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Thread: OT: Land survey?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Question OT: Land survey?

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    [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 09-02-2004).]

  2. #2
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    Dan,

    GPS surveys are VERY accurate, as long as the equipment is calibrated properly. The Surveyor should set up on at least 3 known reference points with the desired property located somewhere within those points. This is necessary for interpolation – extrapolation will cause errors. Depending on the accuracy needed for your survey he may wait until he can get contact with perhaps seven satellites, especially if elevations are needed.

    If you are just trying to locate property markers from a recent survey, a hand held GPS will get you close (if you can also set up on known points) and a metal detector should find the pin. If you don’t have a GPS, then use a tape (remember, in surveying, distance is always measured horizontal, not by the lay of the land), compass, and common sense. Since you have already found some of the points, the others should not be too hard to find.

    The X point is used such that when using an aerial photograph one can calibrate the photo between known points. The white X on the ground makes these points “more” visible. Usually they are put on section corners, but other points can be used depending on what is available and/or need.

    Most counties have aerial photos and post them on the Internet. If they have one with the interested property on it, one can import it into Autocad and by using the X’s, calibrate it. Now draw the property lines on it using the survey description of the parcel. At least this way one will have a pretty good “visual” idea as to where the lines are located.

    ___________________

    [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 08-14-2004).]

  3. #3
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    Position error with a consumer GPS is in the range of 95% accuracy witin 60 feet. That won't find the pin for you. Surveyors use a very expensive unit that averages location over period of time. They may also use a fixed GPS transmitter located at a benchmark nearby that enables accuracy to within a centimetre or so.

    A few years ago they brought natural gas to our neighbourhood. The guys installing the line surveyed everyone's front property lines since they didn't want to encroach on anyones land. It turns out that the front right corner of my land is in the middle of the road. I notified the highways dept. about this about eight years ago and offered to sell them the sliver that they are encroaching upon. The guy said to get back to them if I didn't hear from them in a couple of years. I'm waiting for my land value to go up a bit more and then will bug them again.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  4. #4
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    Even,

    Don’t know how it is in Canada, but in the states, counties have road easements on every section line - north and south, east and west. If they need a road elsewhere they will obtain an easement by either eminent domain (forcing a sale thru court action) or because the “existing road” was used by the public for a certain number of years. Since these roads are only easements, all property - where applicable - have descriptions that are to the middle of the road. This easement may or may not be noted in the title of the property or described on the survey, but regardless, they still have one and can use it at their will. One note here: if they need to go beyond their easement then they will have to pay the property owner for said use.

    So if someone had your case in the states, they would be out of luck to obtain payment. If it was not on a section line and the “general public” had use of it, other than going to your house, then an easement was considered granted. The property boundary would still be to the middle of the road.

    There was a post a while back where someone mentioned, “you really don’t own your land” – that’s sure the truth. If a government entity, no matter how far down the line, wants it, they will get it.
    ___________________________


    [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 08-14-2004).]

  5. #5
    jfsmith Guest

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    A long time ago, I use a Dumpy Level to survey property along with "chains."

    Today many governments as well as both Canada and the states, have GPS beacons at known locations. These location are really precisely located to some standard that is far better than most land surveys need. The one in Columbus, Ohio is in the dome of the state house.

    The GPS system is more than having three satelites on the horizon of the surveyor. The distance from the known land based beacons are also taken into consideration. There are generally more than one known beason. So surveys have to be done with many reference points these day, not all in the sky. In short the more the better.

    This whole methodology was demonstrated in the last desert war. That is why SF were dropped in to place beacon in Iraq. That hotel that CNN was broadcasting from had it's own beacon, I think it was called CNN.


    Jerry

  6. #6
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    Skip the below unless you are contemplating purchase of land. My post is long and windy- sorry.
    *****************************************
    I suspect rules differ from state to state, and its been 30 plus years since I researched the rules so take all this with a grain of salt. I am not trained for legal matters (like most lawyers?) and the below is worth exactly what you pay for it.

    First, there were at least two different survey systems used in the USA. The results are only compatible because, when a registered surveyor pounds a stake in the ground it takes much legal work to have it moved,unless the surveyor admits to a mistake. Be sure you understand the legal description of the land you purchase and where it is actually (per court house records) located.

    For good reasons, "section lines" do not always line up. There was once a market for those "chunks" of land that fell in the cracks (survey corrections). There are numerous survey markers, Brass plugs with official location of the plug, that constitute prime markers. The secondary markers are made referencing those prime markers. The deeds I have used make note of which prime markers the survey can be traced to. I have seen old deeds that reference landmarks and read of disputes where lands overlapped because of survey errors. If the land is located by "meets and bounds", verify them.

    I suspect an actual old time survey, recorded at court house, would "beat" a GPS survey because in many cases the Legal location is in error- and every property line in at least that section or township might require re-adjustment to be in accordance with the GPS location. I would trust a GPS only if I saw implementing law myself.

    I have paid for several surveys, in each case I received only a "bill" and a drawing of the survey results AND where the markers are located. Mother-in-law has one property line, little over a mile long, where the survey crew could not get to the line, so they drove stakes and annotated the drawing as to how far the actual property line was from the stake. I would wager that, with magnetic field "drift" (changes), that 50 years from now the line could be in dispute again. I trust only measurements traceable to the original Geodetic survey (made back when God paid the dirt haulers).

    For a few acres, I would, as a minimum, get a copy of the survey and make great effort to find the stakes or other markers.

    Man down the road, bought a home built on land that was not owned by the seller when the house was built. Title agency. mortgage company, real estate agent were all mistaken as to the location of the property lines. Only a re-survey properly placed the line- which did not enclose the house.

    When I purchased this place, I went to court house, traced the ownership back to the Spanish land grant, dug into the developers recorded business to assure my self that the title was clean. Man from "title and abstract" company told me that they could not afford to do like work. Then he told me that he , if he were buying would do as I was doing. The title insurance is almost worthless if your title is challenged and found bad. Title company simply refunds the money you paid for the land and you swallow the the improvements cost. Your best insurance is to look at the court house records and the deeds of adjoining property to make sure everything matches. Then compare YOUR findings to what ever you are given in writing from the other parties. If something does not fit, get it resolved before signing papers.

    Example? My rear neighbor (now dead) bought his land by contract to sale (not recorded at court house) long before I bought our land (cash sale, deed in hand and recorded by my self). My pre-purchase survey showed a well (8" artesian) was NOT on my property as the real estate agency told me it was. So the seller simply amended MY deed to say that I had complete water rights to the well. He even spelled out that my rights existed so long as the well existed. Neighbors deed (when he got title) says nothing about the well. We all used the well until a year or so ago. Neighbor died thinking he was furnishing us water, rather than we furnishing him (and later, his heirs). I saw no need to discuss the matter until the well casing failed and we had to abandon the well. Heirs felt I should drill a well and supply them for next 30 years because they had done so for me. We resolved the problem with no hard feelings, but it could have caused real problems. Key fact was that my deed was recorded years before my deceased neighbors. Thats ONLY ONE example why I suggest doing such careful research.

    Being engraved in stone (or concrete) is temporary compared to the faded ink in the official records.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Survey by measure is practically usless,unless its a large tract of land.

    The smaller tracts here(30acres and less)have been cut out of larger tracts,handed down etc,etc for at least 200 years.

    Problem is people use fencelines,ridges,creek banks,even trees as boundry markers,seldom does it ever work out.

    The piece of land this house is located on is supposedly 2.1 acres more or less,notice the "more or less",it has been surveyed three times in the past 25 years and has had three different results.It does have two fixed boundries,one is a road and the other is a 2" galv pipe on an adjacent corner.

    If the LEGAL disciption is followed my property line is six feet over my neighbors fenceline on one side,and three feet inside on the other,reason why was back when the land was divided up(60years ago)they used dead reconing and fencelines,neither are accurate.Add to this that the deed is registered in Hancock county,even though the property is located in what is today Pearl River county adding to the confusion.

    Here there is a legal discription and a physical discription,especially when flowing water is used for one of the boundries.I believe the term used is "an ammicable agreement between landowners"The legal discription may say 4.2acres bla,bla,bla,but in reality that may have no bearing to what exists.

    My grandfathers property is a perfect example of this,the physical survey follows the fenceline and two county roads,and since it is in a corner formed by the roads its boundries are set,the deed reads xxxx feet from the center of county road 32 and xxxx feet from the center of county road 118,if you measure that out it falls exactly on the back two fencelines,but the legal discription puts his property line 30'past the fence on the east side which is 6" infront of the nieghbors front door and 20'inside the fence on the opposite side of the property,but because it all comes out in the wash,they have a legally binding agreement that the fence is the legal property line,this was worked out in the county land office years ago,but would be very difficult to do today.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  8. #8
    jfsmith Guest

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    Has any one seen the lead tablet left by the French before the American revolution. They are very precise in their locations, this was hand done work, with a level and a chain.

    Up until this last house, every home I bought had to have a survey from a licensed surveyor. That surveyor went to the court house and got the plat books out and copied the page, stamped it and sent a bill for $200. Today the county has a CD as well as online property information systems that many mortgage places will accept, The CD is $50 a year, but it cost you as the property owner $3.00 for a county signed off copy, plus parking, lunch and inconvience.

    All technology in the right hands can be really accurate, the cost per inch in downtown Manhattan or Tokyo must be in the millions. Where as my friends farm is a little questionable on what the exact footages are.

    Jerry

  9. #9
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    Dunno about your area. In MO, if the neighbor fences or otherwise has "adverse possession" of the land for ten years without objection, he owns it free and clear.

    This has happened to several people who lost large tracts, like 50 acres of woods through not patrolling the line and finding the fences. A neighbor lost 5 foot of backyard that way.

    So be careful, looking for fences, if your state allows that. You might buy land belonging in fact to another, i.e. you did not buy it. Then you have to collect from the seller.

    But if you can jawbone the other person into moving their fence, even for a day, they lose it. They have to file in the county to keep it.

    [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 08-14-2004).]
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  10. #10
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    [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 09-02-2004).]

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