Frequently Asked Questions About Land Surveying

If you’re buying or selling a home, you probably need a boundary survey. This survey determines and marks your property corners so you know the exact size of your property. If you’re concerned about flood insurance, you likely need an elevation certificate.

Before buying/selling a home, you need to ensure that the property you are buying is what the seller is purportedly selling. Without a survey, problems could arise down the road that could lead to headaches and possibly legal expenses to cure them. Before making additions or improvements to your property, such as a fence, pool, or shed, you need to ensure these additions are on the correct parcel of the land and not encroaching on a neighbor’s property. If a dispute arises, you will have a professional document that can demonstrate the true property lines and that can be used in a court of law.

If your bank or lending institution is requiring the survey, it most likely wants an American Land Title Association (ALTA) and National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) survey. An ALTA/NSPS survey combines a boundary survey with a topographic survey into a survey that shows the relationship between the boundary of the property and all the improvements to the property.

ALTA and NSPS developed this survey to develop uniform and minimal standards for a survey nationwide. Along with this, a title company will base its insurance rate for the property based on the ALTA/NSPS survey and an attorney may be necessary to review the maps and provide counsel to the client and lender.

An elevation certificate is used in connection with flood insurance. Based on how far below the property is below sea level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines these areas as flood hazard areas. Flood insurance is required for parcels in the flood hazard area. An elevation certificate prepared by a licensed land surveyor determines the height of the building in relation to the base flood elevation and can reduce the cost of flood insurance.

Each property is different. We develop a price for the boundary survey by considering the following factors:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Time of year
  • Topography
  • Complexity
  • Past survey work
  • The deed

If you have any questions, call us. We will be glad to discuss pricing with you.