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Never assume anything about boundary lines

When you bought your house, there was already a fence between your house and the neighbors' house. You just assumed that it marked the property line, and it was clear that your neighbor thought the same thing. You didn't have a survey done and carried on with your life.

Then your neighbor built an addition on their house. You can't help but feel that it's far too close to your own home. It feels intrusive. It is behind the fence, but you never noticed how close that fence was until now.

So, you start looking into it, and you find out that the fence isn't on the line at all. Some previous homeowner erected it there for reasons you can never know. They're long gone, and you and your neighbor have been operating under a false assumption the entire time. The reality is that you own the land on both sides of the fence and your neighbor's addition actually crosses the property line.

This is a good example of why you never want to assume anything about property lines. Now you have a complex situation on your hands. Do you sell the land to your neighbor? Do you demand that they tear down the addition? Even if you're in the right, does this create a tense situation that just isn't ideal moving forward in what was previously a nice, welcoming neighborhood?

There are a lot of questions to ask, and it's important to know what rights you have and what steps to take. A property line dispute could just be the beginning of the process.

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