Frequently Asked Survey Questions

 

 

How can I order a survey?
You can use our online ordering system, fax or email a survey request or call us and place an order over the phone.

What if I am not sure what type of survey I need?
You can go to our List of Services which gives a brief description of each of the types of surveying services we perform. If you still are not sure, feel free to call or email our office and one of our staff will be glad to assist you.

I just bought a house and received a Location Drawing at settlement but can’t find my property stakes?
The purpose of a Location Drawing is to show the major improvements (house, shed, pool, etc.) and their relationship to the property lines more or less. NO stakes are set for a Location Drawing.

What steps do I take if I think my neighbor is encroaching into my property?
The only way to determine if a neighbor is using your land is to have a Boundary/Stake Survey performed. This type of survey will mark the property corners with stakes and provide you a drawing showing any encroachments. A Location Drawing can not determine the property boundaries.

Why do Boundary/Stake Surveys cost more than a Location Drawing?
Location drawings cost less than a Boundary Survey because 1) they are much easier to prepare, 2) are less accurate, 3) show less detail, 4) CAN NOT be used to established property lines, and 5) CAN NOT be used as evidence in court.  Further, stakes are NOT set on the property corners with the purchase of a location drawing.

Why are some Boundary/Stake Surveys $850 and some $1250 or more?
There are many factors that make the cost of a survey more.  The size of the property, whether the property is in a subdivision or described in a deed, the age and complexity of the deed, the terrain, the amount of wooded or swamp area, the time of year, and the amount of existing property markers in your area all influence the final cost.

Do I still need a survey if I found some or all of my stakes?
The only way to guarantee the stakes that you found are correct or even survey stakes at all, is to have them verified by a licensed surveyor. If you build a fence to what you think is a survey marker you may have to move the fence in the future.

I only want one of my property lines marked, do I get a discount?
Most of the amount of time it takes to complete a Boundary/Stake Survey is in doing the records research required, collecting the field data of the existing property markers on your lot and the lots surrounding yours, preparing a computer model of the properties, and determining where your property boundaries belong. The only time saved would be the amount of time it would take to physically set the other markers which is usually a very small amount of time.

What is the difference between a Location Drawing and a Boundary/Stake Survey?
The Location Drawing is used when you need a drawing to show the major improvements within the property lines with an accuracy of usually 1’ - 3’ depending on the size of the property. Most common uses for a location drawing are for settlement when purchasing a house and in some counties for a building permit or variance.  The Boundary/Stake Survey is used any time you need to know exactly where your property corners or property lines are on the ground. Most common uses are to resolve a boundary line dispute, building a fence, or installing landscaping.

Why can’t I use my old Location Drawing for a refinance?
Some Title companies will allow you use an old Location Drawing providing you sign an affidavit saying you haven’t added any new improvements to the property. If you have added any improvements you will need to have your Location Drawing updated.

What is a B.R.L. or Building Setback Line?
B.R.L. stands for Building Restriction Line and is the same as a Building Setback Line. This is usually a requirement of the county shown on the record plat for your subdivision or a requirement per your zoning that denies you the right to build over the line without a variance.

What is a D.U.E., easement or right of way?
D.U.E. stands for Drainage and Utility Easement and is one of many types of easements.  Basically an easement gives someone or a company the right to use your property for a limited specific purpose. An Access Easement or Right of Way would allow your neighbor to build and use a driveway to their property or B.G. & E.  to put a telephone pole in a D.U.E. on your property.

How long does it take to have a survey completed?
Most Location Drawings can be completed in 5 business days or sooner. The other types of surveys we offer usually take anywhere from 2 – 3 weeks depending on the scope of the project and time of year. We will always try to meet the time restrictions of any client.

Do I need to be home during the survey and does the surveyor need to come inside the house?
No, you do not need to be home during the survey and the surveyor does not have to come into the house unless you are having an Elevation Certificate performed and the basement level is not accessible from the outside.

 I was just told I have to pay Flood Insurance but I don’t believe my house is in a flood area?
FEMA prints maps showing flood areas, however the maps are difficult to determine exactly where the property is located and is subject to interpretation. An Elevation Certificate provides the elevations required to determine if you are in a flood area. An Elevation Certificate is required to obtain a LOMA (Letter Of Map Amendment) and to dispute having to pay flood insurance or for lowering your insurance rate due to flood risk.

What is an ALTA / ACSM land title survey?
ALTA stands for American Land Title Association and ACSM stands for American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. This type of survey is needed to remove the survey exception from a title binder and is usually only required for larger commercial properties. ALTA surveys are required to follow the standards set by ALTA which can be more stringent than by the State.

What is a topographical survey?
This type of survey is used to show the terrain, buildings and natural features such as trees, streams, swales and contour elevations.  Most common uses are for obtaining a building permit to build an addition to a house, a pool, or for a site plan.

Who is responsible for paying for the survey?
Most Location Drawings are included in the cost of the settlement. For most of the other types of surveys we perform the homeowner is responsible for payment.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

 

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