A land survey provides more information than simply letting you know where the physical boundary lines are for your property. Just because cornerstones have been placed to show you where your property ends and your neighbors begins does not mean you can forego having a survey done (by companies like Michael E. Rapier Surveying, Inc) when buying a house, or toss the survey aside and forget about it. There is a lot of other information you may need to know and understand included in a survey. Some of it may help with disputes with a neighbor and some may keep you from getting in trouble with a utility company.


If your property blocks your neighbor's access to the street, there is probably a right-of-way involved. This will be a strip of land that goes from the street to the other property in which your neighbor has the legal right to travel. It does not mean any more than that. Your neighbor cannot dig the land up, plant, mow, or do anything other than use the strip to get to the public road.

Joint Driveways

In some suburban areas, if the properties do not have a wide enough frontage, joint driveways are required. If you have a joint driveway with your neighbor, you will need to maintain it in the same manner. The two of you will need to work together if you want to change from asphalt to concrete or make a similar change. If there is a homeowner's association for the development, its regulations need to be followed.

Utility Easements

There might be an area of your property that has been made a utility easement by the municipality's government. The utility company will have the right to dig, build, travel or use that piece in anyway necessary to install and maintain the utility to you and your neighbors. The utility will also have a right-of-way granted to get to the area. You will need to read this section of the survey to determine if you are responsible for the upkeep of the right-of-way or if the utility company will do it.

When you buy a parcel of land, there may be portions of it that other people or companies have the right to use. Before you try to block them from coming onto your land, be sure you understand all the legalities. If you were to take someone to court for trespassing who has the legal right to be on the property, you will not only lose the case, but end up having to pay their legal fees, which will probably include a complete new survey too.