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What Does a Land Surveyor Do?

A Land Surveyor's responsibilities include designating property boundaries and measuring the Earth's topographic features. Daily tasks of a licensed Land Surveyor might include determining whether a new structure encroaches on another property or surveying land in preparation for a new construction.


When Do I Need a Survey?    

You should have a survey done anytime you have boundary changes or land division, ownership transfer, erection of fences or structures that are related to a property boundary. Be aware that land ownership records on file may contradict adjoining and adjacent property descriptions. Gaps and overlaps are not uncommon and a Registered Land Surveyor can help you sort the true land boundary. Often times boundary lines are taken for granted, be sure that you know where your property boundaries are. The fees of a registered Land Surveyor will cost you less in time, money, and worry when it comes time to buy a strip of your neighbor’s land, move improvements or defend a lawsuit. 


What Type of Survey Do I Need?

We provide a full range of surveying and land planning services. The right type of survey for you depends on the task you are trying to accomplish. If you have a specific question regarding the type of survey you need, please feel free to give us a call.


How Do I Choose a Surveyor?

A land surveyor should never be chosen on price alone. Registered Land surveyors vary in knowledge and ability so hire a reputable firm that you can put your trust into. Professionals, who are familiar with the locale of your property, usually are more efficient than those who are not.

If you would like a quote on a survey, click here


How Much Will a Survey Cost?

The cost for most land surveying work is based on the following variables:

  • Type of survey: Costs will increase as the required precision and scope of the survey increases.

  • Record search: This varies by (a) the number of parcels involved; (b) the number of past transactions; (c) junior/ senior rights and (d) complexity of deed description.

  • Size and shape of property: An irregularly shaped parcel has more corners to monument and lines to resolve than a rectangular parcel containing the same area.

  • Sectionalized Survey Work (Rural tracts): This could require the survey of the entire section (640 acres +) in which the land being surveyed lies, regardless of the area of the parcel. In exceptional cases, a survey of more than one section is required.

  • Terrain: A level parcel of land is easier to survey than a mountainous parcel.

  • Vegetation: Branches, brush, and small trees must frequently be cleared to afford a line of sight for the surveyor. Shrubs, flowers, and trees on home sites are normally not disturbed, but may require additional field time to perform work around them.

  • Accessibility: The time to perform the surveying work varies with the distance to, and the difficulty in reaching, the corners on the site.

  • Amount of existing evidence on the property: Existing evidence such as iron, wood, or stone monuments, old fences and occupation lines and monumentation is a considerable aid to the Surveyor.

  • Time of Year: In summer, foliage may present problems making traversing difficult. In winter, weather may slow travel to and on site.

  • Title Company Requirements: Title companies may require considerably more documentation than is normally required by the average landowner.

Because of these variables, it is difficult to determine exact fees, however, if you provide us with all the information requested on the survey quote form, we can provide an accurate quote.


What is an Elevation Certificate?

The elevation certificate is an important administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and an important risk management tool for property owners with buildings currently classified within FEMA designated Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). An elevation certificate

An Elevation Certificate, or FEMA Certificate, is a form developed and issued by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and completed by a Professional Surveyor and Mapper. This form identifies the flood and non-flood hazard areas in which a particular property is located. The form also provides information of property . Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), and physical attributes and elevations of the subject property and building. The Elevation Certificate is used by insurance agents for the purpose of quoting your property flood insurance rates and for construction process.


What is the Use of an Elevation Certificate?

The elevation certificate is used primarily:

1. By insurance agents and insurance companies to determine the proper flood insurance premium rates for property owners purchasing flood insurance policies through the NFIP.

2. By property owners to support a request to FEMA for a Letter Of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter Of Map Revision (LOMR) to remove a building from a SFHA.

3. By local building officials during the development process to ensure that all newly constructed buildings comply with community floodplain management ordinances, which are based upon federal floodplain regulations set by FEMA.

4. By federally regulated lending institutions, and their flood zone determination vendors, to correct geographic errors made during the standard flood zone determination process.


Are Elevation Certificates Required to Purchase Flood Insurance in all Flood Zone Classifications?

No. Elevation certificates are required in order to properly rate post-FIRM buildings, which are buildings constructed after the publication of the first FIRM in a particular community for flood insurance zones A1-A30. AE, AH, A (with BFE), VE, V1-V30. V (with BFE), AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/A1-A30, AR/AH, and AR/AO. All of these flood zones are SFHA, where federal law requires federally regulated lending institutions (mortgage companies) to mandate the purchase of flood insurance coverage for loans where buildings located in the SFHA represent collateral.

Elevation certificates are not required to buy flood coverage for pre-FIRM buildings in the flood zones listed in the paragraph above, in A and V zones without BFE, in moderate risk flood zones B, X (shaded) and X500, and in low risk flood zones C and X (un-shaded).


Do Elevation Certificates Reduce Flood Insurance Premiums?

Very often, flood insurance premiums are reduced through the use of elevation certificates. In the absence of the data and information provided on elevation certificates, flood insurance companies assume the worst case scenario and charge the highest rates. Many property owners elect to purchase elevation certificates for pre-FIRM buildings in the high-risk flood zones to determine if the flood insurance premium rate would be lower if the buildings were rated according to post-FIRM rules. The property owner maintains the right to choose the lowest premium after premiums are calculated pre-FIRM and post-FIRM, so elevation certificates do not cause premiums to increase in these situations.


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