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Boundary Survey: What is it?
A boundary survey establishes the true property corners and property lines of a parcel of land. Boundary surveys are typically performed to obtain building permits, to resolve property disputes, and for erecting fences. Easement lines may also be located, if requested, with this type of survey.
When should I get a boundary survey?
- Before you buy land, make sure the property you are buying has a current survey. Pins set in subdivision plats of the early 1900’s to the 1980’s should be checked and verified by a Licensed Land Surveyor. Beware! Many landowners and real estate professionals describe parcels as surveyed when pins appear at boundary locations. Anyone can stick a pipe or pin in the ground, a practice often found in and around our area. Be sure you know that what you are buying is located within the parameters of your legal description. Contrary to buyer beliefs, title insurance does not insure for encroachments.
- When planning a construction project. The high costs of construction materials should be reason enough to get a survey before beginning a project. A survey assures you that your new improvements are being built within your property boundaries. Be sure that your structure is in compliance to local government-required building setbacks. Be especially careful when building adjacent to government lands, as they may require the removal of any trespass. Do not depend on your building contractor to determine your building location in relation to your lot lines unless you are very sure where they are. Contractors are not surveyors!
- When their are issues regarding access. Legal road access is another area that often arises during a real estate transfer. Our area is integrated with all types of road corridors going in and out of rural parcels. These roads often cross adjoining parcels and may or may not have a legal easement to do so. Easements, when written properly, identify centerline location, width, grantor, grantee, transfer rights, and uses. Attorneys and/or title companies will take a very close look at this when interpreting marketability of title.
- Before you sell. Providing your realtor with a current survey will definitely improve your chances for a quick, trouble-free transaction. Often, buyers make offers contingent on a survey. This not only adds time to the situation but if any problems arise as a result of the survey, you may lose a good, qualified buyer. Knowing the accurate locations of the property boundaries will also make for a much better presentation by your agent when showing the property.
- Taxable acreage verification. At times we have been asked to verify the acreage of a parcel in comparison to assessed acreage. County Assessors require certified surveys in order to make taxable acreage adjustments.
- Encroachments. As people build, remodel and expand, the possibilities of building on your neighbor’s property or your neighbor building on yours increases. If you suspect the location of your neighbor’s improvements, there is only one way to prove it: get a survey. Suspicion carries no weight in land boundary disputes. A certified survey showing the locations of the trespass in relation to the boundary is the first step toward resolution.