Profile picture for NE10

Misrepresented Property Lines

I just bought my first house in Oregon. The property lines were one of the first things I investigated after making an offer because it was so close. The realtor came back with records and measured the property. He told me that according to his measurements the garage cut into the neighbors property by a foot or two, but we would still own it. And we definitely had a shared driveway according to the city maps.

Fast forward to the end of our first week. I have now met all my neighbors, every one is cool, we have all of our stuff unpacked, and furniture set up. I see someone pull a truck up the drive (who I do not recognize as my neighbor) and the garage door is open. I'm shocked to see that it is still full of tools and equipment. So I asked him if he was the previous owner coming to pick up his stuff. He then claims that the garage is his and that he is part owner with my neighbor, but doesn't live there. We are both totally confused at this point, so we decide to call our realtors and figure out what happened.

His realtor comes by with all of the paperwork and we talk it over. It turns out that not only does the neighbor own the garage, but the entire driveway. The driveway isn't even shared at all. The realtor pointed out that on the official city documents it says "carport" not garage. My yard access, garage and property value just fell big time.

My question to the community is what kinds of compensation should I be looking for from my realtor?

  • October 14 2013 - US
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Answers (6)

Best Answer

Profile picture for Amy Smits
Your whole story seems like a nightmare. This should have been caught on a number of different levels. I assume you borrowed money from a bank to make the purchase which should have involved an appraiser. They should have caught this issue. A surveyor, not your Realtor should have measured the property to determine lot lines and what improvements were on your lot. 

If you obtained title insurance, you will need to review the exceptions page. The Realtor should not have been the person measuring and reading, that is the job of a surveyor. If it were me, I would start with the title insurance company and have them review your policy with you. If you find the issue there, it will be something that the title insurance should pay. Should you not receive satisfaction at the title level, I would then hire an attorney. I certainly wouldn't go looking for money when it would be hard for you to determine a fair amount. That would be the job of an appraiser. 
  • October 14 2013
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Profile picture for Neeraj Jassal
There are multiple issues here and this is a messy situation.

Did you get title insurance?  The title commitment should reveal the legal metes and bounds of the property and it would also reveal the easement (driveway) and rights to use that easement.

If you purchased title insurance (and I hope you did), start by talking to them.  But, without question, consider consulting with an attorney.
  • October 14 2013
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Get an attorney to advise you.  This is more complicated than simply asking for monetary compensation.
  • October 14 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
The courts will have to decide on this.  
  • October 14 2013
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Did the Realtor do his own measurements or did he just read the property appraiser reports and tell you what they said?
  • October 14 2013
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It sounds like you're getting ready to enter into an issue involving a lot
of people before this is over with.
Lawyers for one, city officials, county officials,  I'm sure that appraisers and others will enter into it.

It seems you have two different documents saying two different things.
That is the issue that will have to lined out, don't even who or what will
be making that decision either.

Sounds like a bunch of old records that have been interrupted differently
at different eras, so does the first dated document win or the last
recorded document win.
-Joseph-
  • October 14 2013
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