10-07-18, 12:58 PM
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Surveyors are EXPENSIVE.
I use King County Parcel Viewer. Safely bet, same or similar is all over the US. It gives me not just plat map but, with some digging, actual property line dimensions.
There are code setbacks to property line. 6, 8, whatever code is, it varies from code to code. Nothing is legally allowed to be built on property line. I had to cut roof overhang on my shad as it was violating code setback to the fence.
 
  #23  
Old 10-07-18, 02:53 PM
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To answer question on post 11, just in case I have a problem with a neighbor. Can't go into details. There is absolutely nothing useful on the 2-page deed. But I looked at the plat map again. Not sure if this helps.

My property is 100 ft long and 60 ft wide from East to West. The west property line has coordinates with degrees and minutes only (no seconds) But all the houses on the street have those same coordinates on their west boundaries.

Update:

I just located a brass survey monument imbedded in the pavement at the end of my street, with the abbreviation RLS (Registered Land Surveyor). This marker is on my plat map which also shows measurements in feet to my East property line. I'll see if I can borrow an electronic device or use a smart phone app to count down the distance.

I am also waiting on an answer from the city/county to see if I can access more detailed information. I still plan to dig for the pins. We' re getting hit with the leftovers from these tropical storms off the Pacific right now.

I'll do some more research on this
 

Last edited by bluesbreaker; 10-07-18 at 03:50 PM.
  #24  
Old 10-08-18, 11:46 AM
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If there is a sidewalk or a curb by your house, some surveyors will scribe or chisel a mark at the line for future reference, for themselves.
Sid
 
  #25  
Old 10-08-18, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ukrbyk

Surveyors are EXPENSIVE.
I use King County Parcel Viewer. Safely bet, same or similar is all over the US.
No. THAT shows you the lot dimensions your local government calculates your taxes on.
Just like the # of bedrooms and square footage for the home, it is often wrong.

Originally Posted by ukrbyk

It gives me not just plat map but, with some digging, actual property line dimensions.
Eh, again, helpful, but not dead accurate.
You pay taxes based on the tax parcel calculated by your local government.
The same guys who paint the road 6 months before repaving the road; the same guys who organize the roadside trash cleanup and then mow over the collected trashbags.

A) You pay taxes based on the tax parcel the government thinks you own.
B) You own based on the deed that is recorded in the county.l
They're not necessarily the same.

As a Real Estate agent, I once had a lead on selling a house for a friend of a friend, I met with them, but they decided to go FSBO after interviewing a few real estate agents.
About 3 weeks later, I heard back, they wanted to know if I could help them un-do their DIY sale, They had based their price on the borough tax parcel information of 5 acres, and had a full price offer in 2 days. Then they found out their deed was for 10 acres, and included a 5 acre lot in the adjacent municipality that was subdividable and probably worth $150,000.
Of course, they'd already signed the deed, and there was nothing anybody could do.

Hurrah, they save some money by not paying Realtor commissions or hiring a professional surveyor.
 
  #26  
Old 10-09-18, 08:49 AM
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I'll update again soon. Hey moderator, Thank You for straightening out my photo.
 
  #27  
Old 10-09-18, 09:45 PM
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Did some more research. In my neighborhood, the deeds don't contain any survey data. But they do refer the reader to other document numbers. I did a title search on County Recorder website and looked up all these documents and another map. A couple of these and a map did contain survey data under 'legal description' that a few of you mentioned. But the information did not help because it did not come close to my parcel.

But now I know where a surveyor gets the raw data from.

The plat map has distances in feet/decimal from a survey monument to my property line. It might not be an official survey. But what I learned could be used to avoid a property line dispute.

We can consider this discussion closed if you guys want, to avoid wasting anyone's time. Your responses prompted me to delve a little deeper into this to gain some very useful information. Thanks.
 
  #28  
Old 10-10-18, 08:04 AM
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Try the fence builder. Might cost you $50 to $100. It is better to know beforehand....rather than later.
 
  #29  
Old 10-15-18, 08:10 AM
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OK. Thanks your your replies
 
  #30  
Old 10-15-18, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bluesbreaker
". . . To answer question on post 11, just in case I have a problem with a neighbor. Can't go into details . . ."
After 30 years as a Real Estate Broker and dealing with over a hundred boundary disputes, very few of them were solved with an "approximate" line.

If it's going to be a serious issue, then you should also be prepared to obtain serious and precise evidence.
 
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