Upon updated information, I just heard from the neighbor who owns the home with the fence regarding this issue - the GIS map is not the map that is used by the property tax assessor. They use the actual property description in the record of deeds.... more
While this may be out of your scope a bit, if you find a lot with a decent amount of space, you can easily build your own 'guest cottage', since most places allow building a structure under 200 sqft without a permit. Check out: http://www.countryplans.com/contest.html for some neat ideas.
Frankly, I >really< liked the winning design, and have half a mind to build two of those along the west side of my lot (facing east) for extended family / guests. For a 12 X 64 basement, costs about 2.5K for excavation, and 12K for slab and ICF 10ft high walls. Plus another 10-20K per cottage, depending on design and choices. After watching my parents house burn to the ground, I (personally) will never buy/build anything but ICF or similar, but your mileage may vary. : )
PS: The other half of my mind is reminding me I need to rebuild the garage first . . . : )... more