The purpose of a boundary survey is to mark and identify where your property corners are located. Simply put, it shows you where your property begins and ends. When a boundary survey is completed by a professional land surveyor, a drawing is generated to show the results. Here are some of the most common elements shown on the drawing:
- Lot dimensions. The property dimensions of a property are obtained from recorded deeds, subdivision plats and survey drawings. They identify the length of the property lines, bearings of the property lines and angular distances between property lines.
- Improvements. One option of a boundary survey is to have the improvements shown on the drawing. Improvements would include houses, sheds, garages, inground pools and other permanent objects on the property. Because it is optional to have the improvements shown, be sure to communicate this with the land surveyor and what you want shown on the drawing.
- Fences. Fences are typically indicators that imply “I own this land because my fence is built on it”. Rarely are fences built right on the property line. Fences are not a good indicator of what land you actually own. The location of anything close to the property line such as fences, retaining walls or landscaping can be shown on the drawing. Just like improvements, these are optional items that can be shown on the drawing.
- Easements. Most subdivision plats show easements and building lines on them. Those items are typically shown on the boundary survey drawing. Additional easements may exist on a property. Those easements are commonly listed in the title commitment that was issued when you purchased the property. If a copy of the title commitment is provided to the land surveyor, those additional easements can be shown on the drawing as well.
The final drawings issued by the land surveyor are legally binding documents. They are an accurate depiction of the conditions of the property at the time that it was surveyed. On the ground, you will be able to visually see where your property corners are, which will then establish where your property begins and ends.
Information provided should not be considered legal advice and all buyers, agents and title companies should consult their attorneys for legal advice.