Thursday, May 26, 2011

The search for Camp Stranded continues

(Contrary to the song, I'd like a good fence to define the property, or at the very least, a corner post.)

This installment is called, Do Fence Me In.

During our scouting trips, on one parcel, the line was not well defined and when we asked for a survey they said was done, they couldn't produce it. On another parcel that I suspect True Blue Sam, as a woodsman, would have appreciated, the farmer to the east used an aggressive dozer this spring so he could get a few more rows of corn in. (About a dozen white oaks, 2+ feet in diameter, 2-3 dozen hackberry slightly smaller, and one of the biggest cherrys I've seen since I was a kid. Young growth of oak, hard maple, walnut and cotton wood.) The realtor didn't act like anyone was concerned about the property line and we never made an offer despite drooling over the timber.

For some reason, I would like to know what I'm buying and I don't care for the attitude that getting the property lines settled is not a big deal for some.

(Just in case anyone was wondering, disturbing survey markers is a crime under Iowa Code. And here's the Iowa Code Chapter 355 for Standards of Land Surveying.)

with me all curious about survey law and such, I found a few resources for here in Iowa:

PROPERTY LINE DISPUTES - Some lawyerly advice. I found that acquiescence and a the term, "adverse possession" can define property lines.
Adverse possession is an Iowa legal doctrine whereby ownership of property can change without payment and against the will of the "true" owner.
In Iowa, after 10 years of acceptance of a boundary like a fence, that's the line despite a survey.

So, a good fence makes good neighbors.

Concerned about the fence laws in Iowa? Obligations, dispute resolutions, the "right hand rule" defined and other information from Iowa Code.

There's even An Iowa Surveyor's Blog with postings of case laws that explain the disputes, like Acquiescence - Fence Line

I relayed much of the information regarding fences and property lines to a young realtor in Iowa City last week and he didn't know about these laws.

It seems like each parcel we've looked at has some quirk about it and I spend some of my free time trying to figure it out. I've learned a few things along the way as a result.

It's been an interesting journey searching for Camp Stranded, and maybe we will have a definitive encampment soon.


Midwest Chick said...

I learned the VERY hard way to make sure you know where the lines are in NC. Everybody is okay until you do something someone else doesn't like.

strandediniowa said...

It's sorry to say but there aren't too many people one can trust with a handshake anymore.

Hopefully what you went through wasn't an expensive experience.