Hello. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience. I specialize in family law and appeals, and I have many years’ experience with landlord-tenant issues, contract law, and other types of law. I also have written hundreds of legal articles. I look forward to helping you today.Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. Oh, keep in mind that at the end of this discussion I'm going to ask you to please rate me as that's the only way I get credit for my time here today. Thanks!I don't know what state you're in because it's not showing here but most states would treat this the same, with some exceptions. There sounds like there was or is an easement
on the property you're looking at, but the question is, is the easement recorded? You can check the land records, real estate
records in your town or county. Not all easements are recorded, so if it's not listed there, it doesn't mean that there isn't an easement. These type of easements usually go from one owner to the next, but not always. If you can't find a document at the land records office, or town/real estate records office, then yes, the next step is to get a survey. You don't know if the neighbor is right, and what he tells you doesn't matter. It's what is the truth that matters. The way to find the truth of the situation is the records office, and if you are still interested in the property, then get a new survey. You can ask the current owners to see their survey. If the survey isn't too old (a few years) then you can often use that survey, but if it's older, you'll want to have a new survey done. I would suggest to think carefully before buying this property unless you're prepared to have a survey done and do some digging into the history of the easement and whether this easement follows from owner to owner. The issue of the porch is truly problematic. I know when I looked at property, if there was an easement I walked away. If the easement was just on the driveway, I still walked away but if the easement involved more than the driveway and there was a contention about ownership of part of the house, that will truly make the property difficult to sell. It's up to you but it should be a fantastic house that you can't get anywhere else if you're walking into boundary issues. That is truly a problem and will affect ability to be sold in the future. As far as the septic, I'm not sure from your description what is going on there other than it was sold, or whether there is another boundary dispute
there. It sounds like this property is going to be difficult to sell at a later point. If you want to check with the owners about the easement, what it says in the deed, and you really love the property to get a new survey, then you can do that, but you should discuss this with a local real estate lawyer before venturing into buying this property. It might turn out to be a poor investment because of all the problems with shared boundaries. I know I would walk away but that doesn't mean you have to. The easement could show up attached to the deed or in the title report or both. Ask the owner to see as much of that as possible -- deed, title report, any easements and what the wording is, and have a lawyer review this for you if you are serious about this property. I wouldn't take the property without having an attorney review the documents and without a new survey. Before you get that survey though, consider whether you want these issues. If they don't exist and the neighbor is wrong, then there's no issue, and you don't know at this point if you can trust the neighbor. Who knows? It could be that he's wrong. But be prepared to spend some time reviewing the title, any easement language, the deed and the survey, and your best bet is to have someone review it for you. Here is what is said about easements: If you discover an easement, check the wording carefully. When a document grants an easement to a particular person, the restriction may end when either he or she dies or sells the property. If it is granted to someone for a term of years or to someone and his “heirs and assigns,” then the easement probably remains in effect no matter who owns the property. However, each state may have its own rules for easements and some towns even have their own rules. You would be well-advised to talk to a real estate lawyer if you still have an interest in the house.