Boundary dispute question - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carshon View Post
Just be careful court costs are horrible. And there is something called adverse possession - even if the fence is on your property other property owner can claim adverse possession if they maintained that property for 20 years or more
Thanks, that's good to know. I am a little concerned about adverse possession also. But the other property is just an unfenced (except for "my" fence) unused piece of forest that has not been "maintained," no land has been taken care of, the property has never been used (aside from, it looks to me, having timber harvested off it once maybe fifty years ago). I am thinking that since the owner of that property has never possessed or made any use of the land in question, that there wouldn't be a claim. If that makes sense. However, that piece of land is for sale and I am a little concerned what might happen if it were actually to sell. Although having seen and walked it myself, I can't imagine anyone paying anything near what they're asking for it.

Actually I was also thinking about making a super low-ball offer for that property That would solve my problems right there. But I doubt they'd be interested in a super low-ball offer.

Anyway, yes, I'm a little concerned about the adverse possession thing, but looking around on the internet it seems like the person would have to be doing something with the land, like actually "possessing" it, for that to apply. I hope.
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post #12 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 03:15 PM
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Fences do not need to be placed on a property line. Fences are often set back to allow for easements, access for repairs etc. Get it surveyed if you are uncertain. I remember my Spanish speaking neighbors did not understand that the row of bushes they planted along the fence where actually on our property because the fence was set 3 feet back from the property line. But the bushes did look nice.
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post #13 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 04:09 PM
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You had the property surveyed and nobody is on the other property so just move the fence to the property line and it's done. I'm one of those who would put the fence on the property line myself because people often wrongly think that the fence is the marker.

Really, ten acres is not that much. You will want every inch that you buy, I'd move the fence.
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post #14 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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I talked to my realtor. It doesn't look like we're going to be able to get actual surveryers out there in time, so he wants to go with what's called a "recovery surveyer" which is just someone who finds the original surverying markers and tells you where the lines are based on that. However, I just heard from him that "The corners were relocated" in 2017, and now I have to figure out what that means.

There were some things going into this that I expected, e.g. well and septic inspection, fences in poor condition, bears in the forset, etc., but I didn't think the boundary line would be an issue. This seems like it's going to be a big learning experience. I'll be posting for advice on building fences soon enough. But SO excited to hopefully finally have some real land!

ETA: @4horses thanks for that explanation. It makes sense. However there is no easement here, and not much access either, as overgrown as that forest land is. I wish the current homeowners could tell me what's going on, but they didn't build the fence.
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post #15 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 04:57 PM
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On our property in California the surveyed boundaries turned out to be very important. I have two pertinent stories about them.

First story, which wasn't actually our story but our nearby neighbor's: the survey was done wrong. It was done in the 1970's by, seemingly, a drunk. Turned out he was ten feet off the whole long side, and the rancher who owned the property on the other side was being shorted. But the rancher wasn't a fool like most people. He knew that happy neighbors are a lot more important than getting what's rightfully yours. He just gave it to them. Problem solved.

Second story, more complicated. Same developer who hired the drunken surveyor, bulldozed a road up the hill to our property which actually cut across someone else's, and then wove so that guy's property was also on our side of the road. Original owners of the other property said, oh, let's just agree to swap the two slivers and call it good. Handshake agreement. All was peaceful, until they sold to a pair of young lawyers. Oh brother. Threats of lawsuits, demands that we pay for a new survey (like it's OUR fault?), official-looking pompous letters (I mean they lived next door, right?). Under counsel from my dad's old lawyer, we totally ignored them. Whenever they asked about it we just said we were still considering it seriously and would get back to them.

Eventually they got divorced and moved away. The new people couldn't care less.

So there is certainly such a thing as a wrong survey (maybe not today), and it causes as much hassle as someone wants to make about it.
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post #16 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 05:02 PM
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We bought our land three years ago and it had not changed hands for many years prior to that. The one fence that was there was/is old and not in the best shape in all areas. At the end of our property is a creek and the fence is really messed up by the creek. We noticed that the property line stake was about 10 feet on the other side of the fence. It looks like over time when the creek would flood it might have washed the fence over some. Either that or the people that put the fence up many years ago just decided to put it where it made sense instead of based on the survey.
Anyway, my husband found out who owned the adjacent land and contacted them. No one lives there, it's a big hay field with some wooded area near the creek. They said ok, they weren't surprised since the fence was there for so long. No big deal, we'll just move the fence over when/if it's rebuilt some day. It really doesn't amount to a lot of land, but it does make a difference because on the other side of the fence is an area where you can easily access the creek. Most of our creek frontage is a steep drop off. Animals can traverse some of it, but we can't...except in that spot!

I'm sure there are times - as mentioned above - where there can/will be a dispute. But sometimes its as easy as finding the owner, letting them know what you've found out, and discussing it with them. They might not even care, which was our case.

When we put the fence in on the other side of our property (had been one large property that was split up), our fence builder was awesome and looked at the survey to put the fence directly on the property line.


BTW...when we bought our place the place next to us (other side than the old fence) was also for sale. We contemplated buying half of it and seeing if the guy on the other side wanted to buy the other half. Unfortunately, he wasn't interested. We couldn't afford the entire place so had to pass. But, the seller did offer to sell it to us for less per acre than what we paid for ours. He knew it would be an easy process since we'd already been through it once. So, you never know...if that other place is for sale you could always make an offer and see what happens. Even a low ball offer sometimes sounds better to a seller than hanging onto something for another month.
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post #17 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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So, you never know...if that other place is for sale you could always make an offer and see what happens. Even a low ball offer sometimes sounds better to a seller than hanging onto something for another month.
I guess that's true. The forest land has been for sale for three years, and they just a few months ago dropped the price from $650k to $400k, which was what prompted my trip up there (20 acres RIGHT on the edge of town! Wow, what a deal!). Then I walked it and realized why they had dropped the price -- it's zoned one house per five acres but you'd be lucky to get one house on the whole thing. It's 80% ravines and wetlands, and the remaining 20% is still mostly sloped. What I would offer them would be one zero less and then some, and I can't imagine they'd take it. On the other hand, at least then they could stop paying taxes on it. If it's as worthless as I think it is, they can sit on it for another couple of years and then maybe they'll be ready to talk.
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post #18 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 09:52 PM
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That's odd it looks like a bunch of posts are missing out of this thread now. Did something happen? I didn't see anything that violated the board policies, all posts seemed to be nice and a good discussion. Did the board server glitch or something?

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post #19 of 24 Old 05-13-2019, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AndyTheCornbread View Post
That's odd it looks like a bunch of posts are missing out of this thread now. Did something happen? I didn't see anything that violated the board policies, all posts seemed to be nice and a good discussion. Did the board server glitch or something?
All of the sudden that seems to be happening on multiple threads. Maybe this post will disappear, too....
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post #20 of 24 Old 05-14-2019, 10:20 AM
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AC,
Check with a local real estate lawyer about "adverse possession " as carshon said.
In some states, the other owner has to do nothing as far as improvements or up keep. Here in Alabama, if a fence has been in place for at least 10 years, then that "can" become the new property line. Same thing with an access road or driveway to the property.

We found this out at our old place when the owner of the property behind and to the side of us tried to close off access to our property because the access road was actually on his property. Since the access road was in place long before any houses were put there, he had to grant us access to our property. Also, he couldn't close off the entrance from the main road without providing us access which he would have had to "provide" or pay for.
Also, we were not "land locked", where someone has to provide access to the property. There was a paved road on the front and a dirt road on the side of our property. We just didn't want to have to drive across our pasture.
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