Finding Your Property Lines and Corners

Use this simple flow-chart to walk through the process step by step: Finding Property Corners Flowchart


Whether you are looking to build, partition, or simply settle a dispute, you have decided to find your property lines. But where should you start? This article is designed to guide you through the process of finding your owner property corners.

First of all, your property lines are the legal boundaries of your estate, and they are defined by your property corners. You could hire a surveyor like JD McGee, Inc. to locate and mark these property corners. But, with a little research, you may be able to save money and find the corners yourself. The key is to find out whether your corners have monuments, then locate them.

So what is a monument?

A survey monument is a physical marker which precisely shows some point on a map. In this case, we are looking for your property corner. Monuments can come in many forms: pins, nails, iron rods, stones, buried bottles, brass caps. In recent decades, it has become common to monument with an iron rod and a brightly colored plastic cap. Despite the variations, it is common for a monument to be made of metal and set precisely in the ground at a property corner. Survey maps of your property will typically show where your monuments exist and what was used to mark the corner.

When searching for monuments, we will typically use three tools: a survey map, a metal detector (or 'pin-finder'), and a shovel. Maps show us where to search, and the metal detector gets us a little more precise. Monuments tend to get buried over time, so the shovel may be needed to dig anywhere from a few inches to a few feet down.

Note: People (neighbors) become very interested when someone is digging around in what they percieve to be their property. Always talk to the neighbors before searching for monuments. It’s courteous, and who knows? Maybe they can help with the search.

Where to Start Looking?

So we know how to search for monuments. But where should you start looking? Start by asking people who might already have found your corners: neighbors and previous property owners, for example. If someone has built on your property in the past, they may also be a good resource, as building permit applications often require the location of property lines.

Survey maps will usually show where your monuments are located, if monuments exist. If you live in Benton County, Oregon, you can use the survey maps tool to find maps for your property.

Hire a Professional:

If after conducting research, you cannot locate your monuments, there is another option. Land Surveyors like JD McGee, inc. can do research and locate your property corners at a reasonable rate. If your corners have not been monumented, we can mark them for you, or even set official monuments and record a new map. To learn more about how we can help you with your property, get in touch today!

Some Helpful Tips:

Using a sport GPS device is, unfortunately, not a great way to locate your property corners. There are no GPS coordinates for you corner, but if there were, there simply isn't enough precision in most common GPS devices.

There may not be any monuments on your property. Many properties have been created and not monumented. When you hire a professional surveyor like JD McGee, we can use other methods to find your property corners and mark them for future reference.