How to inspect your future neighborhood
Survey for lot-line land mines
Could your potential new dream home use a new fence? You might hold off on your plans. You'd be shocked to see how many presumed yard boundaries are actually wrong by a few feet or more -- and how many neighbors are primed to call you on that fact if you rub them the wrong way after moving in.
Perhaps worse, some neighbors may try to claim a sliver of your potential land that they've been using for years through a phenomenon called adverse possession (squatter's rights). If there's any lot-line ambiguity whatsoever, go to the township and inspect the property survey, then check it against the property lines. You may want to order a new survey if a wide disparity becomes apparent.