My question involves real estate located in the State of: California.
First, we're first time home buyers, so i'm trying to sweat the details.
we're in the contingency period of an offer on a house and noticed the neighbor's garden appears to clearly cross the property line between their house and the seller's house. (there is a 5ft setback, and about 10ft between houses, and about a 6-8ft wide garden). the neighbor's have lived their ~2yrs, the seller, 55yrs.
looking around the neighborhood shows multiple telephone poles where the property lines appear to be, where a fence separating other neighbors is terminated by telephone poles. there is a telephone pole that seems to be placed directly on the property line between neighbor / seller (re: setbacks) adjacent to garden, highlighting the encroachment. The title shows a rectangular piece of property for both neighbor and seller, with no modification to property line near the garden.
I would like to resolve this prior to 'releasing the contingencies'. any suggestions? I've read on-line that there is a worrisome thing called a 'prescriptive easement' which requires: open, notorious, hostile, and continuous possession for 5yrs after which hostile party can claim the land. is this true? does that apply here?
is there anything i can do BEFORE we close that would ensure we have the right to the property we think we are buying?
i'm wiling to let them keep the garden now, providing if we ever want to put up a fence they can't claim it, and the worst they can do is dispute the property line position. if we have to do a survey at the time we put up a fence that's ok if that's the worst case.
i just want to be proactive...