I have some major gaps in my knowledge. So much so that I did not even know there were some jobs and professions, one of which was the one I have now: Land Surveying. Up till recently I had spent so little time in any one place that becoming comfortable in a location and seeing regular activities was a luxury. Regular activities being seeing people do their work rather that just finding my way around and not getting lost.
When I bought a house I was not yet a Surveyor, and knew nothing about surveying. I bought a suburban lot with a house already built on it. I knew people fought over land, but I thought that problem was largely solved in cities, and that everyone knows where their land begins and ends. And I also thought that the $50 charge for a “survey” in my mortgage closing costs made sure there were no encroachments on my property (not that I knew what encroachments were). Boy was I wrong.
After I started working at my previous employer I took a day and surveyed my property. What I found was that no one around me really knew where their boundary was, and they were happy in their ignorance. What I found out was that the power and telephone companies like to use your boundary monuments as a convenient place to install their equipment. And that one of my neighbors installed a fence and driveway that overlapped my boundary by 3 feet (on the front edge of the property).
Based on how often I’ve seen utility equipment installed on top of a boundary corner it seems the utility companies look for an installed boundary monument to put their hole right there. There is a utility pole for my Southwest corner.
Two years ago my neighbor to the north needed to replace his fence. A car had run over a portion of it, so he thought it would be a good time to replace the rest also. Being a good and conscientious neighbor he talked with me about his plan beforehand. The survey I did on my property became very convenient. I pointed out where the boundary markers were, having made sure I knew where the monuments were set, so that he knew where he could put his fence, and just made sure to let him know that they need to be protected, and that the fence installer needs to make sure he doesn’t knock the monuments out.