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One of the biggest mistakes that landowners make is to assume that, because they know where their boundary line is, everyone knows. This simply isn�t true, and getting into a boundary line dispute can be one of the most expensive and heartbreaking tragedies that can happen in the life of any individual.

There are many laws and regulations that pertain to land ownership, and boundary law is one of the most important. In the ownership of land, there is nothing that can replace the actual marking of your boundaries on the ground and giving notice to people that they are about to cross onto your property. Your attorney can advise you as to your exposure to risks and liabilities that result from not having your property lines well marked and not maintaining exclusive possession of your land.

Surveying is expensive, but it is well worth the cost. State governments have set modern standards for surveying in an attempt to protect citizens from incompetent and unscrupulous surveyors. In all states, it is unlawful to survey land for others without being a registered surveyor. Just a few years ago, surveyors used to measure distances with tapes, and now they do so with beams of light. Satellite surveying---formally know as the Global Positioning System or GPS---is also used today on large areas, but most property surveying is still done with a �transit� and crew of men on the ground.

A good boundary survey includes the following items:

  1. A plat or map drawn to an accurate scale, conforming to the standards set by the State Board of Registration and recorded in the County Registry where the land lies;
  2. Durable metal or concrete corners set to replace lost or destroyed corners;
  3. Marked and painted woods boundaries, showing where your property line actually lies;
  4. An evidence search for both documents and deeds that describe your land and the adjoining property and for ground evidence of old established corners and lines, following in the footsteps of the original surveyor; and,
  5. Written notice to all adjoining landowners of record, letting them know that you are having your property surveyed as both a matter of courtesy and to expose any potential problems from the beginning so that they can be solved during the survey.

As a Professional Land Surveyor in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, I have provided a variety of surveys for landowners, engineers, timber companies, utilities and banks. These include boundary surveys, topographic surveys, divisions, subdivisions, construction surveys, utility line surveys, and mortgage loan surveys.

The technology used in surveying can be used for many other purposes, such as defining the extent of wetlands or the location of watercourses. The new Global Positioning System (GPS) technology can be used to define timber stand boundaries or to map soil types and units for ecological classification. In many states, surveyors are allowed to formulate and map erosion and sedimentation control activities used with construction and timber cutting. I have done this for such projects as hazardous waste transportation facilities and subdivisions. I have also staked construction for such facilities as trucking terminals and wastewater treatment plants.

If you plan to have your property surveyed or to divide your property among your heirs, Contact me today for free advice and an estimate of the cost of the type of survey that you will need.

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