When a boundary survey is performed by a licensed land surveyor, part of the surveying process is to find, locate, expose, and set property corners. There are several different types of survey monuments that adhere to state statute requirements. Let’s take a look at the most common ones:
- Rebar – According to statute, this must be a minimum of 18” in length and ½” in diameter. It is a solid iron rod that is typically placed flush with the ground. When a survey monument is set by a surveyor, it must have a cap placed on the rebar which has the company name and license number stamped into it. Common colors of the caps are pink, orange and yellow.
- Iron pipes – According to statutes this monument must be a minimum of 18” in length with a ¾” outside diameter. These monuments typically have a plastic cap set inside of the pipe with the same characteristics as mentioned for a rebar.
- Cut crosses –This one is a little tricky. If the cross is set at the centerline of the street or located on a curb, there is a high probability that this is NOT an actual property corner. It is most likely a point on the projection of the property line. Crosses are typically etched into the concrete.
- Cotton Spindle – This is a 6”- 8” spindle from a cotton picking machine. Farmers sell “worn out” spindles to surveyors, who use them to monument property corners that fall into asphalt, tree roots, etc. The spindle has a sharp tip that allows it to be set where a traditional survey monument, such as a rebar, cannot be set.
The wood markers and pin flags that are commonly seen are not the property corner themselves. They are witness items to help you find the property corner that is located flush with the ground. So if the little boys next door pull the wood stakes to have a sword fight, all is not lost. Look for spray paint and hopefully you’ll find the survey monument that marks the property corner.
Information provided should not be considered legal advice and all buyers, agents and title companies should consult their attorneys for legal advice.
My former next door neighbor had his property surveyed and told me that the marker in the front of our homes between our driveways couldn’t be located even with a metal detector. Now my new neighbor (I use that word loosely) says it all his property and is giving me all sorts of problems. I was sure the people I bought my home from told me that the grass strip between our driveways was equally divided between us. What do I do. I can’t afford $6,000 to hire a surveyor. I’m trying to buy a new house just to get away from this guy. I love my home.
Thank you for reaching out to us and commenting on our blog. We would like to discuss this with you in more detail. Please email us at [email protected] so we can have more one-on-one dialog about your comment/questions. Thanks so much, Will with Cardinal Surveying
I came home from work and found that my property had been surveyed. All 4 corners and ribbons nailed into the ground. No one asked permission to be on my land and they left no card or identification at all. I live in South Mississippi. Why would some one do this?
HI Roger, I can not say for sure, but a few of the reasons that I can think of are, they surveyed the property around yours and marked you corners in the process, or if you have your property sale it could have been ordered by the new buyer. We currently service the St. Louis and St. Charles communities in Missouri so I don’t have a contact for you in Mississippi to reach out to, but you may want to Google “local surveyors” and see if you can touch base with someone in your area. Best of luck! Will with Cardinal Surveying
Look up the PLS number on the corner monument cap to figure out who the surveyor was then contact their office to figure out why your property was surveyed
In Florida are concrete markers accurate. A surveyer marked my boundaries using the concrete markers.
It is difficult to advise you for a few reasons. First, every state has different laws; our area of expertise is in Missouri state law. Second, without seeing the information pertaining to the property, we don’t have a clear “picture” of what is occurring. We would suggest that you search Professional Land Surveyor in your community and see if they can advise you.
What is the information stamped on the brass property markers?
Thank you for your time.
If a new lot survey is done, and a new iron rebar marker is placed at a lot corner (there was no existing marker), but there is no plastic ID cap on the rebar, does just the rebar constitute a “legal” survey monument?
Hello, I live in Albany NY. I purchased a brand new home through the builder himself however I strongly feel that due to some problems created by the next door neighbor my property lines have been altered to neighbor’s advantage. What actions should I take o rectify this situation?
Unfortunately, this question is a legal question. Licensed Land Surveyors (aka Professional Land Surveyors) are not qualified to provide legal advice. Our role is to identify and verify survey monument location which in turn identifies where property lines are located. It is also typically our role to determine the improvements located on the property as well (such as fences, tree lines, etc.). You would need to contact an attorney to get the answer to this question.
good post, I think many people assume that the marker is where the property line actually begins/ends but that is not the case, it’s an indicator. Stay well.
Hello, Haviving a problem with my neighbor and property lines. I came home to the property line marked and staked . I see that the surveyor found and marked the pin in the street but when he placed his marker it is 7 feet into my property than the pin location? Is the pin in the street typically the definitive corner of a property? Thank you
I live in NYS. A man was in my yard while I was home alone. He never gave any notice, “reasonable “ or otherwise; When I asked who he was and what he was doing he refused to identify himself and we soon were arguing (from a distance) during which he only ever said he was a land surveyor. Later I found he had revealed a monument that is approx 3.5-4 feet from our fence. That side of our yard and that fence runs on the border of our yard and an empty field owned by a neighbor up the street. Our home survey from purchase in 2012 never showed that monument but did identify one in the front yard. So I’m surprised this rear one exists. Our property lines and measurements on the survey gave us that additional 3.5-4 ft. My current questions in all this are: does that monument now take precedence and move my property line? Does this neighbor have course to take that property, have us remove our fence, etc if they ask or demand it?
It is difficult to advise you for a few reasons. First, every state has different laws; our area of expertise is in Missouri state law. Second, without seeing the information pertaining to the property, we don’t have a clear “picture” of what is occurring. However, hopefully this will point you in the right direction.
Does that monument now take precedence and move my property line? Monuments do typically indicate property ownership. It is not a common occurrence where a line is “moved”, although where someone thinks they own to and where they actually own to are rarely the same. If you did not have a full boundary survey performed, it would be difficult to know where your ownership starts/ends. You can’t assume that the previous owner knew where the line was either, although it is very common for people to continue to mow the same yard that the previous owner had, maintain the same bushes, fences, etc. Keep in mind that unless a boundary was performed, you would not be able to see visually on the ground what is and isn’t yours. I would recommend that you contact a licensed surveyor in your area for more specific assistance.
Does this neighbor have course to take that property, have us remove our fence, etc if they ask or demand it? Unfortunately, this question is a legal question. Licensed Land Surveyors (aka Professional Land Surveyors) are not qualified to provide legal advice. Our role is to identify and verify survey monument location which in turn identifies where property lines are located. It is also typically our role to determine the improvements located on the property as well (such as fences, tree lines, etc.). You would need to contact an attorney to get the answer to this question.
Hello, I am buying a house and the GIS and county property map shows the property line goes straight between the sheds in the front and back properties. The recent survey now shows the line 6 feet forward from the neighbors shed for my lot. Is it possible they made a mistake or repartitioned the land?