What is a land survey?
Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as building corners or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law, such as property sales.
Most deeded parcels for sale have been surveyed, so why is it important to resurvey before you build?
Often times, surveys were done years ago. It can be hard to locate corner markers and pins to verify the exact boundaries of your land. Even with proper maps, and a long tape measure, finding the boundaries of a plot of land can often take some doing. If your land is located on the intersection of two roads, and your lot is 200’ by 500’, you can measure out from the intersection down one road for 200’ and down the other 500’ leaving only one remaining corner marker to find. Building in this case, without a resurvey, is probably a safe bet.
However, imagine that you are the 6th parcel down the road, with 200′ road frontages. You can measure out 1,200′ and possibly find the first corner marker, maybe the second one at 1,400′. How are you going to find the back pins? Often times the pins are hidden, missing, or buried. Possibly a metal detector could help you, but you’ll be looking for quite some time unless you have a transit to shoot the correct angle, especially if there are trees and elevation changes involved.
I’ve seen people put in a drive and pad, over the edge of their property boundary. I’ve seen people build a home over their boundary line or too close to it. I’ve also seen people take all the trees out around their boundary lines only to find out half of them were from their neighbor’s lot! These things can result in issues that must be resolved when discovered. It could end up with the need to buy the adjacent parcel, or moving your building or road, not to mention handling the ramifications of the legal aspects with the owner of the adjacent land parcel. Not fun. If you are buying on terms and making payments for your land, and improving your land before it’s paid in full, this also can bring in legal aspects with not only the adjacent owner but the party you are buying the land from.
Why You Should Get a Land Survey
It is best to simply KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Get a resurvey. They are not that expensive. If you happen to find an amazing deal and you end up buying really cheap land, don’t make a very costly mistake and build in the wrong spot. It is GREAT insurance if you are going to improve your land, and one of the first things I’d recommend doing. It’s necessary to be in the right place, on the correct parcel of land before taking any action on improvements. Use the yellow pages or Google to find surveyors in that area, and get some quotes on a resurvey. Give the surveyor your legal description or county map code and they’ll be able to help you. Enjoy the process of improvement on your land by doing it right from the start.
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