13 Best Ways To Mark Property Lines and Boundaries

13 Best Ways To Mark Property Lines and Boundaries

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Dig Out Your Deed for Additional Info

In older neighborhoods, property owners may have purchased or sold off portions of their yards. Locating a survey pin won’t give you this information, but the most recent legal description recorded on your deed will list any such changes. If you don’t have a copy of your deed filed with your homeowner records, get one at the register of deeds office, often located within your county courthouse.


7. Use Solar Lights To Brighten Up Your Boundary

Solar lights are environmentally friendly, full of

Solar lights are environmentally friendly, full of aesthetic appeal, and very practical. While some solar lights can be pretty expensive, inexpensive options abound if you just need small panels.

As well as lighting up your garden in the evenings, they also provide a good option for landmarking as they’re small enough to be inoffensive and light enough that you can move them quickly from place to place.

You can also find solar lights built to be dug underground, so they won’t even take up a lot of space on your land. 

For example, these Frdvegd Waterproof Lights from Amazon.com come as a pack of 12, are effective in all types of weather, and are guaranteed to last a long time.

What Remedies Do I Have if My Neighbor Starts to Use My Property?

If you think that your neighbor is starting to use your land, even if it’s just a minor thing like building a fence in the wrong location or installing a drainage pipe that crosses the property line, you need to act immediately.

Property boundaries are very important when it comes to the use of land, and even a small encroachment by your neighbor onto your land may result in consequences that you cannot foresee.

For instance, if your neighbor builds a fence or a new driveway that comes onto your property by a few inches, this may be enough for a title company to refuse to issue insurance when it comes time to sell your house.

Also, many states have laws that allow a person who uses another’s land for a long enough time to gain a legal right to use the land. In some cases, they gain ownership of that land through adverse possession.

As with most situations, the best option is to start talking with your neighbor as soon as you notice the encroachment. The neighbor may have made a simple mistake and will correct the error.

If your neighbor does not want to cooperate, your best option is to point out the deed showing the property boundaries, or to hire a surveyor to come out and place new property line markers. If the neighbor does not stop building on your land, hire a lawyer and bring a trespass lawsuit. A judge can issue an order to force your neighbor to stop building on your land.

Can I Find My Property Line Online?

Yes, you can find your property lines online. Your county may have online maps for all of the real estate in your area, accessible through the official county or assessor’s website. Property lines can also be found through any online search engine on Geographical Information System (GIS) maps. Another way to view property lines online is on interactive online maps.

Visit the Local Zoning Department

The zoning department is the municipal office that records plats: the maps, drawn to scale, that show land division. Unless your home was built more than a hundred years ago, you can probably obtain a copy of your block and lot plat for a minimal fee. This will give you the exact dimensions of your lot—in other words, the property you legally own—in relation to other lot lines on your block.

RELATED: Setback Requirements: 7 Things All Homeowners Should Know

11. Use Rebar Spray and Tape To Mark Property Lines

If you’re looking for a more conventional way to mark your property lines, Rebar is the way forward. According to Cardinal Surveying, it’s just an iron pole that can be dug into the ground.

Rebar is the most popular product for surveying companies to mark property lines, and it’s the most permanent way to mark the boundaries of your land. Easily located with a metal detector, these can be very useful in the future if you have any land disputes.

How close to my property line can my neighbor build?

The exact amount a building needs to be set back from the property line will vary from one location to another. However, the required setback on the side is typically between 5 – 10 feet, while the front and back require around 10 – 20 feet at a minimum.

How do you draw a property line on Google Maps?

Draw a line or shape On your computer, sign in to My Maps. Open or create a map. Click Draw a line. Select a layer and click where to start drawing. Click each corner or bend of your line or shape. When you’re finished drawing, double-click or complete the shape. Give your line or shape a name.

How to Find Property Lines Corners

So we’ve determined that you can use a metal detector to find the pins that mark the corners connecting your property lines.  Rather than wander around your property with a metal detector finding loose change and nails from construction, you can save some time by getting a copy of your plot plan first.  Sometimes called an engineered plot plan (or engineers survey), this piece of paper shows how your home sits on your lot and provides the locations of the property corners (a.k.a. pins).  This plot plan should get you within a foot or two of the corner…and then your metal detector will find the steel pin.  If you don’t have a plot plan check with your local building department…many times building departments will keep these on file.

When you find the steel pin connecting the property lines, and it appears to have been moved or is damaged, call a surveyor to verify the exact location.  This will prevent you from dealing with major hassles down the road with a fence that was built over top of property lines.  But why would the pin be damaged or moved?  Here are some possible scenarios…

  • hit by a bull dozer or delivery truck during construction
  • settlement of the soil – if the area was filled during development without proper compaction, it can settle out, causing the pin to move
  • maliciously moved by a kid or a crazy neighbor (I have seen this before  believe it or not)

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Where Can I Find Information That Will Tell Me My Exact Property Boundaries?

You may be able to find the property markers or boundary monuments yourself. They will be located at the corners of your property. Often these are metal pins or stakes buried 6"-10" below the surface at each corner. The markers should be shown on the land survey. You can use a shovel and a metal detector to find them. You can also reference the description in your deed and walk the boundaries of your property

You may find information about how to find markers on properties like yours by visiting the section of your city’s website that deals with construction and permits.

If you are experienced enough to read and understand a land survey, you can request a copy of the land survey or subdivision plot from your county clerk’s office. These documents are required to have detailed information regarding where your property boundaries are, but they are complex and are written for professional surveyors.

If you want to know exactly where your property boundaries are, hire a licensed land surveyor. he or she will come out to your land and place markers on the boundary lines of your property. You can find licensed land surveyors in your area by searching the internet or visiting your town hall and asking city staff who does surveys in your area. (In rural communities there may be only one surveyor who handles a large area.)

In most situations, the cost of a land survey is dictated by the size of the land that is to be surveyed, whether there is an accurate subdivision map already existing, geographic location, and the last time the land was surveyed.

The cost of a survey typically starts at $500 and goes upwards into the thousands of dollars. If your land has not been surveyed for a long time, or if there are multiple existing survey maps that conflict with each other, you can expect to pay more.

How To Find Your Property Stake:

It is much more common for the stakes to be several inches underground. Not so deep that they match up with the frost line, but deep enough that some digging is necessary. In that case, your best bet is to buy or rent a metal detector (inexpensive ones cost less than $50). When you’ve found your target, dig down to make sure that it’s really a stake and not just a lost quarter.

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After you have found the iron property stake, replace the dirt and hammer in a small piece of wood as a visible marker.

Note: If locating your property lines precisely—in a legal dispute, for example—we strongly recommend that you hire a professional surveyor.

1 Comment for How to Find Property Lines

House sewer protection…Preventing damage in Your New Home- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | July 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

[…] This is an old builder trick…place a piece of rebar next to your house sewer cleanout when it is installed.  If the cleanout gets buried, you will easily be able to find it with a metal detector.  You don’t want to make matters worse by digging up the front yard with a backhoe and possibly damaging the sewer line to the house.  Another good preventative measure is to mark the curb in front of your future home with the sewer and water service line locations.  We talked previously about this rebar technique for finding your property lines. […]

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