HomeReal Estate Tips March 15, 2021

How to Determine Your Home’s Property Lines

Knowing Your Boundaries

As you search for Columbia homes for sale, you’ve surely got a lot on your mind. Our real estate agents will help you find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, but we also want to make sure you’re as knowledgeable as possible about all aspects of homeownership. One area that’s an area of concern for homeowners is determining the legal boundaries of the property that they are hoping to purchase.

Property lines are important. These boundaries are legally defined points that officially mark the limits of the property. Knowing where these lines are is critical when buying a home, regardless if it’s newly constructed or has resided in a neighborhood for decades. For new homes, you’ll want to know your property lines so you can correctly install structures such as fences around the property. This is especially important if you’re looking at a home is adjacent to an area where another home may be built or an area that is owned by the town or county government. You should also research property lines on older homes. Over the years, a neighbor or previous owner may have made changes to the property that spill over the boundary line.

Determining property lines is important, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few ways you can determine property lines around Columbia homes for sale.

  • When in Doubt, Check the Deed
    The first document you should check is the deed to the property. The deed will describe the property boundaries using landmarks around the area. For example, it might say that the property line runs from the fire hydrant located on the sidewalk in front of the home to the utility pole that sits at the rear of the home. Keep in mind that there may be more than one deed in your property’s history. The most recent deed will display information regarding any changes to the property, including if any pieces of the land were sold to another owner. Also understand that the landmarks that the deed rely on may no longer be on the property, such as trees or utility box.
  • Obtain a Copy of the Plat
    A plat is a map that homeowners receive when they purchase a property. This document will display property lines and measurements. If the current owner of the property doesn’t have the plat — or if you are selling your property and can’t locate it — don’t worry. You should be able to obtain a copy of it at the clerk or surveyors office. If you live in an enclosed community like a subdivision or neighborhood, a master plat for the area should be able in your public records or zoning department.
  • Hire a Professional Surveyor
    Of course, you can also choose to have a survey conducted for the most up-to-date information. A state licensed surveyor will walk your property line and make precise measurements to show you exactly where your property lines are. It’s also wise to make sure that the individual or company you hire has professional liability insurance to protect you against survey mistakes that may encroach upon another person’s legal property line.

Property Lines for Your Columbia Home

Knowing the defined lines of a property ensures that you and your neighbors can make changes to your properties without violating the legal boundary lines. For more helpful tips regarding Columbia homes for sale, feel free to contact Columbia Real Estate. Our real estate agents are here to answer your questions!