If you’re the owner (or soon-to-be owner) of a piece of property, it’s important to know exactly where the boundaries lie. Knowing the property boundaries is important for creating the title and for preventing future arguments with neighbors over how the land should be used and who is responsible for which portions of land.
A title boundary survey in Texas is used to formally define the boundaries of a piece of property. First it defines the corners of the parcel, before moving forward to determine exact boundaries, lot dimensions and more. The boundary survey can also include any improvements that were made on the land by previous owners, as well as easements and rights of way.
Here’s an overview of the steps you’ll need to go through to complete the boundary survey:
- Registry research: First, you’ll need to perform some background research in the county’s registry of deeds to access any existing information about deeds or titles. Public and private research can fill in some of the information that you can’t get from the registry of deeds, so this could also involve looking at information at historical societies, state agencies, municipal offices, owners of adjoining land, county commissioner’s offices or any other sources that might have information about the property.
- Deed sketch: After initial research, the surveyor creates a sheet that identifies the recorded boundaries and record calls. Most boundary lines have several calls over long periods, so this work is especially important for older properties.
- Field recon: This is the most extensive component of boundary survey work. At this stage, the surveyor will visit the property and explore it, using all available tools and information to mark the corners and complete their deed sketch.
- Data analysis: Once there’s a completed sketch and field recon, the surveyor can then analyze the collected data to determine its validity and accuracy. This is when the surveyor determines acreage, corner locations, encroachments, rights of way, easements and other such aspects of the property that are important to note in the survey.
- Preparation for finalization: Once data entry and analysis is complete, the surveyor can then prepare to finalize the plan. This process involves gathering all final findings and recommendations, and developing a plan in compliance with all of the requirements of the Board of Licensure in the state. Ideally this plan would allow other land surveyors to verify the findings if necessary.
- Revisit the site: The surveyor will make one final visit to the site before wrapping up work on the job to mark the property corners and lines clearly for property owners to have a physical boundary they can use. These markings also indicate to others that the land has already been surveyed by a professional.
For more information about what’s involved with a boundary survey when doing title work, we encourage you to contact D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. We specialize in title boundary surveys in Texas, and would be happy to answer any questions you have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.