Why is a survey needed on my property?

A land survey may seem arduous and unnecessary, but the fact is there are many cases in which you should have your property surveyed. A survey will help you to confirm access to property, define any encroachments, find discrepancies between documents of record and assure your title insurance policy.

You can have two surveys performed, after review to the surveys you will most likely find that the surveys will differ slightly. The differences are the results of different measurements. Many factors can contribute to those measurements, such as the type of equipment, how well those instruments are calibrated, the experience of the personnel, weather conditions, terrain, and a lot of other factors. Surveying is more of an art with very strong principle of mathematics applied.

A land surveyor will research the documents available about your land, including deeds and previous surveys. he will physically measure the property, and check these dimensions against the previous records to find any discrepancies.

You should always have a survey if you are buying a piece of real estate. You should be aware of any boundary discrepancies that could affect the value of your property before purchasing it. Any disputes about the boundaries of the property should be settled before you agree to purchase it, or you can be in for a legal headache later. 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. Be sure you know that what you are buying is located within the parameters of your legal description.

You may also want to consider having a land survey done if you are planning to sell your property. It is especially important in areas where road access is questionable. Determining the status of roads onto your land can help you determine how marketable the property is. Shoreline footage and acreage are two more selling points that can be measured by a land survey. Some buyers might put in an offer that is contingent on a survey; if you have the survey done ahead of time, you can save time and increase the chances of selling your property quickly.

Before building a shed, fence, or other structure on the edges of your land, consider having a land surveyor mark the exact edges of your property. That way, you can be assured that you are not building on your neighbor's land, and you can assure yourself that you are not fencing out any land that is actually yours. This is especially important when building a house or other large, permanent structure. There are many things to keep in mind when situating such a building, including easements, setbacks, and other requirements that will be marked on your new land survey. Do not let your contractor or builder determine where to place this structure, as they will probably not be any more aware of your boundaries than you are, and if they make the mistake, you could spend thousands of dollars to correct the problem.

Using an outdated survey to determine either of these matters puts you at a disadvantage. Newer measuring techniques, including GPS, mean that newer surveys will be the most accurate. Some areas, especially rural land, have not been surveyed since the nineteenth century, meaning that in many cases neighbors may be unknowingly encroaching on each other's land.