Home Buying in North Central>Question Details

Betty, Home Buyer in 90025

I'm thinking about placing an offer on a property but there is one problem.

Asked by Betty, 90025 Sat May 10, 2008

An abutting neighbor has some sort of a structure (shed?) that encroaches on the property im interested in... Not only that, it appears he has built a wall BEHIND his shed and took an even bigger part of the property I'm looking at.

I'm going to go to the city to verify, but if he has a structure and has fenced off part of the property that does not belong to him...what are my options?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Betty. Title insurance usually does not insure known encroachments. You can't buy something that you know has an encroachment problem and then go to the title insurance company and file a claim.

Have you asked the seller about the neighbor's shed and wall or is this a bank owned property? Do your due diligence research and if it turns out to be an encroachment, ask the seller to ask the neighbor to remove the shed and wall. If the property is bank owned, don't get your hopes up that the bank will do anything about the problem. If the neighbor is not willing to remove the shed and wall voluntarily, you have to decide whether you want to still buy the property knowing that you'd either have to live with the encroachment or sue your new neighbor. I would recommend you consult with an attorney before you decide to buy this house. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
I agree that it could be a bad situation if that neighbor did this incorrectly and now he/she knows you were the one to call on them and possibly them have to take down what they did. However, if you really do love the home, after you have talked with the city (and depending on what they say). You have a few options:
1. If the city says they need to take care of it and move it, let the city handle it. I know my city would have code violation people out in no time at all. After they told you what was going to happen, then I would make my decision.
2. If the city says they won't get involved, I would talk to the attorney at a title company (hopefully one in which you possibly may open up for title insurance). As them if they can do a search for you. If they cannot, find a surveyor to do this and ask him where exactly the property lines are.
Good luck with all of this. There are many people out there that try to build things and hope they won't get caught, but eventually they do!

Joan Patterson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Even if the Seller gets that shed removed you'll not have good relation with that neighbor, good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
to follow up...

lets assume i hired a surveyor and the survey indicates that his fence is definitely 5' on my property, and it was built 8 years ago (the fence looks older). Do I have any recourse?

If the title company is providing insurance on the title, shouldn't they be interested in reclaiming this as well?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
Hi there Betty. I sounds like a real valid concern. If the city does not have all the information on this I can get it
Kind Regards
Michael Barron
First Team Real Estate
(714) 552-6817
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
Wow, Betty, I would check with the city and their planning/building division. I know here, we are only allowed to build 5 feet from any wall. I would get a map of the property to tell you where the property lines are as well. You can get that from the city too. They have detailed maps at their office of each lot in the city. I would ask your local building department what your options are. They are there to help you as well. He may have built the shed without a permit and the city may require one for that. Some cities do, some do not. But, you are best to start there. Are you working with an agent? They certainly should be able to help you as well. If you have any more concerns or questions, feel free to let me know!
Good luck!

Joan Patterson
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 10, 2008
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