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Boundary Surveys

►A Standard Boundary Survey is a plan (known as a "plat") of a property or properties prepared in conformance with the State of NH Administrative Rules Chapters Lan 100-500. This is the typical boundary survey performed in the area for legal purposes, or for use with subdivision and/or development of land. It is suitable for recording at the county registries of deeds which places it permanently on the public record, for presentation to town and /or state agencies, is a permissible court document and recognized as a legal document (when properly certified by a Licensed Land Surveyor, and with limitations).  Typically required by Planning Boards for subdivisions, annexations or lot line adjustments. The plat essentially is a representation of the surveyor's professional opinion of boundary line(s) presented in graphic format with sufficient information such that the boundaries can easily be confirmed or reproduced in the future. The simplest of Standard Boundary Surveys on small lots are usually completed for a little under or around $2,000, and as the property size approaches 150 acres and larger, the cost can run upwards from $10,000. However, as noted previously in this web site, when viewed from the perspective of overall land value, along with the protection and added value for your property when you have a survey on record, this can be money well spent. And if the purpose of the survey is for land subdivision and/or development, it is simply part of the investment expense necessary to profit from your asset.

ALTA Survey: The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has established survey standards that are sometimes required by mortgage or title insurance providers, more often for properties in urban and/or commercial settings. An ALTA survey is similar to a Standard Boundary Survey, but prepared to somewhat more rigorous standards (and as such, cost somewhat more).  Suitable for recording at the county registries of deeds.

Why would I need a boundary survey?

A properly prepared boundary survey:

►Documents, defines, quantifies and adds value to what is often one’s most valuable asset – land.
►Protects you and your property by documenting encroachments into, or emanating from your land, and by defining and marking your property boundaries.
►Ensures your property is being properly assessed for taxation.
►Is required for subdivision of land, modification of boundary lines between neighbors and many types of site development.

How is a boundary survey prepared?

There are four primary phases of a boundary survey:

•Town records
•County Registry of Deeds
•Sometimes other sources such as Probate Court, unrecorded maps or sketches, testimony from present or past landowners, historical societies, highway or railroad records, and more.
•Original through present written (deeded) property descriptions of the subject and abutting parcels, and any transactions affecting the property, including easements.

►Field Survey
•Preliminary search for corner markers, site reconnaissance, survey planning, preparation.
•Field measurement to found corner markers, evidence of boundaries or of recognition of boundaries (occupation), and certain site improvements and detail for plat.
•Calculation/proof of measurement precision

►Boundary Determination
•Preparation of preliminary plat/worksheet.
•Reconciliation of written records with field evidence
  •Do written records agree with each other?
  •Do found corner markers and evidence of boundaries agree with the written records?
  •Are there unwritten elements of title such as prescriptive rights or adverse possession?
•Use available information to best calculate or determine proper location of unmarked corners/boundaries
•Diligent and thorough final field search for missing corner markers, set new monuments to mark boundaries as necessary

►Final Plat
•Neatly inked, reproducible scale map of the property.
•Bearings and distances along boundaries, parcel area.
•Detailed descriptions of boundary markers found and/or set.
•Buildings and major site improvements on the subject lot and in the proximity of the boundaries.
•Evidence of occupation such as walls, fences, marked lines, tree cutting, etc.
•Certain major topographic features such as streams, ponds, significant trees in the vicinity of the boundaries: sufficient detail to allow a user of the map to navigate the perimeter of the property.
•Notation as necessary to explain or document any conflicts or discrepancies between deed descriptions, plans, field evidence, and/or physical occupation of the land.
•Certification by a Licensed Land Surveyor

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