We survey everything from small residential lots to large ranches. Our standard boundary survey includes a plat, boundary description, and if necessary surveyor’s report to explain boundary conflicts. The plat shows the boundaries as marked on the ground, boundary conflicts, and the intrusion/protrusion of improvements along the boundaries. There are also optional services which can be added to the standard boundary survey. They are as follows:
- Easements – When this option is selected the plat will also show the visible and apparent evidence of easements, and the record easements found during the survey and supplied by the client (the client should supply a title commitment listing the easements affecting the subject property).
- Improvements – When this option is selected the plat will also show the improvements specified by the client. Since there are many kinds of improvements made to property the client needs to be specific about what types of improvements need to be located. For example, improvements can include not just buildings but also sidewalks, curbs, yard fences, cross fencing, landscaping, driveways, roads, water wells, water tanks, septic systems, etc. Typically, clients order just the structural improvements such as houses, storage buildings, sheds and barns since this is what most lending institutions require for a loan.
- Special Certificates – Needham Surveying PLLC uses a company standard certificate. However real estate transactions sometimes require special certificates to satisfy lenders and/or title insurers. The content of special certificates should be negotiated before the survey begins as some certificates affect the survey process and pricing. Click this link to see Needham Surveying PLLC standard certificates.
- Reference Monuments – When this option is selected, in addition to marking the boundary corners on the ground, two reference monuments are also set less than one hundred feet from the boundary corners chosen by the client. These reference monuments make it easy to replace corners lost to such things as bulldozers and therefore give an added level of permanence to boundaries. Clients can choose to set reference monuments at selected corners or all corners.
- Line Stakes – When this option is selected stakes will be set along the boundary lines selected by the client at the spacing specified by the client. This is normally done along lines without fences but can be done along any boundary.
- Google Map – When this option is selected the boundaries will be overlaid onto a Google Map and a link will be provided.
- Aerial Photograph – When this option is selected another plat will be provided showing the boundaries overlaid onto a recent aerial photograph available from government sources. Note: Aerial photographs are not perfectly georeferenced and are limited in resolution and accuracy. Thus, lines overlaid onto aerial photos do not exactly match visible fences, etc.
- Historical Aerial Photographs – When this option is selected historical photographs will be ordered from government sources. These photographs will be georeferenced to common landmarks visible on current aerial photographs and the boundaries will be overlaid. Note: Historical aerial photographs are often of such resolution and quality that it is difficult to see details. However, some areas are better than others.
- Topographic Data – When this option is ordered another plat will be provided showing the boundaries and topographic data. The topographic data can be from government sources (good for approximate elevations over large areas) or can be acquired with equipment that best suits the needs and requirements of the client. The topographic data can be depicted as contour lines and/or a DEM (digital elevation model)
Boundary Description Review
Deeds usually have a boundary description, also known as a metes and bounds or fieldnote description. Sometimes these descriptions have been copied from previous deeds and contain typographical errors, but occasionally original descriptions contain transcription errors. These errors can be as simple as transposing numbers, mistaking hand-written numbers, or placing a bearing in the wrong quadrant. It takes someone with experience to be able to read a description and determine if it has errors or the potential for errors.
We can evaluate your boundary description by first determining if the description closes (returns to the point of beginning) and then by comparing it to visible lines of possession on aerial photographs. If the description fails to close, aerial photographs can indicate where the error is.
Comparing a single description to an aerial photograph is the minimum review. There are some situations that require also comparing adjoining descriptions to determine errors or conflicts.
Sometimes a description closes but fails to follow visible lines of possession on the aerial photograph. This can be indicative of either error in the description or potential boundary conflicts with neighboring tracts. And in some cases, the boundary description closes and follows the visible lines of possession, but still conflicts with adjoining deeds. Therefore, the most complete review of a boundary description includes reviewing the adjoining descriptions as well.
Incidentally, a Boundary Description Review including the review of adjoiners is the initial stage of a Boundary Survey. Therefore, if you later decide to have the property surveyed you will be one step ahead.
Well Locations – staking and platting a proposed well
Old Well Locations – finding old plugged wells or dry holes
Lease Surveys – complete boundary surveys of a lease or leases
Base Maps – locating and platting old wells, pipelines, tank batteries, etc.
Pipeline Surveys – staking, platting, and describing proposed pipeline routes