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Property Survey Definition

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A property survey is a procedure that defines a parcel of land using distances and angles. This would also include gas lines, roads, walls, streams, or anything relative to the property.

Defining the Property

One reason to survey a property is to establish the boundaries. When adding structures to the property, such as a shed, it is illegal for it to extend into someone else’s land. A survey will show new buildings or construction on the map and identify power and gas lines.


All surveys start with a known, defined point. This may be a benchmark set by the government, or a point located by another surveying firm. From this defined point, the surveyor uses angles, distances and elevations to locate other points. By doing this the surveyor can determine if the property lines are correct or establish them. New additions to the property are located and defined at this time.

Purchasing Property

Surveys at the time of property purchase prevent errors such as building additions that extend into the neighbor's property. These surveys also define easement rights that service companies and others may have going across property to access their equipment. It is better to know this before the purchase.