Why You SHOULD Have a Land Survey Completed Before Purchasing Land?

Buying land, whether commercial or residential, is always a pricy endeavor, even though prices have eased somewhat lately. Which is why searching for a lot that you want and making a proposal for it without conducting a land survey within the area is possibly the biggest mistake that anyone can make.

 Here’s why it’s really important that you have land surveying done first:

Land surveyors can analyze if you’re actually getting what you’re going to pay for. This means determine whether the sidewalks, trees, driveways and even the bird bath is part of the property you’re about to buy. Land surveying would also see whether the neighbors are encroaching into the property, which could then mean you’re likely to have problems later on with your neighbors. Working with a land surveyor doesn’t only mean they determine what you’re getting or perhaps not getting – land surveyors are the experts, and they can help with building regulations, wetland regulations, etc. Be aware that these regulations can change anytime, but land surveyors should be updated on these regulations, or they will refer you to an individual who is.

 Let’s say the present landowner (the one selling the land) can present you with old land survey documents? You should still hire your land surveyor to determine whether the boundary monuments continue to be in place. Also, land surveying done a number of years back would possibly not show recent changes to the land. If the existing survey is older than about a decade, you need to get a new survey. Technology and surveying standards are greater now and may give you more confidence in the survey work.

Second, that survey was completed for that owner. He may have instructed the surveyor not to show some things on the drawing. At least have a land surveyor get out there and evaluate the parcel with this survey in hand. We have seen numerous cases when a whole new land survey would save the customer thousands so don’t become a victim.

I’ve heard many individuals say hiring a land surveyor is nothing but unnecessary expense. I’ll let you know what’s unnecessary: the worries caused by paying 1000s of dollars for something and ending up not receiving what you were expecting. If you’re smart, you’d hire a professional land surveyor prior to making any land purchases.

 

 

 

How Important is Land Surveying in Today’s World?

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Most of you have probably never thought about land surveying until you needed it at some point. Many of us hear about land surveying all the time but never really give it much thought. Since an investment in land and/or a home will likely be the largest investment you will ever make in your lifetime, knowing where your property lines are becomes very important indeed.

The art of land surveying was developed centuries ago. In fact, it’s one of the oldest professions in the world. The fact that it was used by man at such an early time and is still being used now shows how important surveying is to our survival.

Surveying land has many uses. Boundary surveying, for instance, allows you to know where your property corners or property lines are. This is especially helpful when disputes with a neighbour or with other people arise in terms of where your property ends.

If your family wants to divide a tract of land and transfer ownership to other family members, a boundary survey is the first step to do so. If you’re having a building constructed, it is very important that you have the land surveyed to make sure that you are not encroaching onto other peoples’ property. A mistaken building location is very expensive to fix so you might as well invest in a boundary survey to prevent this.

A topographic survey, or topo survey for short, is another important type of land surveying. A topo survey is done to locate natural and man-made features on a particular parcel of land. A topographic survey is different in that the elevation of the land is surveyed which means it can show man-made underground features, retaining walls, utility lines and etc.

Before you start any kind of construction activity, it’s important to have a topo survey done in the area so they’ll have an accurate record of the land’s existing conditions. Yes, that spot with the new mall in the neighbourhood had to have a topo survey done first.

Now, a flood survey or flood determination – this is very important too. It isn’t evident just looking at a property whether you are at risk of flooding or not. And, in some cases, even looking at the flood maps doesn’t give you an accurate answer. The flood survey determines the elevation of the home and compares that to the base flood elevation. This is the only way to be sure you’re not in a flood hazard zone. If you’ve just been told that you live in a flood-prone area, having that confirmed by a professional land surveyor would let you know how to best proceed.

When getting flood insurance, insurance companies would require an elevation certificate from you. A land surveyor would be able to assist you with this.

If a company wants to invest in another state, or if there is a national lender on a commercial project, they will likely need an ALTA Land Title Survey done before anything is constructed. An ALTA Land Title Survey is a lot like a regular boundary survey except that nationally accepted ALTA Standards are used to guide the surveying effort.

Land surveying standards vary widely from state to state and an ALTA Land Title Survey is used to cut down on this variation. Also, an ALTA Land Title Survey typically is more involved than the state standards variety. Because of this, an ALTA survey can be more anywhere from 50% to 200% more expensive than using the state standards only. If you need this type of survey, I suggest seeking an experienced land surveying company who is familiar with these additional requirements.

In summary, there are many uses for a land survey and for seeking the services of a land surveyor. If you’re unsure of your situation, consult Pensacola Land Surveying at (850) 898-9925  today or go to the Contact page and send us an email.

 

Land Surveying: Estimating the Cost

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Land surveying, simply speaking, is the science and art of establishing or re-establishing property corners, property lines and/or boundaries.

There may be different reasons why someone wants a chunk of property surveyed. Essentially the most common is to determine whether a piece of land is vulnerable to flooding, to subdivide real estate to sell or deed to members of the family or know if there are any encroachments. This might happen when a neighbour disputes that you are using a piece of his lot or vice versa (for more about this, go here).If you have to have a piece of land surveyed, first thing will come to mind is “how much does it cost?”

There are numerous factors determining just how much land surveying on your land would cost. The fact that this sort of service needs to be done by an expert contributes a lot to the total cost of the service, but choosing a non-professional to survey your land is dangerous, and probably illegal for the non-professional. That is why you need to take a good look around before settling with a surveying company. If you must work inside a particular budget, discuss this with the surveyor up-front. Very often he may manage to offer cost saving steps to get the work you need done within these cost limits.

The form of the land also needs to looked into. A square or even a rectangle piece of land is easier to survey than an odd shaped parcel, or one with lots of sides. With the latter, the surveyor will have to take more time in surveying the curves as well as the bends meaning the cost of the service would increase. The overall measurements the land is also an important factor here.

Understand that the cost of land surveying is normally proportionate to the time and effort that a land surveyor would spend on the project. If the land that you’re having surveyed is not accessible, or has thick vegetation, then the total price of the survey could go higher. This is true of the weather conditions which could affect the work. Surveying in warm weather is sort of slower to keep from putting the crew members in danger. Also, most surveying cannot be done in the rain.

When requesting for a quote, keep in mind that surveyors base the estimate on expected conditions at the site. These conditions could change, resulting in additional costs. Always inquire about these potential additional cost scenarios.

All that being said, competitive prices are also to be expected, this is why we recommend choosing a surveyor based on his experience and reputation rather than on the price he writes on a piece of paper. Usually it is far better to invest a good amount of money on a survey that’s well-done rather than pick a company with a very “affordable” price but have the survey repeated because the results were wrong.To conclude, always discuss the costs of the survey before you decide to ask the surveyor to start his work. You should also obtain a contract that lets you know what is expected of the land surveyor. This is one of the most important steps in having your land surveyed.