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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31769
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Considering buying a property in Crawford county PA (south

Customer Question

Considering buying a property in Crawford county PA (south Shenango municipality). There were 3 lots. The person died. 3 lots were picked up in a tax sale by two different people. The lot I'm interested in has a big house on it that needs a lot of renovation as it has been vacant for years. I may just keep salvagable materials and foundation as they are in good shape. The problem is that I learned today that part of the house is about 5 feet over on the other property (part of 2 lots owned by the other party). That is because the owner that died had 3 lots but never got a new deed as 1 big lot. The lot I want is beautiful and water front. Since the house has been there for a long time and the seller has been paying the taxes, will I have an issue after purchasing? I plan to renovate and use existing materials and foundation to built a very nice cabin.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

If the house has been there for at least 21 years, then there should be a claim of adverse possession that would allow you to own/claim ownership of the portion of the property that extends 5 feet across the property line. Here's a good link that outlines the law of adverse possession in PA:

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

That said, in order to gain a clear title under adverse possession, you would have to file a petition in court for adverse possession and ask the judge to confirm that you own the property outright and obtain a court order that gives you that ownership.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

If you're negotiating the purchase of the property, you may be best served by asking the seller to get the title confirmed through adverse possession before you buy it to ensure that you are getting what you believe you are/what you want.