Why do I need a survey?

A survey serves as the legal map of your property boundaries. A professional land surveyor is held to the highest ethical standards and conducts all work in accordance with city, county, state, or federal laws and regulations.

You will need a survey anytime you buy or sell a home, make improvements or additions to the exterior of your home, build a detached structure, erect a fence, or add landscaping. The survey establishes your legal boundary for land ownership and prevents encroaching on your neighbor’s property or easement land.
A professional land surveyor will:
  • Advise you whether or not you actually need a survey and what type of survey your need.
  • Examine your deed and adjoining deeds for potential problems such as deed overlaps or gaps.
  • Find, verify, establish, and mark property corners and property lines so they can be easily identified for future use.
  • Locate buildings, fences, and other improvements in relationship to property and easement lines.
  • Prepare contour maps, subdivision plats, and other plats of record.
  • Appear in court as an expert witness.
  • Advise and cooperate with your attorney, title insurance company, realtor, builder, engineer or architect.
  • Prepare flood certificates relating to the property or structures located on the property.

Types of Surveys

Boundry Surveys: made to establish or re-establish property boundary lines and corners on the ground and to locate improvements in relationship to the property lines.

Land Title Surveys: made to supply the Title Company and lender with survey and location data necessary to issue American Land Title or extended coverage title insurance.

Topographical Surveys: used to locate natural or manmade features, such as buildings, fences, trees, streams, and elevations of the land.

Mortgage Inspections: used to obtain mortgage title insurance but doesn’t constitute a boundary survey. This survey shows approximate location of improvements and is a quick check for encroachments that may affect the property. No property corners are set and the information shouldn’t be used for construction or any improvements.

As-Built Surveys: used to show improvements to the land as they appear over time. These surveys are conducted several times throughout the duration of a construction project depending on the scope of the project. They are most often used to show the building inspector that a project under construction is conforming to zoning regulations. As-Built surveys are often 3-Dimensional rather than flat maps.

Platting: a map showing actual or planned features, such as streets and building lots.

FEMA Elevation Certificates: an important tool to document your building’s elevation. Provided to insurance agents to obtain flood insurance and make sure your risk is accurately calculated. For more information, see the FEMA Homeowner Fact Sheet.

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