New Lot - Neighbor's hedge and shrubs

We are in the process of making an offer on a residential lot to build a house on. It is in an established neighborhood with neighbors (houses) on both sides. The survey has just been completed and it apears that both side neighbors have hedges or shrubs on the sides that are over the property line. We are in a period of “inspection” for the next 3 days. Should we ask the seller to do something about the neighbor’s hedges? Or maybe decrease the amount we are offering because we will have to deal with their removal? When our new house is finiished, we will want to fence the back yard on 3 sides. The House in the back is no problem. It is the side neighbors I don’t really know what to do. In a perfect world, we would of course go speak to them. But, let’s say they are snarly about us removing part of their hedges… then we are living next to snarly neighbors from the start. Just looking for some suggestions. We haven’t chosen the builder yet, or we could go and ask them their advice… but we don’t really have anyone to call. We are just starting to research attorney’s for the contract with the builder, but we haven’t chosen an attorney yet. On the flip side, there is a nice lot just a couple blocks away for about the same price with no issues. I hate to get snarly with the seller, whom we have made an offer to, and have the deal fall through… Just looking for some advice… Thanks.


Go with the nearby lot that has no issues.

Why would you want to take on potential issues when there is an acceptable alternative?


How much are they over the line?
What percentage of the square footage are they taking?
Can they just be trimmed to the line or do they need to be dug up?
Do you like the hedges if they weren’t misplaced?


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Thanks. The other lot with no issues is our second choice, albeit by a tiny bit. The palms are in a hedge. As they grow, the root ball expands, so for us to remove the hedge back to our property line, would involve cutting down into the root ball… And then we are located in Florida where stuff just grows all year, so the root ball would just grow back and be pushing our fence over, unless we can get the neighbor to totally remove it.

I am making an assumption that the stuff over the line is more than a few branches. i.e. enough vegetation that cutting everything on your side of the lot line would seriously affect the appearance of the hedge/shrub – maybe even kill some plants.

Unless you are comfortable with neighbors who just plain detest you, I say walk away. You will be new guy on the block and there is no way you can know the various alliances and friendships.

I would make it very clear through your agent, the issue is the hedges - the owner of the lot should have known about this situation.


I agree with this. A couple moved into my block and cut the neighbors pine trees up the property line. Well the pine trees happened to be their kids Christmas trees every year. It hasn’t gone full border control but it hasn’t made for great neighbors.



Thanks for the replies. You have all made very valid points. Right now we are waiting to actually “see” the survey of the property. Hopefully sometime today. At that point, we will tell the realtor that we have a problem with it. We are also going to go there tomorrow and talk to the neighbor’s on either side. Maybe they will be amazing, awesome people, so we are going to at least meet them and talk to them. Right now, we are in the “review” period, and can retract our offer by the end of Monday (today is Friday). We really do like this lot, but we do have a 2nd choice a couple blocks away. Thanks again for all the advice.


Not for nothing, but our neighbor had a plot survey done about 4 years ago. It turns out that some trees, which sit close to our house, on the outside of her fence annd inside ours and form a line parallel to it -= are actually on her property. At the other end of her (beautiful) wrought iron fence the property line says her fence is on our property.

Both of us shrugged and said “Oh well.”