I had accumulated I don't know how many documents to do the survey. It was an incredible amount of paperwork. Yes, of course the surveyor does this, but then again you have to pay him for the privilege, so I gathered all of it. Since my mom had never had the property surveyed and any previous owner didn't (that we knew of) it was a chore. I would have still had to survey it, but we would have had some of the records already. It turned out to be fun being such an investigator anyway.
The parcel I am buying is surrounded by two different roads and three other property owners. One road had taken some of my mothers land back in the 50's so we had a map for that. The other road took land in the nineties, so that wasn't to hard to get at the county clerks office, but it was a massive amount of documents. In addition, the one neighbor had given me her survey map which really helped. The deeds for the three neighbors weren't too hard to get because they all owned their parcels for a shorter amount of time. Meaning that their deeds were on line.
At the time I gathered documents last fall, I didn't know if I would be buying the property across the road also, so that involved still yet another two property owners. I had to get all their deeds, and I got the deeds that their deeds referenced. i also got deeds for their other properties as well, since a couple of them own more than one parcel. Then I found out that my mother had two deeds. One from the 50's and one from the 60's. I got them both. Then I also got deeds for her land all the way back to 1902 in case the title search people or the lawyer, whomever needs them.
Now normally the seller would have already done this or had the documents, but since she wasn't planning to sell the land before I asked her if I could buy it, and since she is my mother, I did the leg work. I also did not want to pay tons more money for someone else to do it.
The real surprise that came a week or so before the survey was completed was that in 1912...Yes, 1912, now you are probably saying, "What the heck does something in 1912 have to do with 2009?" Well, as it turns out, in 1912 the county took a piece of the same land for a road improvement! What is now the state road once was a county one. They took some land from the maple tree marked with a K to the..you get the idea? So it had to do with my survey because no one had recorded this information on to any subsequent deeds and it did show up on one of the maps from the road takings in the 90's, but with no info. That is no map number, no deed book or page numbers, nothing. Just the little numbers 1912 between some bearing points with a jagged line depicting the taking. Of course between those two bearing points where road taking should have had bearing points there were none.
Anyway. Off i went to the clerks office with nothing but a date and a land owners name. Now if you have ever been to the clerks record office you will know that you need more than this.
I told a staff person there that I needed help with this and he kept repeating that it was impossible. The more someone tells me this the more determined I am. I sat with the index of maps book, sans map number and went through it page by page. Yes, page by page. Long story short a week later I had the maps, the deed, the new bearing points, the entire kit and kabootle. Now that first day I can proudly boast that within 20 minutes I had discovered what I thought was the right map number, but I had to screen microfiche that was unclear, go to another building, The Hall of Records downtown, and search for the original map and go through many more sets of unclear microfiche that no one could read, and then finally from 10:ish in the morning I got back home at 3:30 hungry, yet happy.
These maps turned out to be fine, but we were still short the deed and the bearing points. Another day I searched and got the deed since I had more info now, and then into the next week, I was able to fortunately track down the right secretary and retrieve digitized images of the bearing points within an hour of one phone call to DOT.
I now have every record anyone could possible have on this parcel. The surveyor told me it is all complete except for a deed for the Hill road from when the county took some of it in the 50's. The surveyor didn't need that deed since the description was on the map, but I will get it for my records. He discovered that the neighbors two iron pipes are about a foot off a bit from the takings.
The new survey map is a work of art. Beautiful and informative.