Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Surveying?

Per Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of “surveying” is the measurement of dimensional relationships, as horizontal distances, elevations, directions, and angles, on the earth’s surface especially for use in locating property boundaries, construction layout and mapping.

Why would I need a Survey?

There are many reasons for having a survey performed, however the most common reasons relate to the sale or purchase of land, either for residential, agricultural or commercial use. A survey can alert you to encroachments, locate existing or set property corners and assist in the resolution of boundary disputes. Other reasons for having a survey might include:


  • Your financial institution may require a new or updated survey for financing.
  • To determine the location of property lines for the construction of privacy fencing or other improvements to the property.
  • Property line dispute between adjoining landowners.


How do I find a Qualified Surveyor?

Surveying is a highly technical profession requiring a special knowledge of the principals of mathematics, the related physical and applied sciences and the relevant requirements of law. As with most professions, the qualifications and experience level of surveyors vary considerably, and cost should not be the only deciding factor for selection of a surveyor. We would suggest that you ask your Attorney or Realtor for a recommendation.

What is a “Boundary” or “Property Line Survey”? (For Sample, Click Here)

This is an accurate survey made to establish or reestablish boundary lines on the ground or obtain data for preparation of a map or plan. Plans will generally show the boundary lines and evidence of the same, buildings, monuments found or set, encroachments and other items affecting the property being surveyed. The surveyor will normally research records at the county courthouse as they relate to the property surveyed and adjoining properties. If deed descriptions or evidence on the ground are vague or conflicting, research and field investigation can be more extensive. The survey plan is relied upon for the preparation of a legal description of the property.

How much does a Survey cost?

The cost of a survey will vary due to many factors, including, but not limited to, the size of the lot, parcel, or tract of land, the topography of the land, the quality of deed descriptions and the existence of prior surveys for the property and any adjoining properties. It is not uncommon to run into problems or discrepancies while performing the deed research or at a site which can also affect the final cost. To obtain an estimate visit our Request a Quote page and provide the requested information.

What is an ALTA survey?

An ALTA (American Land Title Association) survey is a boundary survey prepared to a set of minimum standards that have been jointly prepared and adopted by the ALTA/ACSM (American Congress of Surveying and Mapping). Additionally, an ALTA survey shows improvements, easements, rights-of-way, and other elements impacting the ownership of land. An ALTA Survey is often prepared for commercial properties, as it will provide the title company with the information required to insure the title to the land and improvements to the high degree that a commercial development may require. In addition to the minimum standards set forth, a table of optional elements is included in the ALTA/ACSM standards. A careful review of the elements from the optional “Table A” is helpful in delineating a clear scope of the land surveyor’s services.

A current title commitment is required before an ALTA Survey can be completed. The surveyor will refer to the title commitment for the legal description of the property and for the legal description of any encumbrances (exceptions). Areas of ownership, improvements and encumbrances will be shown graphically. If the survey discovers any encroachments, they should be shown graphically, and a note indicating the nature of the encroachment may also be added.

The certification language of the ALTA Survey should include the names of the affected parties, including, as appropriate, the buyer, seller, title company, and lender. The surveyor must work in close association with the title insurance company, as the surveyor and the title company are relying on each other’s work to show the matters affecting the ownership of the land and improvements in a comprehensive manner.