Lot Lines and Bedrooms


Dear David,

I read your recent column about property lines and have a similar problem. My neighbour and I both have detailed surveys, but can’t find the posts that mark our shared lot line. There is no fence or definition between the properties as my neighbour prefers to let the vegetation grow wild. I have not objected, but now need to know where my property ends as he is selling his home. Any suggestions? – UNDEFINED

DEAR UNDEFINED: Most properties don’t have their original wooden survey stakes, but you should still have survey monuments. A monument is a permanent steel rod that is buried underground when a boundary is first established. A surveyor can locate these monuments with a metal detector and install new survey stakes for you.

Check your survey document to see which company did the original survey. Assuming they are local, they can come out and locate the property line for you. This approach can be accomplished quickly and will cost much less than re-doing the survey. For the sake of clarity, you might want to have the surveyors locate all four corners of the property while they are on location.

Dear David,

I live in a century home and want to list it for sale. I’m a bit confused about the features.  An agent told me that a bedroom needs a closet to qualify as a bedroom on a listing. Is this true? – UNSURE

DEAR UNSURE: I’m not sure there is a legal definition of “bedroom” that applies unilaterally in the real estate world. I’ve heard the same argument you have about bedrooms needing closets, but as we both know, many century homes weren’t built that way. A bedroom is typically required to have “two forms of  egress” (aka a door and a window) for fire safety purposes. Aside from that, building codes can vary from province to province regarding the size of the window, the minimum width of the room, and sometimes the minimum square footage.

When it comes to marketing your home, a Realtor can certainly provide insight as to whether or not a room can be listed as a bedroom. Bedrooms have value, so we want to maximize the sales potential of your home without crossing the line into embellishment.

PRO TIP: The more legal bedrooms you can list, the better you will typically do in the marketplace. Once a buyer purchases the home, they can use those rooms as they wish. Dining rooms can be living rooms. Bedrooms can be offices. Fire safety requires every bedroom to have a window, but if there’s no closet, you can always buy an armoire. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.