Surveying Buffalo and Dallas County since 1990

Jack L. Dill, PLS                                                                                                                                                                       

16 Sherwood Trail

Buffalo, Mo 65622



What is a boundary survey?

A boundary survey consists of several elements. A land surveyor begins by obtaining a copy of the client’s deed. There is a description on the deed that defines the boundaries of the land to be surveyed. This description, usually referred to as a boundary or "legal" description, actually contains instructions for the surveyor, it tells the surveyor what must be found and measured to the real world in order to find or place monuments at the corners of the client’s property. Next, a surveyor does research to find out if other surveyors have been in the area at some point in the past. Surveyors search at courthouses, title company offices, highway departments… practically anywhere that documents might exist to help correctly determine boundaries. Next, surveyors come to the property and look for monuments that help determine the size and shape of the described parcel. Sometimes, if the parcel has been surveyed in the past, the surveyor checks or verifies that the corner monuments are in the proper place. Or new monuments may be driven into the ground to mark the boundaries. Then the results are published as a drawing called a survey plat. The plat should show everything pertinent to determining the boundaries of your property. In the end, your boundary determination is the professional opinion of the land surveyor who does the survey, so get a surveyor with a good reputation.

How much does it cost to get a parcel surveyed?

Every survey is somewhat unique. There may be physical obstacles like bluffs, trees, rivers, and buildings that make the physical measurements more difficult to obtain. There could be ambiguity in the description that makes it difficult to determine what the author of the description intended. The costs can vary wildly depending on the amount of surveying by other competent surveyors in the area in the recent past. Estimates are free and usually take a day or two to do some basic research and determine the cost.

My property is fenced, does that help?

Not really. Unless your description actually calls out the fence it is generally immaterial to me. It is my job to put your deed description on the ground. Hopefully your fence was built in the correct place to start with. However, it has been my experience that most fences are built based on a bad guess. But, if a fence is in the same position for a long period of time, it may have accrued unwritten rights for the property owner along that particular boundary line. You may want to consult an attorney at that point. The fence would generally be shown on the plat since it is evidence of physical possession.