Trees can live hundreds of years with proper care and the right environmental conditions, so you don’t have to worry about repairing or replacing damaged fencing year after year. For this reason, many people are choosing trees over fences. But one issue that seems to arise when planting privacy trees along property lines is actually locating the where the exact property line lies. You certainly don’t want to waste your investment or anger neighbors by planting your trees in someone else’s yard! So if you find yourself with the same dilemma, continue reading to learn some helpful tips for finding property lines.
❶ Look to Your Sidewalks and Street Lights
Sometimes, you can examine the lines that are directly in front of your home, and use these lines as a guide to where your property starts and stops. Often times, contractors pour sidewalk concrete, and cut them along the same lines as a home’s property line. Street lights are also sometimes anchored on property lines. Although these are good visual cues to start with, they aren’t always precise, so be sure to review the other tips for locating property lines as well.
❷ Look for Surveyor Pins
Sometimes surveyors insert hidden surveyor pins. These are thin iron bars that are two to three feet long and capped with plastic. They are generally inserted all the way into the ground, with their tops level to the ground or even a foot below. You will probably need to rent a metal detector to locate these hidden pins, as they are “hidden” for aesthetic reasons. Walk along the sidewalk, with metal detector in hand, to locate hidden pins along your property line.
Before digging up any ground, be sure to call your local utility company and ask them to come out and mark buried utility lines so you don’t accidentally hit one. Call 811 to be routed your local utility company for free.
❸ Go to the Local Zoning Department
For a more precise discovery of your property lines, visit the local zoning department in your town. This is a municipal office that retains all the local plat records. Plats are maps that are drawn to scale to show land division. So long as your property isn’t older than your great grandma, you should be able to recover your neighborhood or property’s land division map. You will need to pay a small fee for these copies, but they will show you the exact piece of land you legally own.
❹ Use Your Plat to Retrace the Surveyor’s Steps
Once you have your block’s plats, you can review it and determine where the surveyor marked where your property started and stopped. Look for their starting point, which should be labeled as “common point” or “point of beginning” (POB). Standing at this point, use a tape measure to carefully follow the steps of the surveyor so you can trace where your land division lines lie. When finished, double check that your lines are equal to the plat.
❺ Hire a Professional Surveyor
To skip all the hard work and investigation, simply hire a professional land surveyor for help locating your property lines. They retains all the necessary knowledge, equipment, and resources to pin-point exactly where your property starts and stops. Their services are affordable, so don’t sweat the fee. They offer free estimates for their services, and additional amenities too.