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11-21-2012 06:03 PM
I'm adding this question to the Seattle forum ... I’m interested in buying single-home house in king county, Washington.
The “Sellers disclosure statement” (form 17) include the question “Are there any encroachments, boundary agreements, or boundary disputes?”
The seller marked “Yes” and added: “Original builder put fence across property lines between plots. Neighbor agrees to leave as is. Should fence need to be replaced, agreement w/ neighbor to assess at that time.”
According to the seller, the fence was constructed few inches from the right plot’s line and encroaches into his neighbor’s plot. There is open space on both sides of the fence: no building, tree’s branches or any other fixture is crossing to the other fence’s side. There is no other indication to the encroachment; our real-estate agent checked and it is not listed in the title’s office records.
According to the county records, both properties – and the entire neighborhood – were built in 1999. The seller bought the property in 2006; the neighbor bought his property back in 2004.
It seems that both the seller and his neighbor are law-abiding, decent and I did not see any evidence that they have let the encroachment to get between them. They bought the properties with the encroachment and as the original properties owners did not take any action to correct it.
Correcting the encroachment will involve land survey and moving the fence. I cannot estimate the cost of this act, but I guess it would be more than $2,000
I guess that my options are
- Insist the seller resolve the encroachment by moving the fence to its designated location before the sell
- Asking the seller and his neighbor to sign agreement resolving the issue
- Ask the neighbor to sign agreement resolving the issue before the sell
- Ask the seller for price reduction as part of the inspection of $1,000
- Ignore the encroachment
- Other line of action
What is your opinion?
11-21-2012 07:57 PM
I would lean toward #2. Maybe ask for an easement from the neighbor. It doesn't sound like there is a practical impairment to either party.
Maybe "adverse posession" has kicked in anyway and nothing needs to be done since the condition is 13 yrs old.