Buying a House? Need a Fence? Please, Call Your Neighbors

I don’t know if something is in the water, or if everyone has had too much time on their hands (post the world shutting down in March of 2020) to find things to get mad about, but we’ve heard from more people fighting over fences than ever before.  But why? What’s happened since March of 2020 that makes people want to fight over fences? While I certainly can’t speak for everyone, I think there a few reasons: 

  1. As most of you are probably aware (and if you aren’t, get out from under your rock) the real estate market in South Carolina, and particularly Greenville, is red hot. Housing prices are shooting through the roof and building costs are sky high. Every inch matters.
  2. Good fences are expensive. As someone who recently bought and installed his first fence, I candidly got sticker shock when I realized I would need to take out a second mortgage (not really, but kind of) to pay for my fence – solely to let my dog out without being on a leash. The fence business is good business.
  3. Not all neighbors are nice. Fortunately, we’ve been blessed with great neighbors in the various homes we’ve purchased in Greenville. That said, not all neighbors are so willing let you move your fence one inch to the left or right, or paint it white, blue, red or yellow. And those HOAs, in their omnipotent power, always have a say in the style, color, and location.

 So, what should you do if you are buying a house or recently bought your house to make sure you don’t have to call us after getting served demand letter or a lawsuit about your fence? 

  1. Do your research. When you are buying a house, conduct surveys. Get more than one opinion. While the vast majority of real estate agents are wonderful, don’t always trust every word they say. Read the appraisals, title work, and surveys yourself and ask questions. Make sure your fence is actually your fence.
  2. Check for easements or other rights-of-way on your property. Is there some person or entity that has a right to access portions (or all) of your property? What rights do they have? Can those be renegotiated?
  3. Be nice. It’s free. Just be a good neighbor. You know your rights and you know when you can enforce them.

That said, if you don’t have a nice neighbor (or feel like being a nice neighbor), let us know – we’re happy to help.

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