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Overview of the Land Survey: Know What it Can (and Can’t) Do

This presentation provides a comprehensive overview of land surveys, highlighting what a survey can and cannot do, and the critical importance of consulting it. The presentation covers foundational aspects such as types of survey plans, reading and interpreting survey plans, the capabilities of a land survey (providing opinions on boundaries, illustrating relationships of physical features, creating historical baselines, and identifying discrepancies), and limitations (inability to certify boundaries definitively, move boundaries arbitrarily, ignore evidence, show non-visible structures, define tree ownership or conclusively resolve disputes). It stresses the critical times to consult a land survey, such as during land dealings like transactions and developments, when the legal description contains easements, or when there is uncertainty about the location of certain features relative to the boundaries. The presentation also discusses why it all matters – lawyers and land surveyors help provide shelter.

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