Top 10 Reasons to Have Your Property Surveyed

1. Boundary Strains/Property Strains

One of the crucial widespread causes a landowner seeks the help of a licensed surveyor is the situation of boundary lines and different traces. These authorized boundaries of occupancy or possession are vital items of data to have earlier than you construct a fence, add a sun-room, or pave your driveway. 

All too typically, the survey reveals that you just and your neighbors have been working underneath the unsuitable assumption. You each may need the location of the boundary line between your properties unsuitable. Earlier than you could have that fence erected, you wish to be certain it will likely be constructed in your property, not your neighbor’s property.

The boundary line certification may even inform you whether or not the authorized description of your property is correct.


Property Survey Sorts

As a result of there are various totally different causes for having a survey, there’s multiple kind of survey, together with:

  • Land surveys to examine the boundaries of quite a bit;
  • Monumentation surveys for individuals who wish to assemble a fence on their boundary;
  • Mortgage surveys to point out the boundaries of the entire property that will likely be mortgaged;
  • Topographic surveys to point out the elevation of the land;
  • Floodplain surveys, which set up flood danger areas.

Due to this fact, whenever you want a survey, be clear in your causes for it. This may will let you higher estimate the price of your survey whenever you contact a surveyor.

Find out how to get a replica of a recorded land survey

An authorized copy of a land survey can typically be discovered on the constructing division's workplace or within the official information on the land recorder's workplace. In some jurisdictions, you might also be capable of discover the survey recorded with the native tax assessor's workplace.

A title firm may also be a useful resource for monitoring down a survey. Title insurance coverage firms usually require an ALTA survey earlier than they problem title insurance coverage, so they’ll possible have a replica on file.

When do you want a land survey?

Referencing a authorized description is probably not sufficient to find out your property's boundary traces. Hiring a land surveyor will make it easier to to satisfy sure necessities for purchasing or enhancing actual property or just find your property boundaries to your personal reference.

  1. Causes for a land survey embrace:
  2. Discovering property traces.
  3. Assembly mortgage necessities.
  4. Getting title insurance coverage.
  5. Settling boundary line disputes.
  6. Figuring out what you're shopping for.
  7. Finding easements.
  8. Constructing a home or different construction.
  9. Updating an outdated property survey.
  10. Finding utilities.

Previous actual property authorized descriptions might reference landmarks or monuments which might be now not on the property, so a land surveyor must take new measurements to offer correct boundary traces. The surveyor might also place new land survey monuments as a reference level for corners and bounds.

Find out how to Discover Property Strains for Free

Home-owner’s Deed

A home-owner’s deed ought to embrace a authorized description of the plot of land, together with its measurements, form, block and lot quantity, and different identifiers reminiscent of landmarks and geographical options. If the language is hard, attain out to your actual property lawyer or agent for assist in deciphering it.

A Tape Measure

If you wish to visually affirm your property traces, you should use a tape measure to find out the boundaries. From a recognized level detailed within the deed’s description, measure to the property’s edge and place a stake at that time as a marker.

In any case the perimeters have been decided, measure the space between the stakes. Examine the outcomes to ensure they match the corresponding deed or plat.

Current Property Survey from Mortgage or Title Firm

Most mortgage lenders require potential householders to have a present survey, and your title insurance coverage additionally is determined by it. In the event you purchased your own home not too long ago however don’t have the survey, contact both firm to see if they’ve a replica on file.

Current Property Survey from County or Native Municipality

A property’s historical past and legalrecords are usually saved within the municipality or county’s tax assessor’s workplace or in its land information or constructing division. You possibly can often start your search by logging on to entry the related property information. Most municipalities provide this data without spending a dime, however some workplaces might require a small payment or ask that you just entry the information in individual.

Buried Pins

On the corners of your property, you could possibly discover metal bars which have been buried, typically nonetheless seen, with a marked cap on the highest finish. These have been possible positioned in your land when a survey was accomplished. In the event you can’t readily see the pins (they might have been buried over time), use a steel detector that will help you find them.

Whereas this isn’t a legally binding strategy to decide your property traces, it will provide you with a good suggestion of the boundaries. Warning: Earlier than you begin digging, name 811, the nationwide call-before-you-dig hotline, to request the situation of buried utilities you don’t wish to inadvertently dig into an underground utility line.

Use an App

Obtain an app like LandGlide that makes use of GPS to find out a parcel’s property traces. LandGlide is free for the primary seven days.

8. Cemeteries

It’s unlikely that, unbeknownst to you, there’s an outdated household burial floor in your again yard. However it has occurred. The survey will present the precise location of any outdated cemeteries in your plot.

Inquiries to Ask About Land Survey Price

Property surveys is usually a complicated activity for some property homeowners. At all times be certain the surveyor is licensed and insured in your state earlier than hiring to keep away from any issues in a while. Asking these different questions forward of time will assist keep away from miscommunication and obtain the specified outcomes with out losing cash.

  • Do you could have references I can communicate with?
  • What sort of survey do I want if I’m making an attempt to find out present property traces?
  • Have you ever accomplished this type of survey earlier than?
  • How do you identify the price for this survey?
  • How a lot are your journey charges?
  • What different add-on expenses will likely be included for this type of survey?
  • What’s the estimated price, and may I see a line-item quote?
  • Do you provide any seasonal reductions?
  • What number of workers will you ship on this venture, and the way skilled are they?
  • How lengthy will this job take?
  • When are you able to begin?
  • What paperwork will I obtain with this survey?
  • Will you notify me of any native legal guidelines about encroachment?
  • What do you advocate as the following steps for those who uncover a property boundary error?

Getting ready for the Search

There are even better information sources than you

There are even higher data sources than your deed. The perfect (and typically most elusive) doc you possibly can lay your fingers on is the surveyor’s map, or plat. The plat interprets that authorized confusion of numbers and phrases on the deed into photos. It might additionally present references to pure landmarks, or triangulation knowledge which can find a specific level.

Plat-chasing is a serious pastime amongst surveyors. Your plat, if one exists, might accompany your deed. Or it could languish in metropolis or county information (clerks’ or surveyors’ workplaces can be the most effective locations to look) or reside with a earlier proprietor. Plats of neighboring land are useful, too. They could present the situation of a typical boundary.

In the event you stay in a subdivision or built-up space, it’s possible you’ll be questioning why your deed’s authorized description reads solely “Lot 22, Rock Creek Estates” or “Tract A, First Addition.” However these, too, are metes and bounds surveys. The surveyors created a number of heaps directly, in order that they drew one map of the entire thing. Deed descriptions merely seek advice from the grasp plat, which you will see that within the public information.

You must also maintain a watch peeled for early variations of your property description, surveyor’s notes, and descriptions of roads that border your land. Why? First, to make sure that your deed doesn’t comprise errors; second, to search out out all you possibly can about boundary markers — the important thing to property traces.

You at the moment are almost able to step into the surveyor’s footwear. First, although, you’ll have to collect your tools. You’ll want a compass, lengthy measuring tape, plumb bob, stage, hatchet, some ribbon, and stakes. You’ll additionally want a prepared assistant. Now examine your devices. Do they learn in the identical numbers because the survey? If not, you’ll have to translate.

Most individuals could have readily available the kind of compass that makes use of the directional measurement often known as azimuth. Being ornery as a rule, surveyors use one other system, known as bearings. To discover ways to translate one to the opposite, see the top of the article part “Changing Azimuths to Bearings.”

On to distances. We measure lengths in toes and inches, don’t we? Effectively, the surveyor makes use of both toes and tenths of a foot (be very alert for this!) or a venerable system known as chains. Don’t panic at this. A sequence measures 66 toes. Why 66 toes? As a result of it’s handy for land computations. Ten sq. chains equal one acre — which suggests to compute acreage quickly, all it’s important to do is locate the variety of sq. chains, then transfer the decimal level as soon as to the left. Additionally, one mile stretches precisely 80 chains.

A hundredth of a sequence — about eight inches — known as a hyperlink. Previous-timers additionally used a quarter-chain measure (16-1/2 toes), calling it a rod, pole, or perch.

I discover that if I’m confronted with an outline written in bearings and chains when my tools reads in azimuths and toes, my mind reels on the prospect of translating and tramping about on the identical time. It’s much better to translate all of the levels and distances on paper earlier than you set out.

The place do I discover my propertys survey?

In the event you’re shopping for a house, ask the vendor to examine with their lender and/or title firm to see if there’s a property survey on file. The native tax assessor’s workplace might also have one.

In the event you’re already a home-owner and a survey was by no means supplied to you, your native property information or engineering division might have one on file. However even when they do, it could possibly be outdated. Whereas such dated surveys are usually correct on commonplace metropolis heaps, they are often unsuitable for those who stay on a former nation parcel that’s been altered for suburban improvement. You may also attempt checking with neighbors to see the place they acquired theirs.

The Dwelling Property Survey: Know Your Land

So what have you ever completed? Quite a bit. In the event you discovered some corners, you’ll have staved of a boundary battle along with your neighbor. Present her or him what you’ve discovered, so that you’ll agree. Then paint a couple of timber or pile rocks across the spot so it doesn’t go to weeds. Don’t pressure your grandkids to undergo the identical search.

Even for those who didn’t flip up any corners, your time hasn’t been wasted. You’ve most likely dug up some helpful outdated information, and that’s half of what you’d pay an actual surveyor for.

How To Get A Property Survey

Now that you just perceive the advantages of property surveys, you’re most likely questioning how one can get probably the most exact concept of your property’s authorized boundaries. There are a number of methods to go about getting a property survey.

Rent A Land Surveyor

Fortunately for grazing deer and hungry rabbits, not each plot of land is clearly outlined and enclosed by a white picket fence. As land shifts over time, some preliminary property line markers might now not exist. If in case you have any questions on property traces, the most secure factor to do is rent a land surveyor.

Knowledgeable land surveyor is an skilled in defining property traces. They use their expertise, training and specialised discipline tools to create legally binding property surveys. They’ll even function skilled witnesses in court docket circumstances about land disputes. (Keep in mind once we talked about encroachments earlier?)

Through the property survey, a land surveyor will evaluate historic information and knowledge with any present markers to precisely outline your property traces – and their findings are legally binding. This course of takes time, effort and boots-on-the-ground legwork, so hiring a well-respected and well-reviewed land surveyor earlier than buying land or starting any new residence expansions is your finest wager to keep away from any authorized points sooner or later. Name round for quotes earlier than you resolve, and be cautious of any too-good-to-be-true low estimates.

Test The Property Deed

A number of totally different types of deeds are utilized in actual property. A property deed is a written authorized doc that transfers possession of a property from the grantor to the grantee. (To not be confused with a title, which is the precise doc that states who legally owns the property.) This kind of deed could have a number of items of vital details about the property: correct proprietor names, actual handle, tax map quantity, authorized description, restrictions, and different data like situations of the switch and reservations of rights by a previous proprietor. Whereas some deeds solely reference quite a bit or block quantity, many embrace detailed measurements within the type of – yep, you guessed it – a property survey performed by a land surveyor.

Search Property Survey Data

Whereas there is no such thing as a nationwide archive of actual property information, many states require property surveys to be filed with the native authorities. You possibly can seek for property surveys by visiting the courthouse, property or assessor’s workplace the place your new land is situated. You will have to manually examine transfers, necessities and restrictions on the property. This avenue might be time-consuming, however it’s a free to low-cost strategy to empower your self with the data and historical past of your new property’s authorized boundaries.

Discover A Property Survey On-line

Can’t make it to the courthouse? No worries, many native governments maintain property information on-line. To seek for your piece of land, you’ll want particular particulars in regards to the property you wish to lookup. Collect as a lot data as you possibly can, like the road handle, boundary descriptions and date of the final survey, and search the official county or assessor’s web site the place the property is situated.

The extra data you could have, the better it will likely be so that you can discover the survey you want. Not all information will likely be digitized, however the outcomes of your search might make it easier to slim down the precise workplace the place your survey is situated. You possibly can then name the workplace and ask if they will mail you a replica of the survey.

Geographical Data System (GIS) maps and property search websites are a greater possibility when you’ve got restricted data in your property. Nevertheless, these websites typically cost a payment or require a subscription.

Contact The Earlier Surveyor

Land surveyors maintain copies of the property surveys they full. (Legally, the survey belongs to them.) If you recognize the title and call data of the earlier land surveyor, attempt reaching out. It’s very possible that, for a payment, they will ship you a replica. Land surveys often final 5 to 10 years after they’re accomplished, so if the earlier survey was performed a very long time in the past, it’s most likely a good suggestion to get a brand new one performed even for those who find the official doc.

Land Survey Price: Varieties of Land Surveys


Boundary surveys are probably the most generally requested land survey, however it’s possible you’ll must request a topographic, mortgage, fencing, or ALTA survey. You possibly can additionally request a easy staked website survey or get an up to date plot map performed. Listed here are the most typical land surveys and their related prices.

Boundary Survey

A boundary survey is the usual technique for figuring out the place a plot’s authorized boundaries exist. You possibly can pay between $100 and $600 for a boundary survey. Every state has totally different necessities, however it’s in your finest curiosity to know exactly how a lot land you’re buying for those who’re shopping for a home. Sellers must also be inquisitive about a boundary survey because it ensures they will promote the property, because it permits them to cost their property accurately and ensure they’re itemizing it for what it’s price.


Topographic Survey

A topographic survey is used when an space of land is being assessed for improvement, whether or not commercially or privately. It could possibly be required by native authorities, engineers, or architects. The common price of a topographic survey is $500 to $1,200 for heaps underneath 10,000 sq. toes. Any synthetic or pure options like rocks, streams, timber, elevations, fences, or buildings are recorded.

Mortgage Survey

Sometimes, it’s possible you’ll must request a mortgage survey. This can be a moderately easy survey that locates the property boundaries and any buildings on the lot. It often prices $500 to finish. In the event you’re trying to purchase prolonged title insurance coverage, a lender might require a mortgage survey as a part of the approval course of.

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Survey for Fencing

When constructing a fence, It’s important to make sure you’re constructing it alongside the proper property line. If a fence already exists, however its location is in query, then a fence survey is the only option. A land surveyor will examine for property traces, plat maps, and authentic markers to find whether or not a fence is in the best place. A brand new development venture often has the unique stakes intact, however it could be price double-checking if there’s any query. It prices $250 to $1,000 on common for a fence survey.

ALTA Survey

In the event you’re trying to buy or construct on present property for business functions, you’ll be required to acquire an American Land Title Affiliation (ALTA) survey. Surveyors will check soil composition, examine floodplains, document topography, and be aware any options like utilities or septic tanks. Some householders might desire to get an ALTA survey in the event that they’re constructing a big home on terrain that could possibly be unstable. ALTA land survey prices vary between $2,000 and $3,000 and may take a number of months to finish.

New Development Survey Price

A brand new development venture is among the bigger survey tasks since a surveyor is often ranging from scratch. A complete survey plan is put collectively to make sure every occasion (builder, engineer, lender, municipality) has the knowledge wanted to deal with topography, boundaries, stakes, and site. New development land survey prices often vary between $1,000 and $2,000.

Subdivision Survey

Builders use subdivision surveys to find out particular person plots of land. After they’ve decided how a lot is an acre of land, they’ll determine the most effective acreage per parcel and request a survey to plan and designate every parcel. In the event you’re in an present subdivision and your land crosses in entrance of a neighbor’s driveway, your neighbor could also be granted rights of entry because of a land subdivision survey. Anticipate to pay $300 to $400 for subdivision surveys relying on what number of buildings or heaps are included.

As-Constructed Survey

This can be a high-tech technique for figuring out an correct 3D rendering of your own home and helps decide how a lot area is obtainable on the property if an extra construction is deliberate. Land surveyors use lasers to render a 3D mannequin of the home—each inside and out of doors. The report must also point out the situation of any construction in relation to utility traces, partitions, or property boundaries. This survey often prices $800 to $1,200.


Staked Web site

Land surveyors are used throughout a brand new development venture to designate the boundaries of a brand new plot by staking out the corners. In addition they mark the place sidewalks, buildings, or roads will likely be. If your own home has quite a few corners or indentations, it should take longer and price extra to stake the positioning. Staking a website prices $200 to $500 on common and is just like a boundary survey.

Plot Plan

A plot plan is usually mistaken for a plat survey; nevertheless, a plot plan solely designates buildings and buildings that do or will exist on the property. These plans are much less actual than a plat survey and can’t be used as a authorized doc as a plat survey can. You may get a plot plan for $75 to $200.


Any construction or function you wish to add that’s deliberate near a presumed boundary line ought to have a property evaluation performed first. In the event you plan to construct a pool, shed, or driveway, this might forestall an issue down the highway. A survey may even warn you to any native encroachment laws about conserving buildings a sure distance away from boundaries.

Why a Property Survey Is Vital

A property survey assures the lender and title firm that the property you are shopping for is true to its description. For householders, doing a property survey earlier than beginning development or enhancements ensures you are constructing by yourself land to hopefully forestall any future disputes with neighbors. Cities might also require property surveys earlier than development might be permitted. Test along with your metropolis to see if a survey is required and, if that’s the case, what kind.

Conducting a property survey is sensible even when the boundaries of your property appear clear, reminiscent of a home with a fenced yard. If the fence you are changing is actually in your neighbor’s property, it is higher to make that discovery earlier than beginning the work.

Property surveys may also resolve disputes. Your neighbor could also be upset that you just’re strolling by means of his yard to get to the creek behind your properties. A property survey can show you could have the best to take action.


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