Whether you are looking to become a homeowner or have already nestled into your new home, property lines are of crucial importance. The property lines affect everything from home improvements to title insurance and everything in between. Let’s say you share a boundary tree, a driveway, or something else with a neighbor, and you want to build a fence, for instance. Knowing the details of where your property begins and ends is the first step in this situation. 

When you begin to explore your property line, you may be surprised to learn the extent of land you are entitled to. What you thought was part of your front lawn might belong to the county. Or you might learn that your backyard extends further in a direction than you thought. Land tends to shift over the years, which could trigger changes that are not apparent at first glance. When it comes to finding out your property line, there should be no gray areas. So, let’s begin. 

What Are Property Lines? 

Property lines are the things that neighborhoods are made of. They are essentially boundaries that legally dictate the beginning from the end of a tract of land or a piece of real estate. If you are lucky, your property lines will be obvious and identified by some physical barrier, such as a roadway, fence, boulder, ditch, tree trunk, or other items. Often, however, you will find that your property line is not easily defined because it is not visible. Either way, it is up to you to be sure and know the precise measurements of your property lines, one way or another. 

Why Do Property Lines Matter?

When it comes to property lines, what you don’t know can hurt you in your wallet. And even though it might seem easy enough to rely on the guesstimates provided by Google Maps on your mobile device, this is one time when you will want to go beyond the touch of a button. While having a vague idea of property lines might not have caused you any issue before, the truth is you may have gotten lucky. 

When it comes time for a change, such as building a fence, digging a new pool, or putting an addition on your new home, you are going to want to know how to find out your property line. Otherwise, it could lead to a host of problems. For instance, you could invest time and money only to find that you have crossed over into property that is not yours. Your friendly neighbors could suddenly become potential enemies threatening to sue because someone’s privacy has been breached. 

The trouble might not stop there and could interfere with title insurance protection down the line. Property lines also come into play when the time comes to sell your home, when you will want to avoid embarrassing delays because your measurements were off or worse — a deal that goes south altogether. Therefore, it is crucial to know the property lines, whether you are buying a new home or building an addition on an existing one. 

How Do I Find Out Where My Property Lines Are? 

So now that you’re convinced about the importance of your home’s borders, you might be wondering how you find out where your property lines are. Fortunately, you’ve got a couple of options. If you already own the home, you can find property survey records online in a few places: 

  • The website of the county in which you reside 
  • The website of the accessor, where you should be able to access online maps of the property in your region. 
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data

If there is a chance that the information you find online is outdated, or perhaps it is nowhere to be found in the first place, you will want to take it a step further. This is where you investigate getting an up-to-date property survey done on the property. And if you are considering buying a new home, this is where you begin. You might be wondering, ‘What is a property survey?” We are glad you asked! 

A property survey is a drawing that illustrates where property borders exist. It is performed by trained experts with the latest technology who provide you with the actual dimensions of the land and the house itself. When you have clarity on what land belongs to you and what does not, it will provide more confidence not only to you but also the lender and title insurance firm, all of which leads to more solid contracts for you. By using a property surveyor, you will learn things about the property such as: 

  • Property lines: The legal boundaries of the land. 
  • Easements: This is where you might be sharing access to a private road, driveway, or beach with your neighbor. You might also be required to provide the local utility access to cables and wires.  

If you are asking yourself, ‘How much does a property survey cost?’, you are not alone. That is a common question, and the answer varies depending on the state in which you live. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t provide you with a range. 

According to users of Angie’s List, the cost to hire a property surveyor ranges from $350 to $600. The price could also creep higher depending on factors such as the size of the property. One surveyor in North Carolina reveals that the price tag for surveying less than one acre of land runs as high as $1,500. It helps to think of a property survey as a form of insurance. You are paying to prevent more costly problems from happening later on.

Getting A Mortgage Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Now that you are equipped with knowledge about property lines and why they are important, you are one step closer to owning the house of your dreams. And when you do, you will be able to discern what information to trust. While property lines could be full of surprises, getting a mortgage doesn’t have to be.  

Ratecloud has automated the mortgage lending process, essentially cutting out the middleman, finding the best rates, and slashing costs in the interim. Homebuyers can complete a mortgage application online and begin their journey to their new home, property lines, and all in as little as 15 minutes. It only gets easier from there. Learn more about Ratecloud’s fast and simple mortgage process. Get started on your digital mortgage application today.