You've owned the Maine land, real estate for decades.
Never have built anything on the Maine property. No well or septic installed. But did pitch a tent a few times on the land. Even brought a travel trailer to park, set it up on a couple occasions.
Using it to camp on the clearing at the end of the land's driveway when the kids were small. That's about it.
The ten acres is just sitting there. A tax bill for the Maine land gets paid year after year.
Actually before it's due, ahead of time to score the town's early payment discount.
Some day you thought you might retire to Maine.
To relocate and build a small log cabin. Or to set a mobile home on the Maine land. To maybe use it part of the year. Toying with becoming a full fledged snow bird. To vamoose winters to the sunny south or southwest.
So when it comes time to list, market, sell the Maine land, the acreage gets surveyed by the buyer. Oh oh, a problem comes up. It seems the ten acres in Maine isn't that big according to the surveyor.
Only a tad over six acres of Maine land he explains as he raises one eye brow.
Rubs his chin, shows you the plat map, the land acreage calculations.
How can that be you wonder because all these years hasn't it been ten whole acres? All along you thought. The warranty Maine land deed spells out the metes and bounds distances, shape of it. And sums it up in black and white type,with the legal description stating that the property you own is ten acres, more or less.
Maine is a race notice state when it comes to figuring out who gets what when a large property, a big land acreage is split up. When you record your deed at the Maine registry, in the county the land is located, a clock stops ticking.
The problem with under acreage in Maine land, despite what your deed may state for its size is caused by two factors. First, the ten acres you bought was part of a larger parcel. Property divided up many years ago that someone thought added up to ten properties in this subdivision land example. With the grantor, original owner, seller of the 100 acres of Maine land thinking, believing he had that much quantity of property acreage to peddle, convey.
But wait, the plot with the Maine land thickens in the case of shrinking acreage. How come you come up nearly fouracres short on your Maine land? Taking the fall all by yourself according to the Maine land surveyor.
The second factor is you were the last property buyer sold land in this acreage "litter". The last little piggy to receive what he believed was ten acres of Maine land.
Race notice means the order the ten acre Maine land buyers went "wee wee wee" all the way to the registry of deeds and recorded matters. A lot.
Everything boils down to registry recording documentation. The date, time the property's legal description, the paperwork, deed were put on record for the world to see.
To shout it out to anyone, everyone, putting them on notice you are now the proud land owner of Maine property.
It seems the deficiency of total Maine land acreage, approximately 96, not 100 acres before the carving up game was completed was the first wrinkle. The second factor being you were the runt of the litter that comes up short if there is a deficiency in land to dole out.
If one of your neighboring ten acre property land owners had not recorded their deed, and you did correctly, that buyer who did not get around to trotting up the long court house steps to the registry would be the guy coming up short. Not you. Get the property surveyed is a good idea.
And don't leave the deed to any land in Maine you buy laying around. Get it on record so if you ever lose it in say a house fire, there is record of ownership in lots of places. The registry of deeds in Maine makes microfilm copies so with or without the recorded deed to the land, you're all set. Fine and dandy.