Do you think you know exactly what land you own? Do you know how big your yard really is?
If you do, it may surprise you to find out that many homeowners have no idea. They may think they do, but they do not officially know where the boundary lines are. Part of the problem is that they make assumptions and use unofficial evidence to determine where those lines sit.
For instance, say you bought a new house. It has a fence along the side of the property, dividing your yard from your neighbor’s. It’s natural to assume that fence marks the property line, but you really have no idea. Maybe your home sat vacant for a year before you bought it. During that time, the neighbor put up the fence, but they guessed wrong on the property lines. The fence is actually three feet onto your property, with your land on the other side.
This is just one example, but it shows why it’s dangerous to use this “anecdotal evidence,” and look only at visual evidence that suggests where the property lines are. You don’t know if what you’re seeing is legally accurate or not. If people have bought and sold that house five times in the last two decades, how many little mistakes have they made that changed the footprint?
If you ever find yourself in a boundary dispute, perhaps because you or a neighbor made incorrect assumptions about the property lines, make sure you are well aware of the legal steps you can take to get things sorted out.