What will my survey show?
When your survey has been completed, not only will you find that the property corners have been marked in the field with bright colored flagging, you will receive a map or “plat” of the survey. This map will be an official copy, signed and sealed by the surveyor, containing an abundance of information on the property.
The boundary lines, that you saw physically marked, will be shown as heavy lines and will have descriptions of what the actual corners are. These corners will usually be iron pipes, iron rods or concrete monuments, but can a number of other things from axles to creeks, trees or rock cliffs.
These boundary lines will be labeled with bearings and distances or curve data. This data shows the lengths and directions of the lines and is also used to calculate the acreage of the property that will be shown on the face of the plat.
Ownership and Easements
In addition to the boundary information shown, you will see adjacent land owner's information as well as any easements or right-of-ways affecting the property. The adjacent landowner information will usually show the counties Parcel Identification Number (PIN), the current property owner, and the recorded deed information.
Right-of-way information will be shown with the width (if available) and any improvements to that right-of way, such as paved roads and sidewalks.
Easements will be shown on the survey and are usually delineated by dashed lines. Easements are not ownership, but are “Rights”, usually for a specific use. An example of an easement would be a 10’ utility easement on your property. This easement gives the utility company a right of access to that portion of your property to maintain, improve or install utilities. Since they have this right, the homeowner can not restrict this access by constructing any improvements on the easement.
Improvements and Encroachments
The map will show all physical improvements to the property as well. These improvements are the house, barn, shed, driveway fencing, utilities and any other permanent improvement to the property. Many of these improvements will be dimensioned and will have ties to the boundary lines. These ties are important because there are often restrictions on how close certain structures can be to the boundary lines.
The map will also show any encroachments. Encroachments are improvements that are constructed by one party on the property of another, or in the easement of another. For example, your neighbor may have fenced in what he thought was his property but the fenced area actually contains a portion of your property, or vice versa. Encroachments can be most anything from a walkway to a portion of the house itself. These encroachments will be labeled and dimensioned on the survey, so they can be dealt with as needed.