Winston-salem, NC asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for North Carolina

Q: A home in Watauga County NC. House was built within 2-3 feet of the property line.

My mother passed. According to two surveys Her 30+ year old home sits 2-3 feet from property line. Small porch sits 2-3 feet over property line. Watauga County building department says state law calls for a five foot setback. If I acquire the property can I remove the current home and build back on the same area up to the property line or will the new structure require a 5 foot setback? Property is on the side of a cliff. Loosing 2-3 feet of building space makes a substantial difference.

When my parents purchased the property they were assured the property line was 20 feet farther than the most recent surveys. All the surveys around her property have inconsistencies with neighboring surveys.

The one neighbor the back corner of the home adjoins purchased her property in the last 20 years from the owner my parents bought from.

1 Lawyer Answer
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Yadkinville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Without looking at the Watauga County Codes, I can say that you will almost certainly not be allowed to rebuild the house. However, you may be able to claim adverse possession on the area that you thought was owned, but the surveys show was not. Speak to a local real estate lawyer and see what your options are.

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