Step 4: Boundary Determination
Once research and preliminary survey work has been completed, office work is performed to review all available evidence related to your property boundaries. While applying the language in the deed to the ground is often the first step, it may not be the last. It’s not unusual for circumstances to exist which require additional evaluation or alternative solutions.
In some instances, the location of your property resulting from the language in the deed is not aligned with existing monumentation, areas of visible usage, or the location resulting from the original survey of your property. Keep in mind, despite the significance of boundaries and the consequences associated with not adhering to them, most real estate divisions and real estate transactions throughout Northern Minnesota have failed to include surveys or resurveys. This makes boundary determination extremely challenging as old evidence is not properly perpetuated, or simply doesn’t exist. Often times the result is a “latent ambiguity” in which unambiguous terms in the deed result in an uncertainty or discrepancy when applied to evidence located on the ground. In these instances, it is often necessary to conduct additional research or additional survey fieldwork before a determination can be made. On occasion, it may be necessary to work directly with your neighbors to formalize a Boundary Line Agreement or to reform your property descriptions.