I was reading the CourthouseDirect.com Blog entitled "New Article:  Why Public Records Matter:  The Hidden Value of Land...  and realized why many people may not understand land surveyors.  

It is because people are being misled as to the role and importance of the surveyor by people and companies that stand to make more profit without surveyors in the picture.  A medical doctor may joke and say "suture self", but a land surveyor who reads this blog may likewise say the same about the depiction of "himself" in this blog.

I have found that this blog is best read from bottom to top to realize the real motives behind the curtain.

First I would like to direct you to the closing statement under "Final Thoughts:  What is Democracy?"  "...by providing landowners and allied legal professionals with the tools to find and correct inconsistencies before they create costly or even dangerous disputes, they (land registries) underpin the democratic freedoms and day-to-day security we treasure."

Really?  I don't think so, but that's my opinion.

Now let's go to the opening paragraph:

 "Unless you're a lawyer, county clerk or financial professional, your familiarity with your local land registry is likely to be limited."

 Did someone forget to mention land surveyors here?  I think so, but that's my opinion.

Paragraph one continues to dictate that:

"Unless you obtained the title to your property through a general warranty, there's a chance that your land deed has a hidden lien or encumbrance that calls your property claim into question.  It's up to your local land registry to sort out such problems."

It is absolutely false that it is up to your local land registry to sort out such problems.  I don't know of a single real property lister, assessor, or otherwise keeper of public records who would agree that it is his or her responsibility to sort out such problems.

Paragraph one also states that

"Even if you own property, you probably trust that the boundaries of your landholdings aren't up for debate."  

I don't even know where to start with this ridiculous comment.  

Fine, let's start here:  the boundaries of your landholdings are ALWAYS up for debate!  That's why we have land surveyors and attorneys; to "sort out such problems"; something which a local land registry can not do, was not designed to do, and continue to be deficient in doing.  

So, what does paragraph two say? Let's have a look.

"(in Greece) it's not uncommon for several individuals to lay claim to overlapping or even nonexistent parcels."

Hey, land surveyors everywhere around the USA, does this sound familiar?  Not only in Greece is there such a "problem".

Paragraph two goes on to say

"...a corrupt system by which lawyers and surveyors accept payments to redraw property boundaries has slapped the life out of Greece's economy."

Hmmm.  Well, either that's what's slapping the life out of the U.S. economy as well, or the author has a poor argument.  Or, there could be a third possibility:  that the author is misinformed, ignorant of the role of the land surveyor and attorney in resolving land title disputes caused by poorly constructed language in deeds and other public records, along with unwritten title issues that arise from the latent ambiguities within said records.  

The blog post goes on to improperly cite  one case in Texas in paragraphs three (3) and four (4).

What is the Hidden Value of Land Surveyors?  Your thoughts are welcomed and appreciated.

Scott D. Warner, RLS

This Content Originally Published to Land Surveyors United Network

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Reply by Tierney Barron on November 9, 2013 at 9:24pm

Using, oh, Texas, as our example State, honest landsmen, honest surveyors, those who search and record titles, find themselves as the last impediment to fraud and theft.

When the attorney is dishonest, when the clerk isn't involved, when most small counties answer to no one, who takes a stand? I know of one county where an attorney conveyed another person's land to his nephew. This particular atrocity sat on the books for about four years. No problem. Same attorney created false trusts for his deceased brother's children, conveyed most of their property to himself, sold their mineral rights to a cousin, and continues to cash their gas and oil royalty checks. No problem. I could go on. Anyone who has worked in Texas, a great State by the way, knows of what I speak.  I continue to hold on to the belief that most people are honest, hard to do of late.

Reply by ePalmetto on October 4, 2013 at 9:35pm

I agree with Deward...great observations!  It's pretty bad when the guys at the courthouse don't understand the role of the surveyor..

Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on October 4, 2013 at 5:33am
Wow, great observations Scott. I have not seen the article you are referring to but from your quotes of it I suspect it is another hack job filled with inaccuracies and misconceptions. I use courthousedirect myself so this is very interesting.
Reply by David Bosshard, RLS on October 3, 2013 at 10:59pm

I LOVE this...

"It is absolutely false that it is up to your local land registry to sort out such problems.  I don't know of a single real property lister, assessor, or otherwise keeper of public records who would agree that it is his or her responsibility to sort out such problems."

As a matter of FACT, there is a clearly posted sign in each of those office in every county I go to that says "WE CANNOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE."

I've often said that most people who buy a used car will have their mechanic check it out (their second most valuable purchase), but balk at the mere pittance that surveyors charge (in relation to the value of the property) to verify that what they are buying (as their most valuable purchase) is actually what they are getting!

If I had a dollar for every survey I did where the client said "that is not where the r3al 3stat3 agent told me my line was" or "that isn't where the guy I bought the property from said the corner was"...I'd be an author of crappy blogs, or an attorney...

The author is definitely MISINFORMED.  A survey is INSURANCE.  It shows what you are buying.  Like when I just did a survey for a client who was purchasing 100 acres, only to find out that for the last 40 years the previous owner had been paying taxes on 20 acres that the STATE owned due to a transfer that never fell off of his deed due to a right of way purchase for I-39.  The client learned that he was only getting 80 acres due to that discrepancy, saving him (AFTER our fee was deducted) nearly $100,000 on the purchase price.  Guess I SHOULD be charging more...

Reminds me of an article I read from a Chicago Attorney who said that if you pay more than $250 for a land survey you are getting robbed.  I'll bet she charges more than that per hour!

For the PROTECTION OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC,

Dave

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