Frequently Asked Questions

Our experienced and licensed professional land surveyors are here to help you. Below are some of the most common questions we receive from clients. If you don't see your question listed, please feel free to call us or use the contact form to ask us your question.

Many landowners are often unsure of what is needed when issues with their land come into question. Land is often ones most important and valuable investment, so it’s imperative that decisions that could impact ones property not be made without careful consideration. Boundary surveys are typically needed when; a landowner desires to install a fence line surrounding the perimeter of their property, there is a boundary line dispute between adjoining landowners, there are possible encroachment issues between adjoining landowners, a new legal description is needed for title conveyance of a parcel or parcels of land, just to name a few.

A boundary survey will produce a boundary survey plat showing the parcel configuration, shape, bearings and distances around the perimeter of the parcel, controlling survey monuments, parcel number, right of way width, etc…

A boundary survey typically does not show permanent improvements within the subject property, unless the improvements appear to be possible encroachments, or unless specified in advance by the client. Most states have differing standards as to what is required when performing boundary survey and what is to be included on a boundary survey, but all states require that a boundary survey must be performed by a Professional Land Surveyor within that state. A boundary survey cannot be performed by an unlicensed individual.

A professional land surveyor can usually instruct a client as to what is needed in many types of boundary situations. In some cases, a full boundary survey may not be needed, which would lower the cost to the client. Many times, only a partial boundary survey may be needed. These situations are dealt with on a case by case basis as the situations vary widely.

What is the difference between a boundary survey and a mortgage location survey?

A mortgage location survey is not a boundary survey. The minimum standards for a boundary survey are much stricter than those of a mortgage location survey. A mortgage location survey is primarily intended for residential properties in order to obtain title insurance. The title company and lender must ensure that the residence actually lies on the subject property. The surveyor does not rectify and issues with the existing legal description, including misclosure, gaps, overlaps, etc… New legal descriptions are not written when performing a mortgage location survey and the property corners are not set in the field.

By contrast, a boundary survey must comply with a more strict set of requirements set forth by the state in which the property lies, and in some cases, the local municipality. A boundary survey serves to retrace the existing property description in its entirety. A boundary survey plat is then produced by a Professional Land Surveyor and may or may not be filed with the County in which the property lies.

A boundary survey is typically requested for any of the following reasons, just to name a few: landowner would like to install a fence, property line dispute between adjacent land owners, possible encroachment issues between landowners, or conveyance. Many times, the existing legal description for a property does not meet the current minimum standards for conveyance in the County in which the property lies, so a new boundary survey and subsequent legal descriptions must be performed/created.

The existing description may have been written at a time when the minimum requirements were less strict/detailed. A boundary survey does not create new lot lines; it serves to retrace the existing legal description of a property or properties. A new “as surveyed” legal description is typically written by a Professional Land Surveyor and the property corners are set after performing a boundary survey.

What is involved from a surveyor’s perspective in order to include Table A item 11(b) (underground utilities) on an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey?

The inclusion of Table A item 11(b) on an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey has become a controversial topic in the past couple of years. When a client orders 11(b) for an ALTA, a surveyor will call in a dig ticket and/or design ticket for the subject property. This is typically a free service that is designed for upcoming excavation. When calling in a dig ticket, one is asked to give the reason for the ticket. Typically, it takes about 48 hours for the one call service to mark the property in question. Sounds simple, right? Not at all. From this point, the surveyor has to go to war in order to get the utilities marked. First of all, the one call service will only mark utilities in public rights of way and/or public land. They will not mark underground utilities on private property.

Once the one call service arrives on site, they will typically call the number provided on the ticket and ask (again) what the purpose of the ticket is. Once the surveyor says, “land survey”, the one call service then says that they are not required to mark the site at this time and that they have 2 weeks in order to mark it, since it is not for excavation purposes. So what do surveyors do? Surveyors then attempt to retrieve utility plans from the utility companies and county offices, however, this usually is a pointless effort. Since September 11, utility companies don’t often give out their plans in fear of possible terrorism efforts.

From this point, in order for the surveyor to show all underground utilities on the subject property, a private utility locator would be necessary. Private utility location, however, is a very expensive service and clients typically do not want to pay for the additional expense. Pricing varies widely by geographic region and by the location of the site. If the site is more rural, pricing would likely be reasonable. By contrast, if the site is urban, pricing could be in the thousands of dollars, even for a one-acre site. In many cases, having the underground utilities marked is more costly than the price of the land survey itself.

At this point, there is no real solution to the problem that surveyors face in getting underground utilities marked when Table A item 11(b) is included with the order of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey. The surveyor must do his/her due diligence in order to exhaust all avenues to get the utilities marked and to get plans from local offices.

Many landowners are often unsure of what is needed when issues with their land come into question. Land is often ones most important and valuable investment, so it’s imperative that decisions that could impact ones property not be made without careful consideration. Boundary surveys are typically needed when; a landowner desires to install a fence line surrounding the perimeter of their property, there is a boundary line dispute between adjoining landowners, there are possible encroachment issues between adjoining landowners, a new legal description is needed for title conveyance of a parcel or parcels of land, just to name a few.

A boundary survey will produce a boundary survey plat showing the parcel configuration, shape, bearings and distances around the perimeter of the parcel, controlling survey monuments, parcel number, right of way width, etc…

A boundary survey typically does not show permanent improvements within the subject property, unless the improvements appear to be possible encroachments, or unless specified in advance by the client. Most states have differing standards as to what is required when performing boundary survey and what is to be included on a boundary survey, but all states require that a boundary survey must be performed by a Professional Land Surveyor within that state. A boundary survey cannot be performed by an unlicensed individual.

A professional land surveyor can usually instruct a client as to what is needed in many types of boundary situations. In some cases, a full boundary survey may not be needed, which would lower the cost to the client. Many times, only a partial boundary survey may be needed. These situations are dealt with on a case by case basis as the situations vary widely.

What is the difference between a boundary survey and a mortgage location survey?

A mortgage location survey is not a boundary survey. The minimum standards for a boundary survey are much stricter than those of a mortgage location survey. A mortgage location survey is primarily intended for residential properties in order to obtain title insurance. The title company and lender must ensure that the residence actually lies on the subject property. The surveyor does not rectify and issues with the existing legal description, including mis-closure, gaps, overlaps, etc… New legal descriptions are not written when performing a mortgage location survey and the property corners are not set in the field.

By contrast, a boundary survey must comply with a more strict set of requirements set forth by the state in which the property lies, and in some cases, the local municipality. A boundary survey serves to retrace the existing property description in its entirety. A boundary survey plat is then produced by a Professional Land Surveyor and may or may not be filed with the County in which the property lies.

A boundary survey is typically requested for any of the following reasons, just to name a few: landowner would like to install a fence, property line dispute between adjacent land owners, possible encroachment issues between landowners, or conveyance. Many times, the existing legal description for a property does not meet the current minimum standards for conveyance in the County in which the property lies, so a new boundary survey and subsequent legal descriptions must be performed/created.

The existing description may have been written at a time when the minimum requirements were less strict/detailed. A boundary survey does not create new lot lines; it serves to retrace the existing legal description of a property or properties. A new “as surveyed” legal description is typically written by a Professional Land Surveyor and the property corners are set after performing a boundary survey.

What is involved from a surveyor’s perspective in order to include Table A item 11(b) (underground utilities) on an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey?

The inclusion of Table A item 11(b) on an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey has become a controversial topic in the past couple of years. When a client orders 11(b) for an ALTA, a surveyor will call in a dig ticket and/or design ticket for the subject property. This is typically a free service that is designed for upcoming excavation. When calling in a dig ticket, one is asked to give the reason for the ticket. Typically, it takes about 48 hours for the one call service to mark the property in question. Sounds simple, right? Not at all. From this point, the surveyor has to go to war in order to get the utilities marked. First of all, the one call service will only mark utilities in public rights of way and/or public land. They will not mark underground utilities on private property.

Once the one call service arrives on site, they will typically call the number provided on the ticket and ask (again) what the purpose of the ticket is. Once the surveyor says, “land survey”, the one call service then says that they are not required to mark the site at this time and that they have 2 weeks in order to mark it, since it is not for excavation purposes. So what do surveyors do? Surveyors then attempt to retrieve utility plans from the utility companies and county offices, however, this usually is a pointless effort. Since September 11, utility companies don’t often give out their plans in fear of possible terrorism efforts.

From this point, in order for the surveyor to show all underground utilities on the subject property, a private utility locator would be necessary. Private utility location, however, is a very expensive service and clients typically do not want to pay for the additional expense. Pricing varies widely by geographic region and by the location of the site. If the site is more rural, pricing would likely be reasonable. By contrast, if the site is urban, pricing could be in the thousands of dollars, even for a one-acre site. In many cases, having the underground utilities marked is more costly than the price of the land survey itself.

At this point, there is no real solution to the problem that surveyors face in getting underground utilities marked when Table A item 11(b) is included with the order of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey. The surveyor must do his/her due diligence in order to exhaust all avenues to get the utilities marked and to get plans from local offices.

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Anim pariatur cliche reprehenderit, enim eiusmod high life accusamus terry richardson ad im keffiyeh helvetica, craft beer labore wes anderson cred nesciunt sapiente ea proident. Ad vegan excepteur butcher vice lomo labore sustainable VHS.
Anim pariatur cliche reprehenderit, enim eiusmod high. Brunch 3 wolf moon tempor, sunt aliqua put a bird on it squid single-origin coffee nulla assumenda shoreditch et. Heard of them accusamus labore sustainable VHS.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris vitae libero molestie, aliquet nibh eu, euismod massa. Morbi efficitur ut nisi ac fermentum. Aenean magna libero, varius vitae turpis.
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