1. Why or when would I need my Land Surveyed?


Many people wish to know where there boundary lines are, or know more about the land they purchase before they even finalize a purchase of the property. In some States, it is required.
The list below may give you some more ideas about why and when you would benefit from a Land Survey:
  • When buying land and you do not clearly know where the property line is on the ground.

  • When selling land and you do not clearly know where the property line is on the ground.

  • When land is not clearly defined by a plat, legal description, or older Land Survey.

  • When you cannot be certain of the location of your property corners.

  • When building, Land Surveying often used to determine drainage, setbacks, and proper planning by many.

  • Before land is divided.

  • When a lending institution requires a survey for a mortgage.

  • Before building a fence, building, shed, or anything close to an unknown property line.

  • Before timber is to be cut near a property line.

  • When purchasing title insurance.

  • When applying for a "Torrens Title" to "register" you and your land title.

  • Whenever a boundary line or corner is unknown or in disagreement.

  • To settle a boundary dispute of some type.

  • When you think you might have an encroachment on your land.

  • When clearing or doing construction in "wetland" areas in the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers.

  • Before developing property.

Many times, an Attorney, Bank or title insurance agent will require that a Land Surveyor clear up an ambiguous land description, or verify the location of structures on the property so that the lending institution can agree to finalize a loan."




2. What could a Land Surveyor do for me?


A Surveyor can:

  • Consult and advise you whether you need a Land Survey or not, and what type of Land Survey you may need to suit your best interests whether that is concerning building, developing, or legal boundary issues.

  • Examine your deed and adjoining deeds for problems. (Is it able to be Surveyed?)

  • Find or replace, then mark property corners and property lines so that they can easily be identified.

  • Create subdivision "plats".

  • Draw topographic and contour maps when elevations are required for drainage and other planning needs.

  • Advise and cooperate with your Attorney, Title Insurer, Realtor, Banker, Architect, or Civil Engineer.

  • Locate encroachments and improvements such as: buildings, fences, etc. relative to the property line.

  • Appear in court as an expert witness on your behalf in a lawsuit. Assist you in preparing drawings to be used in proposed construction for building permit applications.

  • Perform preliminary route surveys for roads and engineering designs, perform construction staking from engineering or architectural design plans.

  • Perform Land Surveys to assist in creating a "basemap" to develop a GIS Geographic Information System.

  • Determine accurate Latitude and Longitude of features or control points, using specified coordinate systems or datum. This is often done using GPS (Global Positioning System)."



3. What information should I supply the Land Surveyor?


"The more information you can furnish the Land Surveyor prior to the fieldwork the more efficient the work will be, reducing your costs. Often more time is spent "verifying the correctness" of property corners, or "points of beginning" than is spent in setting property corners.
Supply information even though you might think that it might negatively affect your boundaries. It is important to understand that although you may really only want your own property lines surveyed, the Land Surveyor is also determining the boundary of the neighbors land, and must be impartial in the location of any boundary line. Some of the information you should supply may include, but is not limited to:

  • Explain the exact purpose of the survey, defining your needs. The Land Surveyor may often suggest ideas you have not thought of.
  • Ask questions if you do not understand what is being presented or discussed.
  • Supply "proof of ownership" from a reliable source. This may include but is not limited to: The legal description of the property, (Lot , Block and Subdivision name, aliquot part description, or deed recording information), a copy of a title opinion, title search or title insurance.
  • Make available any additional old surveys, plats, plot plans or building plans.
  • Make known all disputes over corners or boundaries.
  • Supply any information you may have about the location of your property lines or corners.
  • Provide information about adjoining land owners.



4. What does the Land Surveyor do when
I hire him or her?


"To locate your described boundaries on the ground, the Surveyor obtains a copy of your land description from an abstract, title opinion, title certificate, certificate of title, deed or other form of "proof of ownership". The Surveyor researches available records of your property and often adjoining properties for any possible conflicts. Using this information, the Land Surveyor takes measurements of the property lines to identify your property lines. This work may take much time and several trips to the property. After measurements and research are analyzed, the Land Surveyor can determine the boundary of the property, and advise of any evidence of encroachments or defects in the description of your property. Basically, the Land Surveyor then gives you a professional opinion as to where the boundaries of your property are.

The Land Surveyor finds and confirms the correctness of your property corners, or replaces them as needed. Many people find that additional "points set on the property line" are helpful. These points might be used for fencing, construction, in hilly terrain, on lines which have their terminus in water, or along long property lines. If this is a benefit to you to have additional "points set online" mention this to the Land Surveyor before work has begun. Again, be up front with your needs of the Land Surveyor. This will help greatly in the long run. It may be necessary to survey property adjacent to yours in order to replace property corners, or confirm that your property corners are correct. Do not be surprised to see the Land Surveyor working in your neighborhood in addition to just your property. Most Surveyors use electronic distance and angle measuring equipment, as well as the traditional transit and tape. Some surveyors may use satellite positioning equipment as a measuring tool. Modern computer systems aid in efficiently gathering measurements and in evaluating all collected evidence required to perform the survey. The Surveyor takes pride in being able to use these instruments and computers to perform land surveys efficiently, accurately and cost effectively. The Land Surveyor advises you of any legal matters needed to perform the Land Survey, or legal problems encountered during the Land Survey, referring you to your Attorney if needed. These matters are usually not at all obvious to the layperson."



5. What do I get from the Land Surveyor?


"Services that best serve the purposes for which they were intended."

This may vary due to State and local requirements, or just the needs of yourself, your contractor, Architect, Engineer, or any other person working with the Land Surveyor.

Does the Land Surveyor tell me what I own?

The Land Surveyor locates the property as described and interpreted in your "proof of ownership", and compares your "proof of ownership" to field evidence of ownership. You furnish the Surveyor with your legal description, current title opinion, or title policy concerning the parcel that you want surveyed. The Surveyor then locates the property on the ground, marking the corners with physical monuments, and (if needed), provides you with a record of the Land Survey showing the results. The Surveyor will also disclose the areas that are in conflict so that the title company and/or attorney can resolve any problems.

Will I be shown my property corners and lines?

Ask for this to be done, as it is always a good idea to know where one’s property lines and corners are. Property corners are normally found or replaced by the Land Surveyor. If the property corner is set (replaced), the monument is identified with the License number of the Land Surveyor. Property corners are usually set beneath the surface of the ground, for durability and permanence."