Land surveying is an important process for land owners. A land survey helps find information on properties and pieces of land that otherwise may not be found. Unfortunately, not a lot of people appreciate land surveying. In fact, some people even think that land surveying is not important at all.
Here are some popular land surveying myths and the truth about them:
If I can find the stakes, I don’t need a land survey – A lot of people seem to think that finding the stakes around their property is good enough. Not really. Finding stakes around your property indicates that there may have been surveying done on it, but that’s it. In actuality the stake isn’t the corner.
Corners are required to be metal if they have been placed within the last 20 years or more. The stake doesn’t tell you what kind of survey has been made, or what the results of the survey are. It can’t even tell you if the surveying has indeed been done on your property or your neighbour’s. Not all lots are rectangular. In fact most are not. I’ve seen dozens of times where a pin was used for building a fence and the true corner was 5 to 20 feet away.
Encroaching over property lines rarely happens – It does happen, a lot in fact. There are too many instances when an owner decided to have his property surveyed for an entirely different reason, and the surveyor found out that he is in fact encroaching into his neighbour’s property or vice-versa. This causes many problems and tests even the best of neighbours. I personally know TWO people who have had heart attacks over land disputes.
The fence line is the property line – not always true. In fact, not even close to being always true. Fences in town may “usually” be on the property line. BUT, in a lot of cases they are not. It just depends on how detailed the fence installer or previous land owner were when constructing the fence. In rural settings, fences are only sometimes on the property lines.
When farmers or land owners ran fences in the past they sometimes “meandered” or went from tree to tree. The tree wasn’t always on the line but it saved the land owner putting up a fence post. The only way to know is to have the line surveyed. A word of caution here, sometimes fences that are not challenge over a long period of time can become the property line. This process is called adverse possession.
Consider having your land surveyed an investment. How much cheaper is a $500 survey compared to paying thousands of dollars to have your entire fence moved a few feet to the right?