Frequently Asked Questions


When Should I Consult a Land Surveyor?

You should consider consulting a land surveyor before you buy land, before you sell land, before you do estate planning, before you build a house, build a road, drill a well, erect a fence, landscape, and before you develop a resource.

You may not own what you think you own.

Many elements of boundaries can complicate a survey. Vague, incomplete and contradictory legal descriptions, passed on through years, distort and confuse the intentions of the original owners of the property. Monuments, lost by careless handling, contribute to location uncertainties and to the surveyors difficulties in re-establishing property lines. Previous subdivisions, done on paper without proper field measurements and monumentation, can lead to overlapping claims or gaps in ownership. These factors are quite often encountered and can have a significant impact on the cost of the survey and on the location of your land. In come cases, the surveyor will uncover boundary problems which may require legal action to resolve.

What is a Land Survey?

A land survey is the process of finding, identifying, measuring and reporting the location of land features. These land features take the form of boundaries such as ownership, jurisdiction (zoning, township) and physical (water, elevation, soil).

What Does a Surveyor Do to Complete a Survey?

A land surveyor, like a detective, must find all the facts in order to make the right decision. This involves researching records, finding evidence in the field, accurately measuring between points on the ground, calculating the locations of existing and new points, evaluating evidence, deciding where boundaries are located, setting new permanent monuments, and drafting a plan showing the results of the survey. It is recommended that the original plan be filed in the Registry of Deeds to create a permanent legal record for you and subsequent owners.

Why Do I Need a Survey?

Why Do You Need a Survey? Have you ever read a deed description that did not make sense to you? Do you know where you can find a copy of the deed to your land? Does it describe what you think you own? How many neighbors' names do you recognize in the description? Do you know if your land has ever been surveyed? Do you mistake the plot plan you received from the bank as an actual boundary survey when, in fact, it states that it is not? If you are puzzled by the answers to these questions, you need a survey. You need to know more about your land in order to make decisions about the use or disposition of it.
Land is usually the largest portion of a person's wealth, yet many people neglect to protect this asset. Boundaries become unclear without proper maintenance and can lead to disputes between neighbors. Buildings constructed too close to or over property lines result from unclear boundaries. All these very expensive and often financially devastating problems can be avoided by having your land surveyed for substantially less cost than the cost of litigation and resulting damages. The cost of a survey is relatively small when compared to the value of your land and problems you avoid. You should have your land surveyed when you need to know where your boundaries are and whether the land characteristics such as slopes, drainage, and access will allow you to do what you intend to do. A survey helps to reveal the true value of a parcel of land by showing you how much of what you own is suitable for a particular purpose.

What Do I Do With A Survey?

A survey plan is the best tool for communicating what the surveyor has surveyed. A survey plan has many uses and there are different types of surveys for differing purposes. A survey can disclose title problems, recover lost monuments, reveal the true locations of property lines, assist you in making decisions regarding development, estate planning, legal action and resource management.

Who Does Surveys?

Only a person licensed as a land surveyor by the New Hampshire Board of Licensure for Land Surveyors is legally permitted to practice boundary surveying in New Hampshire. Other forms of surveying, relating to construction, but not concerning boundaries, may in some cases, be performed by some of the related professionals such as architects and engineers. But to ensure a quality survey is performed by someone completely qualified, it is best to first consult a licensed land surveyor.

How Do I Choose The Right Surveyor?

Ask questions. How much experience does the surveyor have performing this type of work? Has the surveyor done similar work in the past and is he/she familiar with the job's requirements? How much local knowledge does the surveyor have?
** Source:
Utilizing the Services of a Land Surveyor

Published by:
The New Hampshire Land Surveyors Association
P.O. Box 689
Raymond, NH 03077