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Your land and the land surveyor
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A survey is a good investment.

Professional land surveying and mapping services will involve less time, concern and expense than moving a building or other improvements, revising your land development plans or defending a land boundary dispute in a court of law.

To prevent or deter such litigation, undue costs and inconvenience, retain the services of a professional land surveyor prior to any land investments and property developments.

Historical impact of surveying.
Since 5,000 B.C., surveying has served the political, economic and social needs of our society by defining and locating property boundaries, features and improvements.

From the Egyptian "rope stretchers," ancient surveying measurement tools have progressed to the chain and compass, to the transit and tape, to electronic distance and directional instruments, to the current GPS satellite receivers for modern surveying and mapping.

Computation and mapping tools have also progressed from manual devices and methods to electronic computers for calculations, data bases and computer aided drafting (CAD).

MN Surveyor historic measurement tool


Your Land and the Land Surveyor

An informational page outlining why you should consult a professional land surveyor before you buy, sell, divide or build.

What is a property survey?

A property survey describes, maps and locates land ownership boundaries and corners, features and improvements.

Why should a property survey be made?

Land and its improvements are a major financial investment; therefore, all land ownership boundaries should be located, monumented and mapped by a property survey.

When should property be surveyed?

  • When property is divided into parcels for sale or development.
  • When property is to be sold, purchased or mortgaged.
  • When property improvements are planned or to be developed.
  • When government regulations require a survey and map of your property.
  • When the location of property boundaries or corners is uncertain.
  • When property trespass or encroachment is evidenced or suspected.

How is a property survey obtained?

Property surveys must be performed by a Professional Land Surveyor who has been licensed by the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design, 85 E. 7th Place Suite 160, St. Paul MN 55101. Phone (651) 296-2388 or visit

Consult local attorneys, local government offices, realtors, bankers, title insurance companies and the phone directory "Yellow Pages" for local area land surveying firms.

Visit the "locate a surveyor" portion of our Web site to locate a member of the Minnesota Society of Professional Surveyors near your project.

What will a property survey cost?

Costs depend upon many conditions, such as:

  • availability and adequacy of property records.
  • previous surveying monuments and mapping.
  • difficult terrain, heavy foliage and access.
  • survey complexity and regulatory compliance.
  • inclement weather and seasonal conditions.
  • other limitations, service costs and expenses.

An estimate of cost and a time schedule will normally be provided in writing by the land surveyor.

What will the surveyor do for me?

  • The legal description of your property and related records will be evaluated and a survey made to locate, measure and monument the property boundaries and corners so they can be easily identified.
  • The property survey will be completed in compliance with applicable state, county and other local government laws, codes and regulations.
  • You will be informed of the discovery of any property description, boundary location, trespass, encroachment or other related problems that you should be aware of.

Upon completion of the property survey, it is recommended that the boundary corner monuments be protected and preserved by the property owner.

What information will the surveyor need for a property survey?

A copy of property deeds, abstract of title or title insurance commitment and maps and other available information relating to the property.

If necessary, meet the land surveyor at the survey site for inspection or consultation.

Consult with the land surveyor at the earliest opportunity; in some cases a survey may require several weeks to complete.



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