How to Survey Property

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Surveying your land determines the exact borders and space on your property. It's possible to survey your land yourself, but to determine the area of your property for any legal discrepancies, you must be licensed by the state. The easiest method is to hire a surveyor to survey your land for the most accurate results. If you survey the land yourself and make a mistake by building on your neighbor's property, you'd have nothing to back up your claim in court because you're not legally licensed to survey land.

Find a land surveyor in your area by going to the surveying companies website in the Resources section at the end of this article. Click on your state to see a list of surveying companies in your area.

Explain your needs to the land surveyor, such as why you need your property measured. Let the surveyor know how far your property is supposed to stretch each way or guess the maximum size. It's important for the surveyor to have an idea of the size and why the surveying is being done. If it's an urgent legal matter or if you want to determine whether a tree or hill is yours or your neighbor's property should be known by the surveyor.

Prepare a copy of your title, insurance policies and other pertinent property documents to give to the surveyor when he comes to your house to get an estimate.

Get more than one estimate. Make sure to find out how long the surveying will take, and don't always go with the cheapest estimate.

Ask to see the surveyor's credentials before going with his estimate. Also, request a work order that details the cost, completion date and the type of surveying work to be done. Once the surveying of the land is complete, keep the document that determines your property lines in a safe place as it's now a legally binding document.

Tips & Warnings

  • Go to the Land Surveyor Reference Page website to find surveying schools near you if you're interested in earning your own surveying license. (See Resources below.)

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