Neighbors squabble over lot boundaries

DEAR BOB: Our neighbor complained that some of our trees anda fence post are on his property. We had a survey done to confirm theboundaries. It differs from the “improvement location certificate”(ILC) our home builder provided to us at the closing. Is it unusual for anactual survey and the builder’s certificate to differ? We hired the samesurveyor who did the ILC to mark the boundaries and he said this not unusual–Sue B.

DEAR SUE: It sounds like the licensed surveyor goofed whenhe surveyed the boundaries for the home builder.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

At the time you purchased your new home, I hope you boughtan owner’s title insurance policy that specified the boundaries of your lot. Ifso, you may have recourse against the title insurer if the actual boundary issubstantially different than the builder’s ILC that was provided to you.

If the new survey shows the trees and fence post are on theneighbor’s property, he can then remove the trees and/or fence post if hewishes. The reason is they belong to him. For more details, please consult alocal real estate attorney.


DEAR BOB: I am trying to buy a cabin on a beautiful lake.The seller is a cranky old man. We have agreed on the cash price. He says,”Bring me the cash and I’ll give you the quitclaim deed.” Somehow, Idon’t feel safe doing this. What protection should I get? –William L.

DEAR WILLIAM: You could be on the trail of a “gooddeal.” Or that “cranky old man” might be out to swindle you.

A quitclaim deed, presuming it is properly prepared and thegrantor’s signature is notarized so the deed can be recorded in the countytitle records, can convey full fee-simple absolute title. Or, if the old man’stitle is defective, you might get nothing.

Your best protection is to have a local real estate attorneyor title insurance company check the seller’s title.

If the title is marketable, then insist you receive anowner’s title insurance policy. Arrange to meet the old man at an appropriateplace, depending on local custom, such as the attorney’s office, a titlecompany or a local bank, where your cash (a cashier’s check is much safer foryou) can be exchanged for the quitclaim deed.


DEAR BOB: You recently discussed the pros and cons of a10-year interest-only home mortgage. What happens after the 10 years arecompleted? –Carol G.

DEAR CAROL: There are two types of 10-year interest-onlymortgages. After 10 years of interest-only, fully tax-deductible monthlypayments, most residential interest-only loans amortize over the next 20 years.

However, some 10-year interest-only mortgages have a balloonpayment due in the 10th year, and the full mortgage balance becomes due. Beforeyou sign up for a 10-year interest-only mortgage, be sure you fully understandits terms.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “The 20 EssentialQuestions Smart Home Buyers Must Ask to Avoid Overpaying in a Buyer’sMarket,” is now available for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road,Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant delivery Questions for thiscolumn are welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

Distributed by Inman News

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