We get calls on a daily basis that ask, “Can you just tell me where my property lines are without doing a survey?” The answer is, “As a Licensed Surveyor, I cannot.” As a licensed professional, we are subject to the statues which govern our industry. The laws are very specific about property lines, property maps and property corners. Without performing a boundary survey, we cannot tell you where your lines are.
However, there are resources available to the public that can give you some general information about your property. Most are commonly provided by government entities, such as Assessor’s offices.
For example, if you live in St. Charles, Missouri, you can visit http://assessor.sccmo.org/assessor/index.php?option=com_assessordb&Itemid=49 .
If you live in St. Louis, Missouri, you can visit http://maps.stlouisco.com/propertyview/. Both of these sites have helpful information, including lot sizes, basic ownership information, and they even provide a basic aerial photograph. The problem is that the mapping capabilities of these sites are not very accurate. In some instances, there is so much error that the property lines run through the middle the house, which typically is not the case at all.
Websites are wonderful tools – but they don’t answer to anyone for the information that they provide. The State of Missouri has your best interest at stake, which is why a license is required to practice land surveying. The only way to be 100% sure of knowing what you own, is to have a boundary survey performed by a Licensed Missouri Surveyor.