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Question: Old Survey Property Corner Pins - Replace with new Survey Pins?

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gfirns
(@gfirns)
FNG Member

Greetings everyone!!  I have a question regarding property corner pin practices when doing a survey. I've had 34 acre parcel of land for over 20 years that at purchase I received a "Surveyor's Real Property Report" - dated 1981. The terrain is very hilly / wooded and located in Missouri. I decided to have a legal Boundary Survey performed to make it easier on my kids in the future.

My surveyor is great!  He has been in the business for 40 years in our area (Missouri). And and I'm learning some interesting things (my property at one time was part of an old Spanish grant). The old recorded descriptions include Corner property descriptions and terms "old iron pin" and "old iron pipe".  

My surveyor has indicated that we does not prefer or recommend replacing these old markers. Most are only 3/8 inch diameter.  I perhaps incorrectly thought that a new Boundary Survey would include placement of "more official looking" pins that I've seen of other parcels that have been recently been surveyed. My surveyor has recommended that I just augment these old pins with additional physical markers.    

My question is - is that the correct approach? Not to replace the old property corner markers with new pins? An adjoining property which has 2 of its corners along my boundary line has the "new / fancy" pins - and I must admit - they look more official to me - someone with no knowledge of the industry.  I'm just looking ahead for the next 20 + years and adjoining parcels that seem to be changing hands lately.   

Thanks much! Glen

 

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Topic starter Posted : May 6, 2022 8:30 am
Brad Ott liked
Norm Miller
(@norm)
1,000+ posts Member

Most surveyors do not set new marks in place of existing marks as a rule.  There are exceptions. Actually the fact that you have an "old iron pin" pointing back in support of your deed is a good thing. A shiny new mark not so much. 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 2 times by Norm Miller
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Posted : May 6, 2022 8:50 am
RADAR, Kevin Hines, Chris Bouffard and 1 people liked
Williwaw
(@williwaw)
1,000+ posts Member

The original old pins, undisturbed, are sort of the holy grail for another surveyor looking to accept them. A shiny new pin where one would expect to find an old pin with the patina of time is a bit of a red flag. I suggest your surveyor's recommendation is sound. I tell people they can help to perpetuate and protect their corners by driving a steel t-post in around a foot away from the pin and either paint it a bright color or add flagging which will make finding it once it's grown over much easier as well as put people on notice of it's presence.

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Posted : May 6, 2022 9:07 am

Lurker
(@lurker)
200+ posts Member

If it were my property I would want the oldest, most original boundary markers I could have. The original marker is very difficult to argue against. A new modern marker can be said not to occupy the place of the original. Something along the lines of "that marker was just set last year and it is 7 feet into my property, the old original corners were over there but this new owner/surveyor came in and removed them and set these here new markers in the wrong place."

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Posted : May 6, 2022 9:22 am
Norman Oklahoma
(@norman-oklahoma)
5,000+ posts Member

I concur with what has been said. Surveyors are not much impressed by shiny things. Old and patina'd has a beauty all its own. A plow or a bulldozer will blow out a bras disk as fast as it will 1/2" pipe. 

An exception would be if the old monuments have deteriorated to a point were they may soon be unrecognizable. Then you would want to have them renewed.  

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Posted : May 6, 2022 9:38 am
WA-ID Surveyor
(@wa-id-surveyor)
500+ posts Member

When platting in Idaho the law requires you to set a minimum of 5/8" rebar and cap at all external plat corners.  So, if you find 1/2" rebar and caps at any corners they are required to be removed and a 5/8" rebar set in it's place.  I've been setting 5/8" rebar for almost 30 years, why surveyors set 1/2" is beyond me.  Plus, I think the law is terrible.  If you find a perfectly good monument, why should it need to be replaced.

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Posted : May 6, 2022 9:43 am
Jitterboogie, RADAR, Jp7191 and 2 people liked

Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

Even my house is old with a lot of the old stuff in it, kind of the opposite of the current culture of rip it all out and replace with shiny but cheap particle board stuff.

I will sometimes upgrade a monument that is deteriorated such that it won’t be around in another few years. I found a stone monument, firmly set and in great condition, left it alone. It’ll probably outlast anything I could set.

If a pipe or rod is in good condition it is better to leave them as is especially in a non recording state. We have a mandatory filing requirement in California so I feel a little more free to improve monuments since I can make a public record for future surveyors to find.

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Posted : May 6, 2022 10:12 am
Norman Oklahoma
(@norman-oklahoma)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @wa-id-surveyor

why surveyors set 1/2" is beyond me.

A 5/8" rod has 1.5x more cross sectional surface area than a 1/2" rod, with a proportional increase in cost. 

 

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Posted : May 6, 2022 10:33 am
RADAR
(@dougie)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @williwaw

I tell people they can help to perpetuate and protect their corners by driving a steel t-post in around a foot away from the pin and either paint it a bright color or add flagging which will make finding it once it's grown over much easier as well as put people on notice of it's presence.

What he said...

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Posted : May 6, 2022 11:49 am

RADAR
(@dougie)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @wa-id-surveyor

why surveyors set 1/2" is beyond me


GIF

The math seems to check out!

...

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Posted : May 6, 2022 11:58 am
Murphy
(@murphy)
500+ posts Member

Before you do anything to the monuments, realize that you share them with others.  They're not entirely yours to do with as you please.  Particularly since you know they were there before you arrived on the scene, use caution and be a good neighbor. 

I knew of one fella who built simple 4"x4" wooden concrete-forms around each of his rebar corners then poured some sakrete in them while leaving a few inches sticking out.  Original monuments were still there, but they had a much more official look to them.  Personally, I'd just drive a piece of 1" pvc pipe next to each one and call it good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted : May 6, 2022 12:21 pm
RADAR
(@dougie)
5,000+ posts Member

@murphy 

One of the most important things I tell my clients:

I'm not showing you where your lines and corners are, I'm showing you the lines and corners you share with your neighbors.

 

Dougie

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Posted : May 6, 2022 12:28 pm
David3038, Jitterboogie, Ken Salzmann and 3 people liked

Dave Drahn
(@dave-o)
100+ posts Member

Lots of great advice here, all bending in the same direction.  Being a noob, one thing I think I've learned in the last couple years is that a "called for" (preferably in the original deed), identifiable, undisturbed monument is THE corner, whether its nuts on in distance and bearing or 7' "off".  It will hold in court as the corner over *almost* anything else, including high accuracy, precision GPS or any other kind of measurements.  If you wanted something more durable into the future you could ask your surveyor if he could set "witness monuments".  They could be cool looking somethings that last, that basically describe exactly where that monument was in the case it is lost some time.

I also like the idea of protecting it as is in place with something that could be kind of nice, but also like they said here, it's not only your corner so would be good to get agreement from your adjoiner(s) before you mess with it.

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Posted : May 6, 2022 1:12 pm
gfirns
(@gfirns)
FNG Member

Thank you all for the sound advice and knowledge. Great to understand the value of leaving the old original pins. Not disturbing them, and understanding that these are shared lines and property corners.  We found old “Witness Trees” at 2 of the 5 property corners - very interesting.  Very much appreciate you all taking the time to respond.

Property Line Question:

Since the distance between corners is mostly obstructed (due to rough terrain), my surveyor is also marking (additional fee) intermediate line of sight points along the property line.  I have no need / intention of placing a fence, but visual markers will be helpful to me - I'm getting older! This is a shared boundary that travels along 7 property owners, 1 having their corners defined – and 6 do not.

Is there an industry standard or suggestion for a type of marker that I can propose to adjoining neighbors to indicate a boundary – one that would not be mistaken as a property corner, or would not create confusion to anyone who could mistake them as being an indication that there is a nearby property corner defined?  This boundary line is very remote. Any thoughts?

Again, thank you all!  Glen

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Topic starter Posted : May 6, 2022 2:20 pm
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
10,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @dougie

 

One of the most important things I tell my clients:

I'm not showing you where your lines and corners are, I'm showing you the lines and corners you share with your neighbors.

Another nominee for quote of the month there Dougie! You are on a roll!

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Posted : May 6, 2022 3:43 pm
RADAR liked

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