Avoid property-line disputes by getting a boundary survey


July 07, 1996|By Michael Gisriel

Dear Mr. Gisriel:

My neighbor wants to install an in-ground swimming pool, but I believe that it will extend into my property.

How can I be sure where my property ends and his begins?

I received a "location survey" at settlement when I bought my house.

Mildred Sporney


Dear Ms. Sporney:

The only accurate way to be sure of the location of your property is to have a boundary survey performed.

According to David S. Thaler, a licensed surveyor and engineer, the "location surveys" commonly received at settlement are not suitable for the accurate location of property. Although they are inexpensive (usually $139 to $150), they only generally verify that a home appears to be positioned on the lot.

What is needed if you wish to install a fence, build a pool, or if you have a dispute with your neighbor, or simply want to know where your land ends, is a "boundary survey" performed by a qualified surveyor. Although more expensive (usually $750 to $950), the boundary survey will accurately determine the land you own.

Dear Mr. Gisriel:

I recently closed on a refinancing. Interest was paid on the refinanced loan from the date of closing through the end of the month by check. Interest on the old loan from the date of closing through five days later was included in closing costs.

The reason that was given was the "right of rescission" -- the right to rescind for three business days, and because we closed on a Wednesday, the rescission period went to Monday. The result: five days of double interest.

Is this legal?

John Murrman

Glen Burnie

Dear Mr. Murrman:

Under federal regulations that affect FDIC and FSLIC mortgage lenders, all borrowers have a right to rescind the loan transaction for three business days after the transaction.

The right to rescind does not apply to purchase loans but does apply to all refinance and home equity loans.

The idea is to allow a "cooling off" period so that a borrower is not pressured into a transaction that he does not truly want -- similar to the federal cooling-off period for door-to-door salesmen who sell products such as magazines or aluminum siding.

The problem with mandating the three-day right to rescind is that double interest must be paid for the rescission period. The old loan cannot be paid off until the new loan is final, and the new loan cannot be final until after the rescission period.

Thus, both loans are outstanding for that rescission period, and interest must be paid on both.


Michael Gisriel is senior vice president of Fountainhead Title Group of Columbia and host of the weekly radio show "All About Real Estate" on WCBM from noon to 1 p.m. on Sundays.

Send questions to Michael Gisriel, c/o Mailbag, Real Estate Section, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

You can also leave questions on Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, by calling (410) 783-1800 and entering the code 6170 after you hear the greeting. For more local Sundial numbers, see the SunSource notice on Page 2A.

Pub Date: 7/07/96

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