If you park your car in my driveway, does that make it my car? If you had a Jaguar, BMW, or Mercedes I’d be only too happy to take them off your hands (assuming they are paid for). But you know as well as I do, that just because it’s on my property, it doesn’t make it mine. Same goes with property ownership. These are some of the most common things located on properties that implies ownership:
- Fences. Fences to not create property lines. Survey monuments help to establish property lines. Rarely are fences built “on the property line”. Keep this in mind when looking at a fence and having the thought “this is where I own to”.
- Trees and Bushes. Anyone can plant a tree or a bush line. Most have the intention of doing it on their own property, but if you don’t know where your property is, then you might be planting it on the wrong property.
- Retaining Walls. These can be tricky, especially if there is a large height difference near a property line that would cause one owner to maintain the land on the “top” of the wall, and another to maintain the land at the “bottom” of the wall. Location does not mean ownership.
The cost of a boundary survey is typically $400-$500. How much does that tree cost, how much is it to buy that fence, let alone have it installed? And worse yet, how much could it cost you to move it if you do put it on the wrong property? Be proactive – get a boundary survey performed by a licensed land surveyor BEFORE you assume that you own something that isn’t yours.