Is a Boundary Survey Necessary?

Is a Boundary Survey Necessary?

One of the most fundamental parts of property ownership is knowing the boundaries of said property. Disputes can arise when there are no clear boundaries for private or commercial property. Disputes can also occur when there are no clear boundaries for land used for mining, drilling, or industrial purposes. They are definitely the last thing you’ll want to contend with, as they can be long, drawn-out, frustrating, and costly. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of a boundary survey, a type of land survey.

Is a Boundary Survey Necessary?

Landowners might have to commission a boundary survey if conflict regarding a property’s boundary lines occurs.

  • Do you intend on building on or enhancing your land?
  • Are you wanting to locate easements?
  • Do you want to subdivide land?
  • Are you just purchasing a piece of land?

Whatever the case may be, hiring a land surveyor to conduct a boundary survey is necessary. This can resolve any boundary issues that may arise or simply avoid potential disputes in the future.

What is a boundary survey, and what does it entail? When would you need one, and what does a land survey cost? To find the answers to these questions and more, keep on reading.

Boundary Survey Defined

A boundary survey refers to a method of formally establishing and delineating the property lines and corners on a piece of land. In other words, a boundary survey shows and quite literally defines a property’s boundaries.

Generally speaking, people commission boundary surveys before they purchase, divide, improve, or build on a piece of property.

Once a boundary survey has been completed, a land title survey will be drafted. Because the measurements have to be exact, it is highly recommended you hire a professional land surveyor. A boundary survey drawing can include several features, such as:

  • Property dimensions. The dimensions of a piece of property are acquired from the land deed, survey drawings, and subdivision plans. These dimensions illustrate a property’s precise lines.
  • Any improvements to the land can be included on the boundary survey, such as houses, pools, garages, sheds, and any other permanent structural changes to the property.
  • Fences are typically used to define your property line; however, they usually aren’t built directly on a property’s lines. While fences can be incorporated in the drawing, they shouldn’t be taken as the definitive outlines of a piece of property.
  • Any easements can also be included on a land survey, but you’ll need to have a copy of the title commitment.

Types of Surveys

There are two main types of boundary surveys that you’ll need to know about before you commission a land surveyor. These include:

Original Survey

This type of boundary survey indicates the boundary lines of a parcel of land for the very first time. The intention is to establish new boundary lines, as the property has never been surveyed before.

The land surveyor will mark the property’s corners with a boundary survey monument or steel rod.

Retracement Survey

Retracement surveys track or retrace the findings of a prior land survey in order to find its boundary lines. Many title companies won’t use old boundary surveys. They can be unreliable due to changes or updates to a piece of land.

As such, a retracement survey or a new boundary survey would be necessary in order to account for these updates and changes.

Features of a Boundary Survey

A boundary survey should incorporate several essential components, and specific steps should be taken in order to complete the actual survey, including:

Registry research

A successful boundary survey requires info about deeds. Therefore, the surveyor will conduct in-depth research using the county’s registry of deeds. Additionally, boundary surveys need private and published research, such as municipal offices, other surveyors, and historical societies.

Deed sketch

Once the research is finished, a surveyor needs to prepare a deed sketch. The surveyor will make a worksheet that indicates record calls that fall along all boundary lines.

Field reconnaissance

Field reconnaissance is the biggest component of a boundary survey. During fieldwork, a professional surveyor will:

  • Explore the property
  • Indicate the corners
  • Collect all necessary information to complete the drawing

Data entry and analysis

Following the field reconnaissance, a surveyor will review and validate the information. Lastly, the mathematical accuracy will be verified. During this component of the survey process, the surveyor will pinpoint acreage amounts, corner locations, encroachments, rights of way, and other key aspects of the property.

Complications of an Unreliable Boundary Survey

An improperly executed survey can lead to significant repercussions for your project. A boundary survey, being a legally binding document (public record), demands meticulous attention to detail. In the event of an inadequately conducted boundary survey on your property, the potential consequences may include:

  • Boundary Disputes: Disputes may arise with neighboring property owners regarding property boundaries, potentially leading to legal conflicts.
  • Lost Development Opportunities: Inaccurate survey data could result in missed opportunities for royalties or development, particularly in cases involving gas and oil resources.
  • Code Violations: There may be violations of local building codes or regulations, hindering the construction or improvement of your property.
  • Title Issues: The accuracy of boundary surveys is crucial for ensuring the validity of property titles and the smooth transfer of ownership. Flawed surveys could lead to title defects and complications during property transactions.

It’s essential to recognize the importance of a well-executed boundary survey to avoid these potentially costly and contentious outcomes.

Precision Surveying & Consulting

3D Laser Scanning | Land Surveying | Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Established in 1999, we operate nationwide with vast experience in a diverse range of services. Our products and services are suitable for Industrial, Medical, Data Centers, and Commercial Sites. We employ highly skilled and experienced professionals and a licensed surveyor, licensed in the state of Nebraska, allowing us to process and certify all our data in-house. The security and confidentiality of our client’s data are paramount to our working practices. We bring extensive experience and professionalism to every project and customize our support to your individual needs and concerns.

Contact Precision Surveying & Consulting to learn more!