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A Homeowner’s Guide to a Boundary Survey


For most people, their most significant investment is usually their home or real estate. While many homeowners recognize the importance of legal advisors, home inspectors, or real estate agents, they often overlook the invaluable services provided by licensed land surveyors.

What is a Boundary Survey?

As with many types of professional services, a licensed land surveyor can provide several different services depending on your exact needs. A boundary survey typically serves the purpose for most homeowners. A boundary survey clearly defines where your land starts and ends. A professional surveyor conducts record research, checks existing property corners and accurately places new corners if missing, and produces a drawing showing the property boundary and any other findings (e.g., encroachments, buildings).

Why Do I Need A Boundary Survey?

A boundary survey done by a licensed surveyor is the only legal way to accurately determine the exact boundaries of your property. The survey ensures you know exactly where your property lines are, as well as any easements or other land rights that might affect your use of the land. It helps prevent boundary disputes with neighbors and ensures you have a clear understanding of what you own.

How Do I Proceed?

If you are planning to purchase real estate, you can ask the seller to provide an up-to-date boundary survey to ensure there are no problems relating to the property boundaries. If the purchase is new construction you can ask the builder to provide a boundary survey and drawing of the completed project. If necessary, contact a licensed land surveyor yourself to help protect your interests.

If you already own real estate and plan to make any improvements such as building additions, landscaping, tree planting or removal, or fence construction, contact the proper local unit of government to determine what land surveying requirements apply. A licensed land surveyor can help you meet those requirements and help make sure the land you’re building on is your own—not your neighbor’s.

Be Clear About Your Boundaries

Don’t rely on assurances about boundaries that are not provided by a licensed land surveyor. Maps depicting land boundaries that can be found and viewed on the internet may not be accurate. A Certificate of Survey that is prepared by a licensed land surveyor will include the surveyor’s signature and license number.

For help with any surveying need, contact a Widseth land surveyor in your area:

SW and West Central Minnesota
Bryan Balcome, LS, 320-335-5023

NW Minnesota
Garrett Borowicz, LS, 218-277-7421

SW and West Central Minnesota and hydrographic surveys throughout Minnesota
Juergen Brunkhorst, LS, CH, 320-335-5045

Central, North and NE Minnesota and Tribal Lands throughout Minnesota
Chad Conner, LS, CFedS, 218-316-3632

Metro Area and NE Minnesota
Kelly Jordan, LS, Professional Arborist, 651-358-2343

North Dakota
Chris Jordheim, PLS, 701-765-8006

SE and East Central Minnesota
Peter Oetliker, LS, 507-206-2132

NE Minnesota
Tony Palcich, LS, 218-274-6059

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