Typically, before purchasing a property the Bank / Purchaser / Title Company or Lawyer require a Property Survey as a condition of closing. The land surveyor prepares a Boundary Survey by relating historical documents (property deeds, subdivision maps, filed maps) to the detailed inspection of observations found in the field.
A Boundary Survey also known as a Location Survey or a Property Survey is conducted to determine the location of improvements such as buildings, walls, fences, driveways and other visible structures in relationship to the original property lines. In addition, the survey protects the purchaser by graphically depicting any possible (future and / or current) encumbrances that run with the land. The product of a Boundary Survey is a survey map or a survey plat.
A Boundary Survey may also be a requirement of a governmental body (typically the construction code official or building inspector will require a current survey before granting any permits) before construction can take place. Also, in the event of a boundary dispute between neighbours, a Property Survey can be used in a court of law to clearly show the relationship of the disputed improvements (usually fences and walls) to the property lines. The first step in a Boundary Survey is to research the subject deed of the property and its surrounding properties. The property deed contains a legal land description that describes the tract of land in question. After acquiring the relevant subdivision / filed maps that are referred to in the legal descriptions,
a survey crew is sent out to begin a field inspection to look for and measure existing monuments and markers that guides the surveyor in retracing the legal land description found in the deed. The measurements are performed by using the proper tools (GPS, Total Station, Measuring Tape, etc.) to establish horizontal positioning based on all found monuments and other survey evidence. All survey evidence is computed and analyzed using the most up to date computer software.
By understanding and applying appropriate case law property lines are determined and depicted on a survey map. Afterwards, additional monuments / property markers may be set at the corners of the boundary. Lastly, a survey map is prepared by using a CAD program showing all monuments found, calculations made, monuments set, improvements, and the length & direction (bearings and distances) of all boundary lines.