SURVEYING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When do I need a survey ?

If you are building a new house, addition, fence, or other structure
When the location of your property corners is unclear
When buying or selling land
When the legal description of your property is ambiguous
To create new parcels of land from an existing parcel
To determine if encroachments may exist
To settle a boundary dispute between neighbors

 

Who can perform a land survey ?

Only a Professional Land Surveyor licensed in the state where he or she practices can legally perform a land survey.

 

Can I find my own property lines ?

Legally, only a professional land surveyor can establish a property line. If you are doing any type of construction, it is safer for you to get a boundary survey than run the risk of encroaching onto your neighbor's property. Many times a contractor will tell you he can figure out the location, but he is not trained in establishing boundary lines. Also it is not uncommon for a contractor or realtor to make a mistake on which corner is yours.

 

Has my property already been surveyed ?

Not necessarily. Your parcel is shown on an assessor map, but that does not mean it has been surveyed. For properties that have been surveyed, many times the original corners have been lost or destroyed. Contact us to check on your property.

 

How will my property corners be marked ?

We typically will mark your property corners with an iron rebar. These monuments will be stamped with the licensing number of the surveyor conducting the survey.

 

I found my property corners. Do I still need a survey ?

Many times multiple corners will found within inches or feet of each other, or a corner may have been deliberately moved. A land surveyor will need to evaluate the evidence based on his education, experience, the title information and state statutes to determine the correct position of your property corner.

 

Why do I need a survey if I'm building a fence or addition on my property ?

The cost of construction of a new fence or building addition is high. The last thing you want is to find out you were incorrect in establishing the position of your property corner and have to remove the improvement after construction is complete.

 

What is an easement and what is it doing on my property ?

An easement is an area of land owned by the property owner, but in which another party, such as a utility company or an adjacent owner, may have limited rights granted for a specific purpose. Sometimes public utility easements may be in place for underground utility lines.

 

Why can't the county surveyor survey my property ?

County surveyors in most cases do not survey private property. Land owners are referred to private land surveyors for their services.

 

Don't I own all the land to the back of the curb or sidewalk ?

Usually, no. A public road or street lies within what is known as a "right-of-way." The right-of-way area is typically wider than the street improvements (edge of pavement, sidewalk, or curb and gutter).

 

Why is my new survey different from an older survey ?

Discrepancies between surveys are usually attributable to two reasons. The first reason is that measurement, by its nature, is subject to error. Two surveyors measuring the same line may obtain different values. Both of the values should be similar, but depending on the methodologies employed in the survey, different results may be obtained. The second reason is that measurements are made from, and decisions are based on, found evidence. Surveys performed at different times may not have the same evidence available. Every corner found by the first surveyor may not have been found by the second surveyor, or vice a versa. The more recent survey may have the benefit of monuments set after the original survey, and previously existing monuments used for the prior survey may have been destroyed. As the available evidence changes, the findings of the surveyor will also change.

 

What is an encroachment ?

Encroachments are improvements, such as driveways, fences or buildings or other improvements, which extend across the property line without the benefit of an easement.

 

What is the time frame for the land survey process ?

Essentially the land survey process involves establishing the type of survey the customer needs, researching documents (i.e. deeds, plats, title reports etc.), field collection for boundary, improvements or topography and determination of final boundary lines. Typically Alpine Land Surveyors can complete small boundary surveys in 1 to 3 weeks. Once we have details on what you need, we can provide a more precise estimate of the exact timing.

 

How much will a survey cost ?

The surveyor's cost estimate will be based on the anticipated difficulty and estimated time needed to complete the project. Fees can be estimated, but the surveyor cannot always predict the amount of work required to recover the necessary evidence. The surveyor will be able to provide you with a cost estimate based upon an hourly rate, experience with similar jobs, and a general knowledge of the area. We can provide an estimate once we know the location of your property.

 

What can I do to reduce the cost of my survey ?

Provide a copy of your title insurance policy or commitment, a previous survey of any type, or any other relevant documents you may have. If you are aware of any property corner monuments near the survey, let the surveyor know of them and mark the monuments by placing something more visible around them, such as a piece of colored flagging.