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  1. #1

    Default Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: South Carolina

    We purchased a home(with title insurance) 7 years ago this October. The land had no formal survey done as it was not required in my state. The title simply says that it borders such and such property and that is it.

    We are now selling the home and moving on. We are a bit over 2 weeks from closing and the neighbor walks over to me tonight and hands me a survey paper. The new buyer had wanted to do a survey and when I noticed the stakes in the yard I figured he had done it.

    The neighbor tells me he hired a survey guy to survey MY LAND. I was a bit taken back by this. Can he legally survey my land?

    On this survey, he shows me where my entire front yard and half of my house(like slicing a pizza) is not on "my" land. He also told me that he no longer wishes to share the shared driveway with the new buyers. He also said he has not turned it in to the courthouse and I should get my own survey and move the lines to account for the house maybe.

    This house was built by his dad years ago. It might be possible that it was built on the grandads land partially. It was sold to me not under this assumption. No mortgage company would offer a loan on a house like this without fixing it first.



    I feel like I am about to lose my buyer or have to go to court. What do you think of this?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    There are quite a number of potential issues here.

    I would recommend that you contact a lawyer soon, and ask for a reference to a local surveyor. As I am not your surveyor, or licensed in your state, I will only suggest a starting point. You state that "The title simply says that it borders such and such property and that is it".

    If that is the extent of the actual description, those mentioned borders might be the controlling bounds of the parcel. Understand that in the priority of deed calls, the call for area (acreage) is the least important.

    In addition, the history of the ownership of the parcel, it's creation, and the buildings now upon it may have importance. That would require legal analysis by a local attorney. Good Luck!
    Resistance is not futile; it is voltage divided by current.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    The neighbor tells me he hired a survey guy to survey MY LAND. I was a bit taken back by this. Can he legally survey my land?
    I can't imagine that there are any laws against it.

    I feel like I am about to lose my buyer
    You are going to lose your buyer. This kind of thing will likely take months to resolve and now that you know about you are legally bound to disclose it to your buyer.

    or have to go to court
    Yes, you may have to.

    You have title insurance. I suggest you immediately call the title insurance company (the name on top of the first page of the policy) ask for the claims department and report this before you do anything else. Your policy might pay for a survey and a lawyer.

  4. #4
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    Unfortunately, most title insurance policies disclaim liability unless there is an endorsement adding a survey and coverage.

    Most likely, in the absence of an endorsement adding coverage, you are left with the usual exception of coverage for: “Any discrepancies, conflicts, or shortages in area or boundary lines, or any encroachments or protrusions, or any overlapping of improvements.” Or similar language.

    As you have no survey at purchase, when inquiring with your title insurer, be prepared for the above. But go ahead and give it a try.
    Resistance is not futile; it is voltage divided by current.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    But where does that even leave us? Can we even sell the home as is?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    Quote Quoting Cowsgonemadd3
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    But where does that even leave us? Can we even sell the home as is?
    Maybe for cash to an investor as a distressed property at a fraction of it's otherwise market value. Somebody could buy the property for the value of the land, demo both offending buildings and rebuild in the center of the lot and not be concerned about encroachment.

    Trouble is, you aren't likely to get enough money to pay off your existing mortgage if you have one.

  7. #7
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    Quote Quoting Cowsgonemadd3
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    But where does that even leave us? Can we even sell the home as is?
    Getting the advice of a local attorney will cost a lot less than tearing down part of your property. I think that is your best next step.
    Resistance is not futile; it is voltage divided by current.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    The neighbors have said they want to do a land swap. I give them some of the back and they give me a front yard. They also require me to no longer offer the shared driveway to the new buyers. I have to install a driveway before close or they will give the buyers 6 months to install their own.

    I was sold the house "with a shared driveway" but it seems on the title I have no easements listed. It was always shared for a long time even when the house was rented but they no longer wish to do that. I feel like I was lied to.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    Quote Quoting Cowsgonemadd3
    View Post
    The neighbors have said they want to do a land swap. I give them some of the back and they give me a front yard. They also require me to no longer offer the shared driveway to the new buyers. I have to install a driveway before close or they will give the buyers 6 months to install their own.

    I was sold the house "with a shared driveway" but it seems on the title I have no easements listed. It was always shared for a long time even when the house was rented but they no longer wish to do that. I feel like I was lied to.

    That really sounds like it may be your best move out of this mess.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Land Survery Shows Half My House on Neighbors Land - Bought 7 Years Ago

    Yes, it is likely the best solution. I was told that or we go to court to fight over the land and the we likely would still loose the driveway claim as there is no easement on my title. It was more of a verbal agreement of a shared driveway.

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