Many homeowners learn about the boundaries of their properties through informal markers. The former owner or their real estate representative may have told you that a particular tree represents the far back corner of your property, for example.

The problem with these sorts of informal boundaries and the assumptions that go along with them is that it becomes easy for people to experience a boundary dispute with a neighbor if they don’t have a formal understanding of where the legal edge of their property is.

Particularly in cases where your neighbor wants to put up a fence, install a garden or expand an existing structure, accurate knowledge of your boundary may be critical. You may need to bring in a professional to verify the boundary as recorded in your deed.

Sometimes, people can get an answer with county documents

Every time someone establishes or transfers ownership of a property, there is an official record with the county recorder’s office that tracks the transfer of real estate. While the sale records themselves may not be of much help, the plat map or legal description they contain could be.

There are cases where there are visual aids included in the legal description or measurements provided on the plat map that make it easy for you to establish exactly where the boundaries of the property are located. Barring clear and easy-to-verify boundary notations in the legal description for the property, you will likely need the help of a professional surveyor.

A surveyor can authoritatively confirm where the property ends

Accurately determining and verifying property boundaries is such a complex process that there are professionals who do nothing but survey properties. These individuals typically have special tools that will make it easier for them to decipher boundary notes. They also typically carry insurance that will protect you from the financial consequences of any mistakes that they make.

When a surveyor comes out, they can conclusively help you establish the location of the boundary. If the boundary is in the location you thought it was, you can then request that your neighbors stop with their attempted construction. If the result doesn’t favor you, the surveyor may have saved you from significant conflict with your neighbor.