Property Lines

I wonder if anyone has experience figuring out where your property lines are…

A little backstory. So my neighbors recently erected a fence presumably along our property line. Looking at google maps the property line goes right along this short stone “wall” (not really big enough to be a wall) which the fence is just inside/on top of. The neighbor had a bit of texting back and forth around some issues but eventually they were sorted and the fence erected.

Anyway, yesterday I was reclaiming some of the yard with lots of overgrowth near the property line (there’s a good ~6-8 ft of brush/etc. between where my grass ends and the fence). There was a black wire running along the little stone fence which I presumed was from the surveyor and represented the property line. In the process of clearing out some shrubs I accidentally cut it and reached out to the neighbor to offer to pay to have it fixed. Turns out it was the invisible dog fence wire (I guess dug up because the fence was being put in?) Neighbor wasn’t super cool about it and said the wire was at least 12-18 inches from the property line, which is a bit hard to believe as it was about 6 inches from the fence on my side, but I don’t have an official view of where the property line is…

Anyway… was going to get a survey done so I can know for certain and my nicer neighbor suggested I just figure out where the property stakes are. Did a bit of googling and it seems the first step is to get the property plan so just reached out to the town for that. I wonder if anyone has experience with this and if it’s worthwhile or if I should just pay for a survey…

Pay for the survey if you think that it’s likely to get to “legal proceedings.” The surveyor will also know what documents to get (and additional ones to reference) and can provide that to you as well.


I don’t think it’s as serious as that. But do want confidence that I’m within my rights when I’m chopping down some overgrown shrubs. Town responded back that they don’t have a copy of the property plan anyway so thinking survey it is.

Might have to try the county.


Make sure you get air superiority while there’s still time to build up your forces

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Can’t find a link on amazon for it, but way ahead of you [link for ryobi pole hedge trimmer]

Don’t count on Google maps to be accurate. It is very likely that when you bought the place, a survey was done. It might show the location of the stone wall relative to the line. You can check you paperwork and find the surveyor’s name. Contact them if you want a resurvey to be “official”.

Some localities use iron corner markers that the surveyors find with metal detectors to help with their work. One of my corners is by a sewer manhole, so neighbor was unable to find it himself. There are marks in the concrete of curb on the street-side of my home.

Customs vary a lot. In parts of the country there will be an iron stake in every corner, and it’s easy to informally do your own survey. Where I live, you really need to hire a surveyor.

(And the guy who used to live behind me always claimed his surveyor gave different info than every other surveyor, and got into a fairly serious fight with his next door neighbor. But I think he was probably lying about his surveyor. At any rate, the new back yard neighbor seems to agree with the same property lines that my surveyor, and my next door neighbor’s, and his next door neighbor’s agreed on.)

When in doubt, survey it. If there’s any chance things could get contentious, survey it.

I have iron stakes that I know the approximate location of, but would need a metal detector at this point to actually find them. Also, on one side of my house, my neighbor and I mostly ignore the actual line when mowing the lawns. He has a service that cuts it for him, and they sort of make an assumption that the line follows the grade of the lot, while instead it annoyingly cuts through a side hill. I think the area they cut on my lot roughly nets out with what they leave for me to take care of, so I just let it be.

Our prior homeowners had a spat with our horrible neighbors. Prior homeowners forced them to move their picket fence 18 inches and constructed an 8-foot fence along the backyard.

It’s fantastic, those neighbors suck anyway. Unfortunately, sucky neighbors are really pissy about the fence since they don’t like how it looks. We told them if they want to get us an estimate for a nicer fence that they’ll pay for, we’re interested.

Wow 8 ft is a big fence. I don’t mind my neighbor’s fence, it’s a nice white one, probably 6 ft tall. They’re a little odd, we sought to have dinner with them when we first moved in but it fell through. I think they might be a bit fake and not like us much for whatever reason despite being somewhat friendly when we see them outside. They also chatted with me about not really wanting a fence along our shared property line and then a couple weeks later I was starting to clear out the side of my lot (theirs is pretty nicely finished and ours is getting there) and then suddenly they wanted a fence.

The wife texted my wife a bunch, they had their survey etc etc husband knew where property line was because he grew up there then it sounded like his recollection of the property line wasn’t as good as he thought because then the fence needed to be on or in this little wall thing which was ontop of all the landscaping they’d been doing. Then they proposed we build the fence on our side and they pay for it, I was not interested in having someone else’s fence on my land and before we could say no they said they found another solution, which I guess was putting the fence where it is now. All of which got me thinking the fence must be 6 inches from the property line, but if she’s going to text “Not cool, that wire was 12-18 inches from the property line” while it was about 6 inches on our side of their new fence I don’t want to be relying on hints from her about where the property line truly lies.

Thus, survey incoming…


Are 6 or 8 ft fences not standard most places where there are close neighbors? Growing up it was always chain link but now I see 6 ft fences everywhere and they are 8ft where my in laws live.

m/s : map and survey :+1:


6 ft is typical around me if you want a legit fence. I think you’d need a variance to do > 6 ft (such as to prevent deer).

I think this is the code for much of my area. 6 ft is what most people put up for privacy fencing, and I think some areas require a variance for higher fencing.

Fences are uncommon where I live. Walls (stone, concrete, brick, pavers) are more common than fences. What fences there are are more common between the yard and the sidewalk than between adjacent properties.

I have a chain link fence along the top of the cliff (that a developer left when he built the house next door) that’s mostly the keep me from accidentally falling off the cliff. I have a rock wall along the back property line, but it’s about a foot tall or less, and its function is to be a place to toss the rocks we dig up. It was there when I moved in, and I added to it when I built a garden, but it’s been pretty much left alone since.

Fences here are required to be completely within your own property, and belong to just one lot. In many places its common to build fences along the property line. That’s not legal here.

I thought 6’ was pretty standard, and I think it remains that way in many places. In some new neighborhoods they are doing a more ‘open concept’ thing with yards, and HOAs have restrictions mandating split rail or picket fences that are 3-4’ tall.

Every back yard in my neighborhood is walked in - brick, probably 6 feet. That’s true in pretty much all of the neighborhoods around here. The front yards have curbing that divides the yards.

Some places including where I live there is a setback where you can’t put a fence on the property line and it has to be two feet away from the property line. It makes it harder to know the exact location of the property line if you are trying to use the fence