What Is a Property Survey & How to Get One

What Is a Property Survey?

There are a number of kinds of property surveys, however the varieties people are more than likely to want are:

  • A boundary survey: This determines the perimeter of a property to ascertain precisely how a lot land is included inside it and to make sure the title is correct. It could additionally determine whether or not any neighboring properties have encroached upon the property in addition to any easements, or areas the place entry to the property is shared by others. For instance, if you happen to’re shopping for a home close to a seashore, there could also be an easement permitting the general public to cross a part of your property to achieve the seashore.
  • An ALTA/ACSM survey: Additionally referred to as a mortgage survey or Prolonged Title Insurance coverage Protection Survey, this can be required by your mortgage lender or title insurance coverage firm. It determines property strains, identifies any utilities on the property and notes enhancements (resembling outbuildings, garages or fences). ALTA/ACSM surveys adjust to necessities of the American Land Title Affiliation and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.
  • An elevation or floodplain survey: This exhibits the assorted elevations of the land to disclose how nice the chance of flooding is.
  • A topographic survey: The sort of survey identifies not solely boundaries and man-made options of the land, resembling buildings, but additionally pure options resembling elevation, streams, lakes or hills.

For an extra price, you may embody boundary staking, which has surveyors put markers—usually concrete pillars or rebar—on the corners of the property and alongside property strains.

The price of a property survey is dependent upon:

  • The kind of property survey.
  • The scale, form and terrain of the property. For example, surveying acres of undeveloped mountain land with vague boundaries prices greater than surveying a suburban house with a small fenced lot.
  • The quantity of analysis that is required to seek out earlier property surveys, titles and different data relating to the property.
  • Journey time, as a result of the truth that surveyors cost extra for driving lengthy distances.

The common price of a property survey within the U.S. is $504, in accordance with house owner companies firm HomeAdvisor, with the price to survey a one-fifth-acre lot (the typical U.S. house property measurement) starting from $400 to $700.

Prices additionally fluctuate by location. Angi, one other house owner companies firm, estimates common prices for a property survey as follows:

  • New York: $380 to $900
  • South Carolina: $250 to $600
  • Texas: $200 to $550
  • Oregon: $375 to $1,500
  • Illinois: $350 to $700


The place do I discover my propertys survey?

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

When you’re already a house owner and a survey was by no means supplied to you, your native property data or engineering division might have one on file. However even when they do, it may very well be outdated. Whereas such dated surveys are usually correct on customary metropolis tons, they are often incorrect if you happen to stay on a former nation parcel that’s been altered for suburban growth. You may also attempt checking with neighbors to see the place they bought theirs.

Property Survey Sorts

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

  • Land surveys to verify the boundaries of so much;
  • Monumentation surveys for many who wish to assemble a fence on their boundary;
  • Mortgage surveys to indicate the boundaries of the entire property that can be mortgaged;
  • Topographic surveys to indicate the elevation of the land;
  • Floodplain surveys, which set up flood danger areas.

Subsequently, whenever you want a survey, be clear in your causes for it. This may help you higher estimate the price of your survey whenever you contact a surveyor.

Inquiries to Ask About Land Survey Value

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

  • Do you’ve gotten references I can communicate with?
  • What sort of survey do I would like if I’m making an attempt to find out current property strains?
  • Have you ever accomplished this type of survey earlier than?
  • How do you establish the price for this survey?
  • How a lot are your journey charges?
  • What different add-on fees can be included for this type of survey?
  • What’s the estimated price, and might I see a line-item quote?
  • Do you supply any seasonal reductions?
  • What number of workers will you ship on this mission, 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 suggest as the subsequent steps if you happen to uncover a property boundary error?

How A lot Does A Property Survey Value?

On common, new householders can anticipate to pay $400 – $700 for knowledgeable property survey. Nevertheless, the price of a property survey is dependent upon a number of elements, resembling property measurement, terrain and placement. For instance, if you wish to survey a wooded space, you’ll find yourself paying greater than if you happen to have been to survey a flat, comparatively empty piece of land.

Skilled surveyors additionally cost for the time it prices them to do analysis in your property. A well-documented plot of land will take much less time to analysis and price much less cash to survey. It additionally pays to go native, since journey time can also be included within the remaining worth.

Principally, the simpler the land is to survey, the much less you’re going to pay.

How a lot does a land survey price?

The price for a land survey varies relying on the kind of survey and the scale and form of the property. The price of a property survey can even fluctuate based mostly on the skilled surveyor's journey time.

Based on HomeAdvisor, most land surveys price between $200 and $800, with the typical being $500. A land survey's prices can be greater for properties with extra acreage or extra corners.

ALTA surveys have the next common price due to the additional work that goes into researching paperwork and offering extra particulars. The common price of an ALTA survey is between $2,000 and $3,000.

Remember that these prices are averages all through the US. The price of a residential survey can fluctuate significantly relying on the actual market and what public data can be found. For example, the price of a survey in California might be between $5,000 – $10,000. That quantity might be even greater relying on the complexity of the survey.

Land Survey Value: DIY vs. Hiring a Skilled

Picture: depositphotos.com

It’s simple to do your individual fast evaluation of how huge your property or constructions are utilizing a measuring tape and lasers, however your findings received’t maintain up in a authorized dispute. Since property boundaries are tied to high-value property, solely licensed surveyors can conduct surveys to ascertain the worth and measurement of your land. A DIY survey is not going to qualify to be used in a property sale, and it doubtless received’t embody any data of easements or rights-of-way.


Some surveys require intensive analysis and experience in geologic ideas. Licensed surveyors full education and coaching to be legally licensed as land surveyors. This additionally means the authorized burden is on them. If you might want to use a property survey in a court docket of regulation, the surveyor is accountable for an inaccurate evaluation, not you. Land survey prices are merely one of many requirements of coping with property property, and leaving the sophisticated job to an skilled is your best option.

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Your Due Diligence with a Property Survey

Sounds easy sufficient, proper? Your property survey tells you concerning the property you are doubtlessly going to buy, and any stipulations that include it. It is nonetheless necessary to finish your due diligence relating to a property survey. First, get a number of quotes from surveyor firms, and decide the one which works finest for you. Then, be sure you go together with the surveyor to attend the property survey. You’ll study extra concerning the land you would possibly purchase, and be the primary to find out about any potential issues. Lastly, observe up with any questions as soon as you’ve got seen the property survey.

How do I rent a property surveyor?

Looking out on-line for property surveyors in your space is without doubt one of the finest methods to seek out firms to get the job completed. “There’s a surveying society in every of the 50 states, all of that are affiliated with NSPS,” Sumner says. “Every of these societies has a web site, which is able to usually embody a ‘Discover A Surveyor’ part.”

It may be less expensive to work with the earlier surveyor on the property, if doable, as a result of that surveyor can have maps and data already available. When you can’t find the prior surveyor, attempt the surveyors who assessed the properties subsequent door. Don’t be afraid to ask your title firm or lender for suggestions, too.

Sumner advises checking to ensure a surveyor is licensed to apply within the state the place the property is positioned. You must also take the time to query your potential surveyor. Speak about your wants beforehand to ensure they will fulfill the necessities.

How lengthy will the method take?

Sumner says there’s no strategy to decide precisely how lengthy it’ll take to finish a property survey since there are such a lot of variables to think about, together with the standard and availability of property data, resembling deeds.

They will normally be completed inside per week, says Wooll. But it surely may take as much as three or extra, relying on the corporate and their present backlog. As is true of so many tradespeople for the time being, demand is excessive, so wait occasions might be longer than what they have been earlier than the pandemic.

How A lot Does a Survey Usually Value?

Several types of surveys have totally different worth factors, however the measurement of the house additionally elements into the general price. Moreover, the placement and the historical past of the property can even change the property surveyor’s prices. For instance, an easy survey to find out the boundaries of the lot can price as little as $100 to greater than $600.

Likewise, a mortgage survey — which the borrower pays and never the lender — will run round $500. And, it doesn’t matter what sort of survey you want to your property, the price will go up because the complexity of the property will increase for the surveyor.

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