It has been my experience that property owners can rarely accurately point out where their property lines are located. Many even mistakenly warrant that there has been a survey even though they don’t have a copy and have never actually seen one. “I assume that there would have had to been a survey done at some point!” said one seller when I pressed for an answer to that question. Do you have such recorded evidence that verifies the location of your property boundaries? In a recent transaction a property owner was asked to take the new buyer for a walk to show them the actual boundaries of a large parcel that included home and land. This seller had been through a similar exercise when they purchased the property so were confident that they could accurately illustrate to the new buyer just exactly where the property was. At my prompting, the seller opted to hire a surveyor to mark the boundary lines prior to this walk-about. To the sellers dismay the actual boundary lines were not even close to the old meandering fence line that had been the supposed boundary. The real line was some 300 feet east of the old fence. What made matters worse was that this owner had recently logged up to the fence line, encroaching on the neighbor’s property and exposing himself to liability. Many property owners refuse to agree to a survey because they feel confident that the lines are not subject to scrutiny and don’t want to incur the expense. In cases such as this an ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure! The following quote by Neil Shelton adds humor to this dilemma; “Ever since man started slicing up the earth and deciding which pieces of it belonged to whom, there has been a need for defining exactly where any given piece of land might lay. In early Britain, this was handled in a memorable fashion: the policy was to take a young child from the neighborhood, lead him one by one, to the corners of the tract of land in question, and then give him a severe thrashing at each location. The theory was that the child would long remember each spot (if beaten with sufficient gusto) and could testify to its location long into the future. Today’s coddled children have it easy: we just record a survey at the county recorder’s office.”