Land survey question

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by wprebeck, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. wprebeck

    wprebeck Have you seen me?

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    I know there are a couple of you all out there that are surveyors and such. General question before I go pissing off my neighbor, who happens to be the big dog in our small community. My deed says, and I quote, "Beginning at a stake 5 feet east of a large red oak tree in the north margin of a gravel road".

    I know where the tree is located and my question is simple: as this is a rather old property, the tree has grown quite a bit. Such growth, especially from oak trees that can have diameters measured in feet, can obviously affect property lines. What is the common method for surveyors to start a survey with this type of boundary? Is it from the middle of the tree or from the edge? The middle would seem to be the most fair, as that doesn't change the size of the property...but what do I know?

    I ask, because Johnny Rich Guy next door had the gumption to tell me that the fenceline between our two properties wasn't the actual border. The previous owner of the farm (a widowed lady who is still a fireball) had some choice words when I told her that and tried to find the survey she'd had done years ago, but could not. She doesn't care for the guy, and oddly enough, neither does anyone I've talked to. He's the big-wig lawyer in our county and likely owns more land than any other single individual here. I'm doing some basic maintenance around the farm, which includes trimming brush and trees back to the fenceline. Of course, he's the kind of guy to make a legal issue out of it and I'm trying to make sure I'm good before I good running around, lol.
     
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  2. usnret

    usnret

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    The survey data should be recorded with your county.
     
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  3. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Anti-Federalist CLM

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    Any part of a tree that has grown on to your side of the property is yours to do with as you please in Florida. I'd make sure I had a survey in hand before doing anything permanent.
     
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  4. SleeperSS

    SleeperSS

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    Looking forward to The Peoples Court episode...
     
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  5. Ramjet38

    Ramjet38 Mentally Frozen

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    Sounds like the property line starts at the stake not the tree. Is there a marker there?
     
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  6. peng

    peng

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    Surveys are not done by trees, they use monuments to measure from. Have you looked at your plat from the county assessors office?

    It should tell you exactly where the measuring points are.
     
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  7. DoubleWide

    DoubleWide

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    Ugh, property lines and lawyers, fun. Is the stake still there?

    If there's no animosity yet, ask all of your neighbors if they had a survey done. Treat it like you're bring neighborly and getting the correct info. Tell them that you're going to get a survey since the previous owner can't provide you with one. If there's ordinances like building so far from the property, you can use that as an excuse. Provide a copy to all neighbors.
     
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  8. Lil

    Lil

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    Center of the tree at dbh (diameter breast height). The diameter, therefore location, of the outside of the tree changes with time. Relatively speaking, the center does not. But a more precise, legal description should be available via title or county records.
     
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  9. bdcochran

    bdcochran

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    I know that you are avoiding it. However, you should consult with a local, licensed surveyor and an attorney who specializes in real estate disputes.

    The measurements that you started to recite is wrapped in old terminology. It causes problems. I think it is Scott County, MS wherein the actual amount land is 10% than what old measurements recite.

    The lawyer would help in terms of conceptions of adverse possession, prescriptive easements, licenses, and the history of similar disputes in your state in the legal system.

    Self help? My dad used a bulldozer two times at different houses we lived in. Risky. Could have a lawsuit. Another time, a guy wanted an easement for a fence in connection with making a regulation size volley ball court - and it was done on paper with a lawyer and recorded.
     
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  10. Wankster

    Wankster

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    Should be an iron stake underground or concrete monument about 5 feet east from the tree. You’ll need a metal detector to find it more than likely.
     
  11. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday CLM

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    Break out a metal detector and try to find that stake, hopefully they didn't use wood back then.

    Above post beat me to it, while you're at it, scan around the oak tree, people back then would use big trees, unusual rocks, to bury stuff around, so they could find it later.
     
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  12. wprebeck

    wprebeck Have you seen me?

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    The assessor's office couldn't even answer a question about the plat that shows part of my driveway as belonging to the county (pic attached). I chatted with them about that weird little curve, which isn't mentioned in my deed - but that's a different story, as they told me to talk with the highway department.

    I quoted the first sentence of my deed in my initial posting and my question is - where would a surveyor put a stake? The oak tree could have grown several feet in diameter when the initial survey that laid out property lines was conducted, which would mean that I'm losing land every year the tree sits there, since the stake would continue to be pushed east.




    Picture1.jpg
     
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  13. wprebeck

    wprebeck Have you seen me?

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    Ah, gotcha. I'll see if I can find a metal detector for rent or something.
     
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  14. Tvov

    Tvov

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    If it is an issue (which it sounds like it is), pay to get your own survey done.

    Around me a lot of the old survey "stakes" are metal pipes hammered into the ground. They get bent, grown over, and buried. Surveyors routinely use metal detectors to find the stakes.

    I don't think you have to bother the neighbors, just get the survey done. We have surveyors almost every year walking around my neighborhood surveying some property or another.
     
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  15. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    Harbor Freight has a decent cheap metal detector for sell.
     
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  16. wprebeck

    wprebeck Have you seen me?

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    He's a dick. Big money in a small town kind of dick. Heard a story from a local about when it snowed. The entire road was cleared from the main highway up to his house, but no further. Mind you, there are no houses on that road between the highway and his home. Yet, just a quarter mile the other way - which wasn't plowed - there are a couple of dozen homes and this road leads into the nearest small town.

    Another good story - my son shot a doe last year that ran toward his place. I was still in Louisville working and he texted me. So, I reached out to the neighbor/lawyer, who was too busy to call me back. He did have his secretary call me and say it was okay for my kid to go look for his deer. And, immediately after that, railroad ties and "No trespassing" signs went up over the entrance to his field. All without having met us or spoekn with us once.

    I've never met anyone that anything nice to say about him. He has money and I'm sure his hands are in everything court related around here. I'm not overly worried about lawyers, as they don't impress me much. But, money talks and this is a very small county, lol.
     
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  17. Wankster

    Wankster

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    Yea the tree has nothing to do with the property line it’s just giving a general vicinity to be able to find the corner that should be buried underground.
     
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  18. peng

    peng

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    I don't see what the tree has to do with this. There are actual monuments on your land you just need to pay a surveyor to find them.

    The tree may have started 5 feet from the point and is now 8 feet or 2 feet but the important thing is the monument not the tree.

    These are no fun I feel for you. Went through this on some lakefront property years ago.

    If you can't locate a survey from anyone, you need to pay for one if it is important. Everything starts from there.
     
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  19. oldmick

    oldmick

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    Agree. Sounds like the tree is merely a reference point to help locate the stake.
     
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  20. wprebeck

    wprebeck Have you seen me?

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    If there's an actual metal stake in the ground, that makes a lot more sense.

    Also, survey is gonna be around $5k or more. My land is wooded and that increased the "ballpark figure" I got from a local guy. Further complicating things is something else I found in my deed today, lol.

    I have two lots listed on the deed. The first lot is the one that borders nasty man, so that's the one I've been focused on. Today, I actually took a closer look at the deed for the second described lot and found some "fun" things. We live on 46 acres, nine of which is the first lot. The deed description for the second lot lays out boundaries for 55 acres, 18 of which is specifically excluded from my acreage and listed in another deed for that landowner. See the exciting times here? I'd either have to pay for the entire amount - surveying the 55 acres and having the 18 removed from it - or hope my neighbor wants to pony up some money to split it with me...at least, I assume that's how things would work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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