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8 Ways to Determine a Property Line Distance

Measuring Wheel And Tape

There are many ways to determine the distance of a property boundary line with a couple of ways costing money and with some ways involving a little effort on your part. The distance of the property boundary line is the length of the line that is usually expressed in units of feet.

Here are eight ways you can determine a property line distance.

1) Read the property deed
2) Review a property plat map
3) Review a survey boundary map
4) Use an existing conditions plan
5) Utilize a local GIS
6) Hire a professional surveying company
7) Use pacing for measurements
8) Use a measuring wheel

1. Read the Property Deed

You can easily find a property line distance if you have access to the property deed. This is something you should have if you own the property.

Determining the distances of the property lines would require reading through the deed, finding the legal description for the parcel of land, and reading the distances of the boundary lines of the property.

2. Review a Property Plat Map

If you own the property, you might have received a property plat map at the closing of the property purchase. This map would show various information about your property that includes labels for the distances for each side of the property. Each of these labels would be most likely located right along the corresponding property boundary line with the label text and the line having the same orientation.

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3. Review a Survey Boundary Map

A survey boundary map is something that would have been created for the current owner or a previous owner who wanted to have an official plan showing the property layout and boundaries. This kind of map would show the distances for each boundary line.

4. Use an Existing Conditions Plan

An existing conditions plan is a survey plan that would have been prepared for a site by a professional surveyor if someone ever wanted a base plan created for the design of a site plan for a new addition, a new building, or any other proposed land development.

This type of plan would also show the distances for the sides of the property.

5. Utilize a Local GIS

Many municipalities these days should have an online GIS (Geographical Information System) set up that displays a lot of information about the land in the region of the municipality.

Assuming that your municipality has a GIS, you can locate your property and use a tool that should be available within the GIS website to measure any of the sides of your property. The boundary lines might even be already labeled within the system.

6. Hire a Professional Surveying Company

An expensive option for determining property line distances would be the hiring of a professional surveying company to create a boundary plan or an existing conditions plan for you. This could be an option if you were already planning a land development project for your site.

Related: What a Land Surveyor Does and Why It Is Important

7. Use Pacing for Measurements

Although this is not the most accurate method of determining distances for your property lines, pacing can be an option for just a quick estimate. Pacing is the measuring of a distance using your steps.

You would measure the length of one of your steps and count the number of steps required to walk the distance for one of your property boundary lines. You would then multiply that number of steps by the length of your one step to calculate an estimated number for the total distance of the property line you measured.

Then you could do this same thing for any of the other property boundary lines.

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8. Use a Measuring Wheel

A measuring wheel is a device that is used to measure distances over land. For the property line you want to measure, you would start at one end and roll the wheel over to the other end before reading the distance off of the measuring wheel.

Picking the Right Method

Even though there are many ways for determining property line distances, any one particular method might not be for everyone. The method you pick could depend on how much money you want to spend and the importance of accuracy. The method you pick could also depend on whether or not you own the property.

Posted in Surveying

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