We are often asked: "Why would I need to get a boundary survey and when is the right time to get one?" Every property owner should know where their property boundaries are to protect their rights and to enjoy the entire property that they paid for. In order to do so, you need a proper boundary retracement survey done by a professional license surveyor. We constantly hear, "but the prior owner told me all this property back there is mine" or "the neighbor told me that tree was the corner of the property", or "my landscaper told me this was the property line". Often people are surprised to find where their boundaries really are located as compared to where they thought they were.
There are many reasons you would need or want a boundary survey. One of the most popular reasons is if you are making any kind of improvements to your property (building additions, adding a pool, extensive landscaping, fencing, etc.); you would need to know where your boundaries are in relation to any and all other improvements. All Townships have regulations as to how far your improvements or addition have to be from your property line. It is also important to know the ownership of landscaping and trees along the property line. Many times we receive calls from clients who have sustained damage from falling trees after a storm. The location of trees can cause contention between neighbors.
Boundary survey's can also ensure that no one else is claiming your land. We have seen many situations where clients or neighbors are using and maintaining property that isn't theirs. Clients often set fences well within their property to ensure that they are not over the property lines; their neighbor sees this as being the actual property line and then occupies that land. Some of these situations, if left unaddressed for some time, could end with your neighbor having an actual legal claim to your land.
So to answer the initial question...."when is the right time to have a property surveyed?" we would suggest clients have a property surveyed before purchasing or before undertaking any significant improvements. If you have any doubt or just don't know where you property lines are, then it could be very beneficial to you to ensure your rights to your land.