Metes & Bounds.

Marc Morfei

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In Philadelphia we have something called “Philadelphia datum,” where a foot is not equal to 12.0”, but some near portion of that. Something to do with a historical innacurracy from when the city was first laid out and surveyed centuries ago. Since it was memorialized in all the original deeds, and perpetuated ever since, it has persisted. But as I understand it, metes and bounds cited in deeds need to be converted to actual measurements you use in site. Occasionally it causes significant problems when someone doesn’t know, or forgets.
 

stxrus

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When we bought our house we paid for a survey only to find it was a photocopy of the previous survey, and probably even before that

When we refinanced we, again, had to have a survey. Because there was not a digital copy on file we had to pay for someone to redraw the “copy” we had and digitalized it.

In the 20+ years we’ve owned this property the only time there has been a surveyor near our place was when the lot to our north was being sold and the lot to our south was in dispute with the lot to their west.

I know my boundaries due to others having real surveys made by others. I’m still out $1,100.00 and do not have a “proper survey” of my property.

Sorry for the rant but I feel a little better
 

imwjl

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When we bought our house we paid for a survey only to find it was a photocopy of the previous survey, and probably even before that

When we refinanced we, again, had to have a survey. Because there was not a digital copy on file we had to pay for someone to redraw the “copy” we had and digitalized it.

In the 20+ years we’ve owned this property the only time there has been a surveyor near our place was when the lot to our north was being sold and the lot to our south was in dispute with the lot to their west.

I know my boundaries due to others having real surveys made by others. I’m still out $1,100.00 and do not have a “proper survey” of my property.

Sorry for the rant but I feel a little better
Why we are doing this and other steps. First is we're buying out one of the owners where the any improvement not the new well has issues. You have to be skinny to make it between one part of the cabin and the fence. There are only about 6 inches between one neighbor's fence and the shed/garage that has to be replaced. That neighbor - jointly owned property - has one partner who was slightly combative when they twice put their newer boat lift in what sure looks like our space. Another benefit is with or without the current cabin replaced is having the right ammo so they won't do that anymore.

Beyond all that the part of me who can waste hours with history stuff and YouTube was just fascinated when I read the text in an old deed copy. Just how accurate where those old steps and rods. There is no tree that seems to describe some of the lots on the road.

:)
 

boris bubbanov

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When I was on the city council we oft had to deal with structures built on city streets of the wrong lot.
I hear you.

Some very nice people tried to hire me once, to get the legal description of their property remedied. Overwhelmingly black neighborhood, rural parish, and they had to deal, no doubt, with some hostile people in the Courthouse over the decades. About 30 households and not a single one was even close to any discernible landmark or point of reference mentioned in the title. It looked to me like someone had intended to sabotage any building or borrowing. I ultimately declined and gave them what research I accumulated; just beyond my ability to fix it, I'm afraid.
 

boris bubbanov

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If it changes through accretion (gradually), the boundary moves to take in the previously submerged dirt. If it changes through avulsion (suddenly), the boundary remains in the same place.

There are many other rules and corollaries relating to whether a stream is navigable or non-navigable, whether the same owner owns both sides, whether the stream shifted because of manmade modifications or natural forces, etc.
Yeah.

Down in Louisiana, we call land gain "accretion" and land loss "dereliction". Lots of fun, looking at all the places along the Mississippi River where part of each state has ended up on the wrong side of the river.
 

boris bubbanov

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When we bought our house we paid for a survey only to find it was a photocopy of the previous survey, and probably even before that

When we refinanced we, again, had to have a survey. Because there was not a digital copy on file we had to pay for someone to redraw the “copy” we had and digitalized it.

In the 20+ years we’ve owned this property the only time there has been a surveyor near our place was when the lot to our north was being sold and the lot to our south was in dispute with the lot to their west.

I know my boundaries due to others having real surveys made by others. I’m still out $1,100.00 and do not have a “proper survey” of my property.

Sorry for the rant but I feel a little better
Wow.

We've bought a number of lots near The Cabin and I simply dispensed with each survey entirely. Because I know how approximate all this stuff is, and for me the goal was, simply to lock up the adjacent lots so nobody can build within easy sight out the window. But if I drill a well, I might go back and have a fresh survey done. The main issue for me is, these lots might look one way, from a blimp parked overhead, but they look different to the intrepid guy who is struggling to climb an embankment way past angle of repose, who is on a lookout for those ready-to-fall hemlocks that are being killed en masse by adelgids.
 

imwjl

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Wow.

We've bought a number of lots near The Cabin and I simply dispensed with each survey entirely. Because I know how approximate all this stuff is, and for me the goal was, simply to lock up the adjacent lots so nobody can build within easy sight out the window. But if I drill a well, I might go back and have a fresh survey done. The main issue for me is, these lots might look one way, from a blimp parked overhead, but they look different to the intrepid guy who is struggling to climb an embankment way past angle of repose, who is on a lookout for those ready-to-fall hemlocks that are being killed en masse by adelgids.
I'm certain we need to do this. I've got full confidence in interpreting the county regulations and their staff confirming we can rebuild. It looks like one neighbor's stuff has moved closer over time. I don't know if it's an ordinance, but the contractor I'd prefer for septic won't do a soil assessment without a survey.

After those details, that neighboring property is now owned by 4 family descendants where the dominant one and uncle of 3 nephews can get pretty ornery and make enemies where I'd choose not to. I don't want that guy to ever pick or be in a fight where I don't have the right stuff to stand on.

As much as there will be expenses, I'm not going to commit to the expense and risk of redeveloping a small lake lot without the certainty of the boundaries and dealing with septic properly.
 

Preacher

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When I lived in OK the house we bought had a deed that mentioned that we owned the lot the house was on plus the southern 10' of the lot adjacent of ours to the North. I looked at how the house was set up and there was an out building that sat behind the house that appeared to be in line with the "old oak tree" in the corner at the alleyway. The only thing I could figure was the owner wanted to have space on the side of the outbuilding to park stuff.

So after fifty years the lot north of us had a house built on it. No big deal as there were two very mature shade trees on the north side of our house that blocked the view between us.

So one day I am looking out my back window and the guy who owns that house is sizing up the trees between our houses. He has a guy out there and I notice a bucket truck sitting on the side of the road. We really never were "neighborly", his house sits quite a way back on the far edge of his property and our house faced away from his. We would wave on occasion as we passed mowing the lawn but that was about it. So I walk out there and say hi and inquire as to what is happening.
He tells me his going to cut down the trees and build a fence.
I know my face showed some shock when he said it as he got really defensive and told me that those were his trees and he could do what he wanted with them.
I really could not care less about the trees other than they were a little bit of a wind block from the north, but they were healthy, not really an issue to either of our buildings and since I thought they were either on the property line or on my property I thought he was overreaching.

I then told him that I believed those trees were on my property and he got all in a huff explaining that the property line was at the edge of my outbuilding and the trees were on his property. I told him I did not dispute that the property line was at the edge of my outbuilding but that I also owned the southern most 10 feet of the next lot which is where the trees resided.

He got all worked up and upset and told me he was going to cut the trees down, he already had the tree guy scheduled and was going through with it. I looked at the tree guy and asked if he was bonded and insured? He shook his head yes, and I said, "I hope so, as if those trees are on my land and you cut them down, they look really expensive."

The neighbor got all indignant and told me again that the trees were on his property. I just told him he better be sure before he does something.
A few minutes later I see the bucket truck drive off.

A week later I happened to pull into my driveway and I see another truck parked behind my house and the neighbor is out there with a guy holding a metal detector. I walked over and he introduces the surveyor that he paid for to survey the property and show me right where the line is. The surveyor is pining away with that metal detector but is not picking up anything where he is checking as he is too close to my house. He mentions that he is not getting anything and the neighbor walks over and draws an imaginary line with his hand and says, "the property line is right here..."
The surveyor says, "I am not reading a pin here."

I walk over to where I think the property line actually is and suggested he try this area. The neighbor tells me that he is paying for the survey and that I need to butt out. I agreed and went and got a lawn chair and set up behind my house to watch them. They searched for fifteen minutes looking for that pin. Then when the neighbor had his back turned the surveyor went to where I suggested and found the pin that was actually almost in line with the trees. He marked it and then went and found another pin at the base of the old oak tree.

The neighbor wasn't happy but then told me he wanted to build a fence on the property line so the trees would have to come out. I then reminded him that I owned 10 feet of the other lot so the property line was quite a bit closer to his house than he imagined.
He told me that I needed to show him my deed which I refused, I told him to go to the courthouse and look it up if he was that set on building a fence but to make sure it was on his property.

He never built the fence and we lived as politely as we could (which meant he never talked to me till I was moving out five years later) from that day on.

Property lines are there for a reason, and if you should decide to build something, do your due diligence and make sure it is in the right place.
 

boris bubbanov

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.............

As much as there will be expenses, I'm not going to commit to the expense and risk of redeveloping a small lake lot without the certainty of the boundaries and dealing with septic properly.
I think, honestly, the reason I didn't bother with this last survey was, it would have delayed the sale maybe 2 months, and I didn't want to be left hanging - I wanted to get back in there and clear some unwanted trees and brush!
 

imwjl

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I think, honestly, the reason I didn't bother with this last survey was, it would have delayed the sale maybe 2 months, and I didn't want to be left hanging - I wanted to get back in there and clear some unwanted trees and brush!
The surveyor just called and said our description begins at a point in a swamp 1/2 mile away and records he found for others on the road are as old. We've been asked to find out of anyone else near has had a newer survey and do some homework to aid this.

We also learned it might be a neighborhood that needs an "assessor's plat".

Never a dull moment and always reasons for me to spend time and bandwidth.
 

boris bubbanov

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I think we could, that is, townships, counties and states, or even The Nation, could embark on a plan to properly digitize the boundaries of all these properties. The means that were used in the time of George Washington have been superseded, and much more precise descriptions could be arrived at. And it would result in greater wealth and productivity in the end - but will it ever happen? Or will the "Old Oak Tree" still be in use 300 years from now?
 

David Barnett

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I think we could, that is, townships, counties and states, or even The Nation, could embark on a plan to properly digitize the boundaries of all these properties. The means that were used in the time of George Washington have been superseded, and much more precise descriptions could be arrived at. And it would result in greater wealth and productivity in the end - but will it ever happen? Or will the "Old Oak Tree" still be in use 300 years from now?

Your county Assessor's office probably already has all that in their GIS system. But a polygon drawn on a computer over an aerial photo or map is probably still not going to be as accurate as an actual survey on the ground from the legal description.
 

imwjl

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I think we could, that is, townships, counties and states, or even The Nation, could embark on a plan to properly digitize the boundaries of all these properties. The means that were used in the time of George Washington have been superseded, and much more precise descriptions could be arrived at. And it would result in greater wealth and productivity in the end - but will it ever happen? Or will the "Old Oak Tree" still be in use 300 years from now?
I doubt it will move fast and only seems to move that way when newer ordinances make it happen. We are in a time marked by too many having pride in willful ignorance, and a poor understanding of how a whole lot of greatness in our land was achieved.

Already I've learned some neighbors didn't have to have soil tests and the surveying for work done fairly recently. I asked one who's reactionary if he wants to be drinking his neighbor's pee.

The county GIS system shows what @David Barnett mentioned but what I understand is there's no "assessor's plat". It seems as if the surveyor is saying we have what could get everyone's lots surveyed on the county's dime or at a lessor cost.

Back to work at stuff that actually pays for what we might do with the cabin.

:)
 




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