The most basic and common type of survey, a boundary survey, is used for measuring, marking, and verifying the boundaries or limits of a given piece of a parcel, legal description, or easement. More than just measuring physical boundaries, this process involves research of prior records (ie. title certificates, deeds, earlier surveys) as well as the use of RTS and GPS technologies in the field. The purpose of a boundary survey is to ensure that the stated boundary lines match the true boundaries of the property per WA state law.
Once the research is complete, the surveyor performs fieldwork on the property itself, finding existing markers and evidence from old surveys and records. Boundary surveys are based on legal descriptions and are valid if the surveyor can define the boundaries laid out in said description.
IMPORTANCE OF A BOUNDARY SURVEY:
While most land has already been surveyed at one time or another, the boundary lines can become confused over time, owing to anything from physical changes in topography to subdivisions of the land, and even neighbors who encroach on the borders.
Commercial Buying/Selling: If discrepancies are not identified and corrected before purchase is made, these inaccuracies can negatively affect purchasers’ rights to the title if it is ever challenged. This is why it’s important to have a new boundary survey performed as opposed to relying on previous surveys, especially where commercial property is concerned, which is why most lenders and title companies require a survey before the sale closes.
Landowners: Those planning additional development on their property and need clarity on the boundaries or outdated records aren’t giving a clear picture will benefit from getting a boundary survey. Boundary surveys become useful if there is a dispute between neighbors as to where the property lines are, confusion about land easements, or question about how much definitive space there is on a parcel.