Below are some Frequently Asked Questions.
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A Boundary Survey
For most people the purchase of a home or other legal property represents the largest single investment of a
lifetime. A casual inspection of
your property will not be sufficient to determine its boundaries or discover encroachments of buildings, fences and other iomprovments on your land or that of your neighbors.
There are many questions you should ask before
you purchase or sell land. The most important are:
1. Exactly where are the physical boundaries of the property that I have contracted to purchase or sell?
2. Are the physical improvements (House,
Garage, Fences, etc.) actually on the property? A currently-dated boundary survey locates upon the ground, the land that
your deed describes and any improvements thereon.
Why are these Questions Important
They are important because the property describes in a contract often is
not exactly as it was shown or appeared to the purchaser. Sometimes
property that has been improved and maintained by a seller actually
belongs to a neighbor. The property lines may go through a garden, a
garage, or even a house. Occasionally, a contract describes completely
different land than was shown to the purchaser.
Who can Answer these Questions
Only a professional land surveyor legally licensed and registered to practice
land surveying is qualified to provide a survey which may hep answer these
vital questions. A licensed professional land surveyor is an expert at
interpreting descriptions of property and is uniquely qualified to locate
property lines. The services of an attorney will, among other things, assure an understanding of the survey, title search and other documents
necessary to the transaction, as well as the obligations incurred by signing a given
What will a Professional Land Surveyor do to Answer these Questions
The surveyor will review the necessary documents furnished to him/her
affecting your property. Then a field survey will be conducted, searching
for and obtaining evidence of property boundaries and locating any visible
improvements on or near the property. When the field survey is complete,
the measurements are mathematically checked and the documents
compared with the evidence found. After the locations are determined by
the surveyor, a report is prepared in the form of a survey map.
What will the survey Map Show
The survey map will show the location and dimensions of the property
lines. It will also show the location of other lines that affect the property as
described in your documents. It will note any variations from the described
angles, lengths and areas that the surveyor may find. The map will also
depict the location of visible improvements on or near the property and the
relation of those improvements ti the property’s boundary. It may show the improvements that you saw actually belongs to a neighbor
or that a part of land is being used by others. It may show you that the easements, reserved for others in the deed, is just the place where you
thought your pool might go someday. It is possible that there will be
evidence of an easement that was not recorded. A survey will aid your attorney in evaluating the effect of any covenants and/or restrictions
on the property.
Are your Interests Protected by an Old Survey or no Survey at all?
A previous survey may not accurately depict current conditions.
A survey done for a previous owner was done for a specific purpose and
may not be transferable to subsequent purchasers.
Can an “affidavit of no change” or “Affirmative
Insurance”guarantee that your interest are protected?
By accepting an affidavit, landowners may be their security by relying upon
the opinion of someone who is not qualified to make decisions of
determinations regarding boundary line locations.
What will a Survey Cost
The cost of surveys differ because of varying sizes and locations of
properties. Such things as the complexity of the descriptions, terrain and
the shape of the property are factors which must be considered. As a
result, only a professional land surveyor can accurately estimate the cost of
a survey. The cost of a survey can range from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars. Most professional land surveyors are
willing to discuss their fees and offer an estimate before you authorize the survey. You should keep in mind that the cost of a survey represents a very small percentage of your total investment, and it can help you avoid
costly and painful problems in the future.
Where can I find a Qualified Professional Land Surveyor?
All land surveys in New York State must be performed by a
professional land surveyor who has been licensed and registered to practice
in the state. Surveyors who are members of South Central Association of
Professional Land Surveyors are all licensed and registered to practice in
New York State. In addition, they have subscribed to the “Code of
Practice for Land Surveys” adopted by the South Central Association of
Professional Land Surveyors. This code is designed to help maintain a high
standard of care and precision in the preparation of land surveys.
Protect your Interest
The professional land survey locates the property upon which
improvements are planned and constructed. His/her professional services
will cost less in time, worry and expense than the cost of moving a building,
relocating improvements or defending a lawsuit in court due to a land
boundary controversy. Retain a licensed land surveyor prior to the
investment of funds as a protection in your interest.