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When Might You Need To Do A Land Survey?

Land surveying is an essential part of property ownership in the U.S. There are plenty of good reasons for you to request a survey, but here are 6 of the most common ones.

Checking or Establishing Property Lines

First, you might need to verify where an existing property line is. This is especially the case if you're buying a place or trying to sort out a dispute with a neighbor. Under some circumstances, the government may also need the information. However, most counties simply follow the new entries from licensed surveyors because these are supposed to go automatically into the county register.

Second, anyone subdividing or joining property will require land surveying work. As before, that information will go to the county for future use.


If you're obtaining a mortgage or seeking investment, the folks putting up their money will likely want to see a land survey. Particularly, banks and credit unions need to know what the collateral they're presented with will be.

Identifying Utility Lines

Previous surveys of the property should include data about where utility lines are buried on the property. A surveyor can take the data from the county register and use it to mark out the locations of utilities.

Recent Land Changes

Even in regions that aren't very geologically active, the land can shift. Erosion, earthquakes, floods, storms, rising water levels, and other events can cause the terrain to shift. Likewise, the visual markers people use to normally identify where property lines are can move so far that they're wrong. A new survey will help you reconcile potential problems.

Construction and Renovation Work

Before you move onto other issues on a build like engineering studies and creating blueprints, it's a good idea to figure out where everything on the property is relative to where the work is planned. A surveyor will help you get accurate measurements and line the planning documents up with real-world features. This will reduce the risk that contractors will mistakenly start working in the wrong spot.


Much like institutions financing a property have a stake in knowing its boundaries, insurers do, too. A survey can also help you design a policy. By identifying potential hazards like flood plains and fire risks, a survey will allow you to decide what needs to be insured. If the insurance ends up being more expensive, you also can work from the survey to mitigate some of the risks.

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