Property corner markers

   #1  

oosik

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Let me make a suggestion. My 80 acres is a pure rectangle - 1320 x 2640. Three corners are on dry land - one is out in the middle of a 125 acre lake.

Each of the three dry land corners have an above ground post or big 'ol pine tree. Each also has a buried marker. Since each of my corners is a quarter section corner - three have brass cap ID. The brass cap is on a three foot long chunk of 1" rebar and is buried about 8" below ground.

The above ground post or tree might get cut down or moved. Unless you have a metal detector and know where to look - you will never find the brass cap. Besides - you don't know it's there, in the first place.

The brass cap is the official - surveyed in - corner.

So...... your property has been surveyed or you know where the corners are. Drive down a chunk of rebar - top to be below ground. You know where it is. If you forgot - find it easily with a metal detector.
 
   #2  

RalphVa

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Not sure why you're writing. On the 3 corners, I'd want some 4 ft or so posts beside the buried marker. Could have an anchored floating market in the middle of the lake if you want to mark it.

Ralph
 
  
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oosik

oosik

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There IS a post on two corners and a tree on the third - Ralph. I've tried just about everything for the corner out in the lake. The ice removes it every time. Then I realized. No need to mark it. It's out there and nobody can change its location.

Somebody decides to pull or remove your corner post. It's nice to have a below ground, official reference point.
 
   #4  

Buppies

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Just had some property we have marked in the county over due to possible encroachment by others $950 expense. Three were ipf
 
   #5  

Diggin It

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My lot is what used to be two, that at one time were both owned by one that was split into many.

Simplified, one family owned hundreds of acres. They split it up, sold some, kept some, then sold more to other people. There are now at least three of us with multi-acre parcels. I bought one parcel from a second owner 22 years ago, then another parcel from the original owner about 15 years ago. The deeds use terms like 'meanders along a line approximately ...' and while they've been combined into one tax bill, they've never been formally 'merged'. My lots border a county road and much of the original family property is on both sides of it. To my knowledge there are no corner markers and probably never were. There are wire fences on metal T-post and wooden posts along three sides of my irregular shaped property and then the road.

When I was thinking of buying another parcel that would have had to have been split off a larger parcel, the surveyor estimated a minimum of $1,200 but wouldn't give me a high end limit ... 'we'll just have to see how long it takes ...'. That section was heavily overgrown and it was not possible to see from corner to corner let along walk or run a surveyor chain.

The whole process needs to be dramatically simplified nationwide. With technology, I see no reason why everything isn't done by GPS coordinates, with deeds simply referencing those digital points. Trees die and decay, rocks and pins get moved. Consumer level devices are accurate to within 10' usually and higher resolution equipment is available for legal description use.

Pins? Pins? We don' need no steenking pins!!!!
 
  
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oosik

oosik

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The reason three of my corners are surveyed is because adjoining property was sold and the sale went thru a bank. Otherwise, the original survey is by meets and bounds. IE - a page long, verbal dialog. The original survey was in 1892 and was to transfer a homestead grant from the federal government to a private citizen. My father purchased this land in 1939. Paid cash - no need for a bank or survey.

My little lake is named for the original homesteader - Martin Lk. View attachment 653150
 
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   #7  

MikePA

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When I was thinking of buying another parcel that would have had to have been split off a larger parcel, the surveyor estimated a minimum of $1,200 but wouldn't give me a high end limit ... 'we'll just have to see how long it takes ...'. That section was heavily overgrown and it was not possible to see from corner to corner let along walk or run a surveyor chain.

Pins? Pins? We don' need no steenking pins!!!!
I'd imagine many/most? surveyors do use GPS (assuming a clear view of the satellites) and lasers these days, but there still have to be markers in the ground so the land owners know where their property lines are, for all kinds of reasons, e.g., building setbacks, right of ways. Every deed I've read simply lists compass directions and a distance.
 
  
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The last corner surveyed in was my NW corner. The survey crew used GPS equipment. The brand was Trimble.
 
   #9  

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I am astonished at the accuracy of surveys from a hundred or more years ago in the forested areas with hills and lakes. Our property was described in "chains" which were very close to 66' in length. But property lines are not respective of hills so there must have been some rather serious calculations that took place in conjunction with the chains.

In my 40 acres of pasture it is flat, no problems with chains but then it goes up a hillside that is about the same acreage, that was covered by 5-6' diameter fir trees, how did they calculate the hillsides using a chain that could not go through a tree but must go around two or three.

I thoroughly get why property markers are moved as technology changes. I assume all property lines are based upon a theoretical 0' elevation so a property that is at 8000' elevation might in fact be slightly larger than if it were at sea level if we assume a starting point that is at the center of the earth.

I am no surveyor and have to the best of my memory never stayed in a Holiday Inn.
 

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I would discourage people from driving rebars next to existing corners. Rebars are commonly used for corners in some places and the rebar could be mistaken as the wrong one. A post or something else is better. A technicality, but if you have an 80, two of the corners could be quarter section corners but the other two would be quarter-quarter corners.

One reason coordinates won’t replace actually monuments, plate tectonics. The earth is moving. Over short periods of time not an issue, but over a period of years, it can amount to a lot. This also varies by region.
 

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Setting pins is easy; if that was all there is to it, anybody could be a surveyor. It’s all of the research of not only the lot in question but all of the abuttors. When the cost goes up is if the description has been copied and recopied for 150 years and still says “ by the land of Smith to a pine stump; thence in a westerly direction to where the old cow lies down in the afternoon”... giving no tangible bearing or distance. They need to recover time spent working up estimates for jobs, only to have Joe decide that it’s too much. Or when Farmer Jones had a 100 acre tract, and sold five 30 acres lots off it back in 1963; those are times when the science becomes an art. They also have liability insurance to pay for, and on occasion may even find themselves in court defending their work. Like any trade, all of those things affect what we pay.
 

dodge man

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Setting pins is easy; if that was all there is to it, anybody could be a surveyor. It’s all of the research of not only the lot in question but all of the abuttors. When the cost goes up is if the description has been copied and recopied for 150 years and still says “ by the land of Smith to a pine stump; thence in a westerly direction to where the old cow lies down in the afternoon”... giving no tangible bearing or distance. They need to recover time spent working up estimates for jobs, only to have Joe decide that it’s too much. Or when Farmer Jones had a 100 acre tract, and sold five 30 acres lots off it back in 1963; those are times when the science becomes an art. They also have liability insurance to pay for, and on occasion may even find themselves in court defending their work. Like any trade, all of those things affect what we pay.

Well said.
 

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Setting pins is easy; if that was all there is to it, anybody could be a surveyor. It’s all of the research of not only the lot in question but all of the abuttors. When the cost goes up is if the description has been copied and recopied for 150 years and still says “ by the land of Smith to a pine stump; thence in a westerly direction to where the old cow lies down in the afternoon”... giving no tangible bearing or distance.

But that's exactly what needs to go away. My deed refers to people and places that no longer exist and haven't for many years. Even without listing coordinates (which I still feel would be best), all of the hullabaloo could be eliminated by stating bearing and distance, even for irregular boundaries. Property descriptions do not need to remain so archaic. There is no reason to have to pay a surveyor hundreds or thousands of dollars to snip off a piece of property when everyone involved agrees to the points and those points can easily be articulated on paper.
 
  
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The surveyor who did the NE job showed me something I would have never known. For whatever reason he did the survey in the dead of winter. He came in our house for his lunch break and to warm up/dry out. He asked to see the old government meet & bound description for our property. He showed us in the description - there would/should be two old trees with "scribing" on the cambium layer. Most likely hidden under bark now. We followed the verbal description and found one tree with the scribing on it. Had to knock off the bark - there it was. They had used some type of very sharp cutting instrument to scribe survey data on the cambium layer of this now old, ancient pine tree.

It's still down at the beginning of the driveway and is still visible. One of these days I should rub soot into the scribing and take a picture.
 

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Setting pins is easy; if that was all there is to it, anybody could be a surveyor. It’s all of the research of not only the lot in question but all of the abuttors. When the cost goes up is if the description has been copied and recopied for 150 years and still says “ by the land of Smith to a pine stump; thence in a westerly direction to where the old cow lies down in the afternoon”... giving no tangible bearing or distance. They need to recover time spent working up estimates for jobs, only to have Joe decide that it’s too much. Or when Farmer Jones had a 100 acre tract, and sold five 30 acres lots off it back in 1963; those are times when the science becomes an art. They also have liability insurance to pay for, and on occasion may even find themselves in court defending their work. Like any trade, all of those things affect what we pay.

A good explanation of what few understand.
Many hours of detective work are often necessary.
 

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It does not take long down at the deed office to go off on a rabbit trail...

I have about everything for markers here...rebar, granite posts, pins that have been removed, intersections of rock walls, pipes, pipes with caps...
 

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I have been on a multi-year hunt now with no success...

It is pretty remote here, with about 17,000 acres of non-developed land in front of my house, and some 7000 acres behind it. So it is pretty isolated. But on my Grandmother's death bed she told me about some relatives that were buried along the town line, on the Foster Road. Well that is all well and good, but there is no cemetery on the Foster Road along the town line, but on the next road up, about a mile away, there is a cemetery on the townline, but she insisted it was on the Foster Road.

So I went looking, about this time of year when the snow is off the ground, and when the leaves are off the trees. I followed the town line, but found nothing, so I thought in her sickness, she was wrong.

Then I talked to a surveyor. He said she was NOT crazy. He was surveying and found the (3) headstones, but "he could never get there again."

So I talked to my neighbors, and she said her husband was hunting, got lost, and came across the (3) headstones, "but could never find his way back."

I have looked for the past 12 years, and I cannot find them. I even used Superficial Maps since they highlight gravel deposits, and old cemeteries were always in gravel banks because the digging was easy, and depth to bedrock was deep enough for burial. The soil is pretty thin up there, so the gravel is limited, but none of those locations had headstones.

So the hunt is still on...
 

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But that's exactly what needs to go away. My deed refers to people and places that no longer exist and haven't for many years. Even without listing coordinates (which I still feel would be best), all of the hullabaloo could be eliminated by stating bearing and distance, even for irregular boundaries. Property descriptions do not need to remain so archaic. There is no reason to have to pay a surveyor hundreds or thousands of dollars to snip off a piece of property when everyone involved agrees to the points and those points can easily be articulated on paper.
To convert a deed from 'archaic' nomenclature and references would take quite a while ($$$) in just research. The same people who complain about the cost would not pay for this. Saying it should go away is one thing, paying for it is when people need to pay up or... To 'snip off a piece of property' requires at minimum, an accurate starting point. You don't just 'snip it off' when what is being snipped may not belong to you. Deeds will always reference adjacent property owners, e.g., along the property now or formerly of Mary Smith. Mary Smith's deed might have a more accurate/more recent survey that is valuable reference information. And when someone's neighbor wants to install a fence, build a building, etc., there have to be markers on somewhere in the ground, not just on paper, or the same people who complain about cost are usually the same type of people who would yell and scream the fence is on their property. Also deed descriptions need to 'close', i.e., you need to end up at the same point you started at, after traversing all the sides of the property. This is something we did before ever going to the field.

universal_truth.jpg
 

dodge man

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A couple of things. The eastern part of the US is what is known as “metes and bounds” where the rest of the US is known as PLSS, it where the ground is divided in sections of ground.

Metes and bounds seem archaic because they are. The often read “starting at a rock by Bob Smiths house, then along a stone wall to a brook, then west to a big tree............. and so on. That’s just the way it was done. Coordinates seem like a good idea but for a lot of reasons that are too long to list, it’s not a good idea. Short story is it’s not that easy to get coordinates and too many different ways to get them.

Trees with marks. Used to be very common. The original government surveyors when setting section and quarter section corners noted bearing trees. These trees would have been near the corner and marked in a certain way and a distance and bearing to them recorded.

I’ve been surveying since 1984 and have never seen or found an original government corner or bearing tree. This part of Illinois was surveyed about 1817. The corners were almost always a post in a sod mound (maybe really a stick in a pile of dirt) and any bearing trees would be 200 years old. Further west they often did stone mounds and other more permanent monuments. The University of Missouri Rolla had a chunk of a bearing tree cut out and on display. The scribe marks are very clear and that’s the only one I’ve laid eyes on.
 

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My deed has lines like "then hence about 1300 feet to the large Elm tree.." , and "to the centerline of the creek for 900 feet, then 95 degrees to the top of the bank on the other side", and my favorite "800 feet along the old barbed wire fence to the Beech tree." Folks, the old Elm succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease in the mid 1950s, and every 10 year flood widens the creek and changes the banks. The mentioned Beech tree is long gone but numerous new ones have suckered up where it may have been. If you can find one scrap of barbwire fence, you can find three. There are more surveyor posts out there than you can shake a stick at, all within a few yards of each other. Thank goodness I have been blessed with good neighbors, dry gas wells, and relatively poor soil.
Surveyors have a thankless job deciphering the gibberish that took place a few centuries ago.
 

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There is something known as chain of title. If all the sudden you change the deed to something else, where did the new description come from? Does it match the old description? The best way is a modern survey done, have it recorded, then it’s up to date and ties it into the original description.
 

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I have been on a multi-year hunt now with no success...

It is pretty remote here, with about 17,000 acres of non-developed land in front of my house, and some 7000 acres behind it. So it is pretty isolated. But on my Grandmother's death bed she told me about some relatives that were buried along the town line, on the Foster Road. Well that is all well and good, but there is no cemetery on the Foster Road along the town line, but on the next road up, about a mile away, there is a cemetery on the townline, but she insisted it was on the Foster Road.

So I went looking, about this time of year when the snow is off the ground, and when the leaves are off the trees. I followed the town line, but found nothing, so I thought in her sickness, she was wrong.

Then I talked to a surveyor. He said she was NOT crazy. He was surveying and found the (3) headstones, but "he could never get there again."

So I talked to my neighbors, and she said her husband was hunting, got lost, and came across the (3) headstones, "but could never find his way back."

I have looked for the past 12 years, and I cannot find them. I even used Superficial Maps since they highlight gravel deposits, and old cemeteries were always in gravel banks because the digging was easy, and depth to bedrock was deep enough for burial. The soil is pretty thin up there, so the gravel is limited, but none of those locations had headstones.

So the hunt is still on...

I heard a story...
Of somebody who was out hunting about 20 years ago off Rte 2A, AKA the Military road (Or the Haynesville Woods) and came across a pile of old iron under the overhang of a big rock. He took a piece to the gun shop in Lincoln, where the owner identified it as the remains of an old rifle. The gunshop owner told me the story, saying that he believed it was a cache of weapons from the Aroostook War, when Maine marched on Canada. He also stated that the hunter never was able to find his way back...
I had a pretty good idea where he was, and a woodcutter who we had working there told of seeing old rock walls in an area where he was working. Yet I"ve been looking for years and can't find either the rock walls or the outcropping. Rather than the Aroostook War, I suspect they were left by the British during the War of 1812. It's interesting the things we find out in the woods, and you would be surprised at how many people have gone into them over the years, never to be seen again.

Getting back on topic; I would be very hesitant to buy a piece of land without a proper survey done.
My 20 acres here has a fence running up the south line, a rock wall on the edge of my field on the west line, which my neighbor and I agree is the line, town road to the north and pins from the abutter on the east. Yet if that surveyor was still alive I would have him set pins on my other two corners. There's enough slop between the deeds and what's actually here that my field could actually belong to my neighbor.
I just bought a 2 1/2 acre house lot because the price was right, but I never would have considered it except that it has 4 capped IPs from a retired surveyor I trust.
After 40 years of finding old lines, I like to think that I know a little bit about what I"m doing; yet if in doubt we hire a surveyor. I may provide him with a map showing GPS points of what I feel is evidence; yet expect him to do his own work and not trust what I have done. As I say; If I want a half-a## job I can do that myself.
 
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Steppenwolfe

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There is something known as chain of title. If all the sudden you change the deed to something else, where did the new description come from? Does it match the old description? The best way is a modern survey done, have it recorded, then it’s up to date and ties it into the original description.

:thumbsup: All three of my property's have been professionally surveyed and filed at the courthouse. Just as good as chiseled in stone. Not cheap, but worth it.
 

Steppenwolfe

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Getting back on topic; I would be very hesitant to buy a piece of land without a proper survey done.
My 20 acres here has a fence running up the south line, a rock wall on the edge of my field on the west line, which my neighbor and I agree is the line, town road to the north and pins from the abutter on the east. Yet if that surveyor was still alive I would have him set pins on my other two corners. There's enough slop between the deeds and what's actually here that my field could actually belong to my neighbor.
I just bought a 2 1/2 acre house lot because the price was right, but I never would have considered it except that it has 4 capped IPs from a retired surveyor I trust.
After 40 years of finding old lines, I like to think that I know a little bit about what I"m doing; yet if in doubt we hire a surveyor. I may provide him with a map showing GPS points of what I feel is evidence; yet expect him to do his own work and not trust what I have done. As I say; If I want a half-a## job I can do that myself.

That is the best advice going. Before we bought our property here in VA I called a surveyor that one of the neighbors said knew the the property well. He was a treasure trove of info and based on my conversation with him we purchased the property and promptly had him survey it and file it. Money well spent.
 

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I just can't imagine using trees as 'permanent' markers at a time when people were cutting them to build houses, barns, towns, railroads, boardwalks, etc., not to mention using them for firewood. Add in storms, bugs, diseases ...

Maybe they didn't expect society to last very long?
 

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Diggin It said:
I just can't imagine using trees as 'permanent' markers at a time when people were cutting them to build houses, barns, towns, railroads, boardwalks, etc., not to mention using them for firewood. Add in storms, bugs, diseases ...
Give the property owner some credit for intelligence. They would not cut down their own tree which was being used as a property marker. If the tree was substantial enough to use as a property marker, the stump that remained would be, too.

Also, with parcels being hundreds or thousands of acres, being off a foot or so as the tree grew probably was not a big deal. Either that, or the surveyor had a cheap land owner telling him he's was spending too much time and he wasn't paying for it.

Maybe they didn't expect society to last very long?
No, they expected that if a more accurate survey was needed, it would be done.
 

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The problem with Chain of Custody, and Deeds filed at the County Courthouse, is that they are based upon the idea that the information they contain is correct, and this is not always the case. All my deeds are warrantee deeds, not quit claim deeds, and when I buy land, I do go back 100 years on the title search. Still, it does not catch all the mistakes. Sometimes information is just not carried forward.

In my situation where my neighbor sold my land, which is just a few acres luckily, the land was won in some lawsuit, in the mid-1800's. The land went from a landowner in one town, to the abutting landowner in another town. No big deal, and for each change of ownership, the deeds conveyed the extra land in the opposing town.

Then it was left off mistakenly, and this happens quite often...

I keep saying that "my neighbor sold my land", but that is not really the case. I have always owned it, and still do, it is just that the person that buys it thinks those acres belong to him. They don't, my neighbor never had the land to sell. So it will be redacted.

But surveying is a real issue in 2020. In Maine anyway, there are not enough surveyors anyway, and they charge entirely too much. I had just ONE line surveyed, and it cost $600...and they never surveyed it right, nor all the way to the pins. But I own hundreds of acres of land, in (5) towns, and (2) states...there is NO WAY I could afford to have it surveyed. So you rely on the surveys that were done from years past...
 

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^^^^
You are assuming that there was a survey done at some point... that's not always the case. I don't know how they can survey a portion of a line... that's like doing an engine job and only checking tolerances on one of the cylinders.
 
  
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Chain of Title - along with the verbal legal description, I also have the official government document transferring title to the original owner. My dad bought the land from the original owner. The chain was pretty short. The legal description is pretty wordy.
 

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I had just ONE line surveyed, and it cost $600...and they never surveyed it right, nor all the way to the pins.
Sounds like they did not fulfill your agreement with them. While hindsight is always 20/20, I would not have paid them.
 

Jstpssng

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The problem with Chain of Custody, and Deeds filed at the County Courthouse, is that they are based upon the idea that the information they contain is correct, and this is not always the case. All my deeds are warrantee deeds, not quit claim deeds, and when I buy land, I do go back 100 years on the title search. Still, it does not catch all the mistakes. Sometimes information is just not carried forward.

In my situation where my neighbor sold my land, which is just a few acres luckily, the land was won in some lawsuit, in the mid-1800's. The land went from a landowner in one town, to the abutting landowner in another town. No big deal, and for each change of ownership, the deeds conveyed the extra land in the opposing town.

Then it was left off mistakenly, and this happens quite often...

I keep saying that "my neighbor sold my land", but that is not really the case. I have always owned it, and still do, it is just that the person that buys it thinks those acres belong to him. They don't, my neighbor never had the land to sell. So it will be redacted.

But surveying is a real issue in 2020. In Maine anyway, there are not enough surveyors anyway, and they charge entirely too much. I had just ONE line surveyed, and it cost $600...and they never surveyed it right, nor all the way to the pins. But I own hundreds of acres of land, in (5) towns, and (2) states...there is NO WAY I could afford to have it surveyed. So you rely on the surveys that were done from years past...

Your neighbor's issue is with the title company, not a surveyor. Although it would probably take the latter to straighten it out... as I said before though, I don't know how they can survey "one line."
 

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Your neighbor's issue is with the title company, not a surveyor. Although it would probably take the latter to straighten it out... as I said before though, I don't know how they can survey "one line."
Maybe it is semantics, but it was not unusual for one owner in a dispute to ask us to survey just the line being argued over. This often required us to survey other lines on the parcel, but they only wanted us to mark the line in question.
 

Jstpssng

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Maybe it is semantics, but it was not unusual for one owner in a dispute to ask us to survey just the line being argued over. This often required us to survey other lines on the parcel, but they only wanted us to mark the line in question.

Gotcha. Yet you still surveyed the other lines to determine where that in question was supposed to be.
After I posted my previous comment I realized that we had a surveyor do exactly that; he walked the nonexistent line, found evidence which we hadn't; and flagged where he felt the line probably was, based on the deed and evidence. We then contacted the abutter, who agreed that it was probably correct. The surveyor made it clear though that it was not a survey; the tract was several thousand acres consisting of previously smaller parcels which had been combined decades ago; each description referenced the tract next to it, and none of them gave any real distances. Just reading the darned deed would make my eyes start to cross.

Thankfully the landowner sold that tract. :D
 

fried1765

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Your neighbor's issue is with the title company, not a surveyor. Although it would probably take the latter to straighten it out... as I said before though, I don't know how they can survey "one line."

Absolutely "one line" can be "surveyed", if there is reliable existing data on the ground to accurately reproduce that line.
If it is to define an entire parcel it would be necessary to run a complete traverse.
 

aczlan

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Absolutely "one line" can be "surveyed", if there is reliable existing data on the ground to accurately reproduce that line.
If it is to define an entire parcel it would be necessary to run a complete traverse.
And hopefully have a close within an acceptable margin.

Aaron Z
 

clemsonfor

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My lot is what used to be two, that at one time were both owned by one that was split into many.

Simplified, one family owned hundreds of acres. They split it up, sold some, kept some, then sold more to other people. There are now at least three of us with multi-acre parcels. I bought one parcel from a second owner 22 years ago, then another parcel from the original owner about 15 years ago. The deeds use terms like 'meanders along a line approximately ...' and while they've been combined into one tax bill, they've never been formally 'merged'. My lots border a county road and much of the original family property is on both sides of it. To my knowledge there are no corner markers and probably never were. There are wire fences on metal T-post and wooden posts along three sides of my irregular shaped property and then the road.

When I was thinking of buying another parcel that would have had to have been split off a larger parcel, the surveyor estimated a minimum of $1,200 but wouldn't give me a high end limit ... 'we'll just have to see how long it takes ...'. That section was heavily overgrown and it was not possible to see from corner to corner let along walk or run a surveyor chain.

The whole process needs to be dramatically simplified nationwide. With technology, I see no reason why everything isn't done by GPS coordinates, with deeds simply referencing those digital points. Trees die and decay, rocks and pins get moved. Consumer level devices are accurate to within 10' usually and higher resolution equipment is available for legal description use.

Pins? Pins? We don' need no steenking pins!!!!
Because some of us own property that hasn't been surveyed in over 100 years. And GPS coordinates don't exactly exist it talks about feet to the next point in a certain direction.
 

clemsonfor

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I am astonished at the accuracy of surveys from a hundred or more years ago in the forested areas with hills and lakes. Our property was described in "chains" which were very close to 66' in length. But property lines are not respective of hills so there must have been some rather serious calculations that took place in conjunction with the chains.

In my 40 acres of pasture it is flat, no problems with chains but then it goes up a hillside that is about the same acreage, that was covered by 5-6' diameter fir trees, how did they calculate the hillsides using a chain that could not go through a tree but must go around two or three.

I thoroughly get why property markers are moved as technology changes. I assume all property lines are based upon a theoretical 0' elevation so a property that is at 8000' elevation might in fact be slightly larger than if it were at sea level if we assume a starting point that is at the center of the earth.

I am no surveyor and have to the best of my memory never stayed in a Holiday Inn.
I'm a Forester, we meayusr distance and our cruise distances in chains.
 

BrokenTrack

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Sounds like they did not fulfill your agreement with them. While hindsight is always 20/20, I would not have paid them.

I was pretty upset with them. Obviously a boundary line has two sides: the neighbor, and yours, so to me, when I am paying for the survey, I would expect all the research to be done on my land to determine where the line was. Instead, the surveyor did it for the neighbor. As I explained to him, what do I care about all the history of THEIR land, if I am paying, and all this research needs to be done...and I understand it needs to be done...I want my money to tell the history of my land.

As for being incomplete, the line had two phases. Going from the road to a point, and then turning slightly, and going to another point. So three points. The first leg of the line was in heavy forest, then through a bog. Since the skidders were not in that area, the surveyor never ran the line there as "the going was tough."

As I said, I was pretty upset, and should not of paid.

(Incidentally, this was former Federal Land, owned by them from 1932-1945 for its gravel content for the CCC program. We bought it back in 1946, and so the area is well surveyed by the US Geological Survey, with pipes driven on the corners, with arrows, and stamps. Rock walls, and barb wire fences further determine where it is at, by my hateful neighbor was causing problems, so I had it surveyed.)
 

BrokenTrack

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Your neighbor's issue is with the title company, not a surveyor. Although it would probably take the latter to straighten it out... as I said before though, I don't know how they can survey "one line."

I would have to research it myself. I am not sure when the plot of land taken by lawsuit was left off the next deed.

Our deeds are a mess because we were granted the land we have here, in 1746 when my Great Grandfather died in the Louisburg Siege. For his heroics, we were given the land by the King of England. Not that we were loyal, we switched sides in the American Revolution, and thus were allowed to keep what we had. Because of that, when the surveying was done was a long, long, long time ago, or about 9 generations of transfers.

But I know the information is there, because on this one spot, a local surveyor notified me that my land had been sold. He was not the one that did the surveying though, he was just doing other research and saw what happened, and being a small town, informed me. I would not have even known had he not said anything.

But that leads to another point: with land disputes, nothing is a problem, until it becomes a problem. The out of stater that thinks he owns my land is not a bad guy, nor has he done anything horrible. If I was to cut the wood, then he would get all up in arms as he thinks he owned the land, and would be upset. But I would be upset if he cut the wood. I have known about this piece of land for a long time, and never did anything about it, so now before it becomes a bigger issue, I must do something about it. Its only a few acres 4-5 acres I think, so not really worth fighting over, except it has some nice geology. I would like to keep it for that reason.

I have nothing but respect for surveyors (and foresters too), it is just that I cannot afford to survey all the lots, and the acreage that I own. Even the surveyor that screwed me over with poor surveying was probably an alright guy. I know he died a year or two later, so maybe he was not feeling good when he did the survey, and hoped to do just the minimum?
 

RandyT

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Now throw in the fact that the length of the US survey foot changes to match the length of the international foot Jan 1 2023. I wonder how that will effect new surveys and trying to incorporate the previous shorter foot into the mix.
 

dodge man

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Now throw in the fact that the length of the US survey foot changes to match the length of the international foot Jan 1 2023. I wonder how that will effect new surveys and trying to incorporate the previous shorter foot into the mix.

Not much. It comes down to the metric conversion, which I know doesn’t make sense but that is the way it works. 3.2808333333 Us feet=1 meter. 3.28 international feet=1 meter. If my math is correct a distance of 1000 feet will be 999.75 feet international. It’s really only and issue when going between meters and feet.

To further complicate things, and a good example of why coordinates can be mis used, what happens to the coordinate system in Illinois? They are also a conversion from metric. In my area the numbers are in the 1 million and 2 million range, so when converting to international feet instead of US feet, it impacts the coordinates something like 20 feet. They are also coming out with a group of new coordinate systems by county or a group of counties in Illinois. So you can see the problem with coordinates, US feet, international feet, or the new low distortion system?

Most states have been using the international foot all along, just Illinois and a few other states are changing.
 

PILOON

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I once ordered a load of fill and as I spread it out found a property corner marker in it.
The markers used at a time around here were 2 ft aluminum 'pegs' with barb wings that had the data stamped on the sides.

Being a very rocky terrain many of them were often poorly installed and many were intentionally moved by owners to accommodate a project.
I'm surprised we haven't seen any line disputes to date.
Being a 'pioneer' on this lake I could relate some interesting tales.
The whole lake was crown land subdivided to allow pioneer cottage building.
You leased, built and then could purchase for a token amount.
Very much as those old adds in magazines for free land.
 

95XL883

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My lot is what used to be two, that at one time were both owned by one that was split into many.

Simplified, one family owned hundreds of acres. ........

The whole process needs to be dramatically simplified nationwide. With technology, I see no reason why everything isn't done by GPS coordinates, with deeds simply referencing those digital points. Trees die and decay, rocks and pins get moved. Consumer level devices are accurate to within 10' usually and higher resolution equipment is available for legal description use.

Pins? Pins? We don' need no steenking pins!!!!

I have a different perspective. My 40 acres, like yours, was once part of a much larger tract, since split and re-split; sold and re-sold. My 6 corners (land is ell shaped), are marked by 8 pieces or rebar set in concrete (The two additional pins mark a "corner" on my side of the road. In other words, the road is on my "property" along two sides. So there is one pin on each side of the road.) One original fence was not on the property line. It started at a corner but angled into the adjoining parcel. I had the new fence put exactly on the line. Having those pins is simple. No need for a piece of equipment with high tech satellites orbiting the earth. See that pin/rebar in concrete? That is the corner. In addition to those pins there are fences marking all but one line.

Those pins/rebar in concrete corners are simple and easy to see. When an adjoining tract sold (This is the tract that would turn my ell into a rectangle), I had to have serious conversations with the agent, the agent's boss and the buyer. The agent had included in the property description a feeder. The problem was the feeder was my feeder on my property. The agent and seller knew what they were doing. There were puffing to sell that tract for as much as they could get. The buyer was being misled as to what he was buying. Having those marked corners and fence cleared up a lot of confusion. And I had to make it very clear that that was my fence and that I had paid for it. I even showed them a copy of the paid bill for it. For a while the new owner pushed back, just going on my property when he felt like, twisting strands so he could go through the fence. I conspicuously tightened the fence. I stayed civil but firm. Simple, my ground, clearly marked. The new neighbor has come to accept the surveyed and clearly marked boundary.

Pins, steenking pins are valuable.
 
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95XL883

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The problem with Chain of Custody, and Deeds filed at the County Courthouse, is that they are based upon the idea that the information they contain is correct, and this is not always the case. ....
But surveying is a real issue in 2020. In Maine anyway, there are not enough surveyors anyway, and they charge entirely too much. I had just ONE line surveyed, and it cost $600...and they never surveyed it right, nor all the way to the pins. But I own hundreds of acres of land, in (5) towns, and (2) states...there is NO WAY I could afford to have it surveyed. So you rely on the surveys that were done from years past...

In my case, an error was made by the surveyor who wrote the description for my 40 acres. If you followed the metes and bounds, you realized that he was either describing a 60 acre, not 40 acre tract, or that the metes and bounds did not bring you back to point of beginning. Long story short, it was fixed and my title now describes an accurate 40 acres with the metes and bounds following the property line. But I paid $1,200 to have the ground resurveyed. He verified the corners (they had been set right, just the description was screwed up and that I was getting 40 acres.). That was a well spent $1,200. It has saved me grief, time and what could have been expensive lawsuits. Yes, $1,200 is a lot of money but for what I got, it was well spent.
 

LouNY

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My deed is fairly easy to read and understand,
It follows stone walls on all four sides and the footage is approximately and the directions are northerly, easterly, southerly and westerly.
Of course the stone walls are falling down and spreading out now going from a couple of feet wide to 5 or 6 feet.
 

fried1765

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In my case, an error was made by the surveyor who wrote the description for my 40 acres. If you followed the metes and bounds, you realized that he was either describing a 60 acre, not 40 acre tract, or that the metes and bounds did not bring you back to point of beginning. Long story short, it was fixed and my title now describes an accurate 40 acres with the metes and bounds following the property line. But I paid $1,200 to have the ground resurveyed. He verified the corners (they had been set right, just the description was screwed up and that I was getting 40 acres.). That was a well spent $1,200. It has saved me grief, time and what could have been expensive lawsuits. Yes, $1,200 is a lot of money but for what I got, it was well spent.

Even if you have flat, very open terrain, that $1,200 was inexpensive.
 
  
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oosik

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Down the road a piece, a triangular plot was divided. The intention was sales. The surveyor came all the way back to my SE corner to establish coordinates. My SE corner is a marked quarter corner. The triangle was divided into three equal pieces - approximately 30 acres each. Zoning out here requires minimum 20 acre lots. I've heard the completed survey was a bit more than $5000.

My SE quarter corner survey is some 30 years old. This surveyor came to my house to see if I wanted a new marker established. The old one was off by two inches. I thanked him and said - No, leave the old marker where it is.

If two inches made any difference - I would have been dead thirty years ago.
 

dodge man

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I’m not sure how he said the marker was off two inches. Today we am measure two inches difference in a half mile. 35 to 40 years ago you couldn’t. The marker is the corner unless it’s been disturbed.

One important point is our job as a surveyor is not to correct past mistakes. If a corner is suppose to be 1000 feet from another and it measures 999 feet do we move it? Do we set a new one? Not me, on my plat I show measured 999.00 feet and platted 1000.00 feet. I show the error but the found monument represents the corner. The only time a corner shouldn’t be used is in the case of gross error or fraud is involved .
 

Jstpssng

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The land company I was working for about 30 years ago sold off 5 acres from a larger tract of land, hiring a survey company to lay out the parcel and set the pins. After the work was done somebody realized that the state highway R/W was wider than what they had used, so the company came back and moved them farther back. (I believe that it was a 23 0r 35 foot difference.) I was sent out one to connect the dots... brushing, spotting and blazing between the pins. I found that they had added the distance twice, and the pins had been moved double the distance of their initial error. In the overall scheme of things there wasn't much land involved and they just let it slide.
They never hired that survey company again though.
 

BrokenTrack

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Here is one of my property pins, marking a section of my land that belonged to the Federal Government from 1932-1946. If you look close, you can see the triangle that shows the direction of the property line, and the US Geological Survey stamp. This post was driven in 1932 and holding up well.

If a person is into geology, interestingly, the borings in this area show that the gravel descends down to 32 feet, and comprises of 8 acres. That is 407,000 cubic yards, at $2 a cubic yard... You do the math.

These kind of assays are important when taken in totality.

 
 
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