1. How much does a survey cost?
Due to the nature of the work, there is no way to figure a per acre or per parcel type of price. Factors such as the legal description of the property, vegetation, & previous survey records are used when pricing a survey. Pricing a survey is free and can usually be done without leaving the office. Please provide us with a legal description of the property to be surveyed.
2. Why do you need my legal description? Where can I get it?
A legal description contains a written description of the boundaries of a parcel of land. We have no way of referencing a parcel through its tax number, address, etc. The best place to get the legal description is from the deed or from a title insurance policy that was prepared when the property was purchased.
3. Will the legal description on my tax bill suffice? Can I get the legal description from my township/city?
The only government entity that normally keeps deeds on file is the county Register of Deeds office. A copy of your deed may be obtained there, but it may take a little research. It is helpful to know the grantor/grantee and the year of the purchase. The legal description contained in a tax bill is generated by an assessor for assessing purposes, not for conveyance purposes. Since the description is only used for assessing purposes, usually they are shortened and abbreviated and may leave out important details that the original deed may have provided.
4. How will my property be marked?
For most surveys, we will mark the property corners only. If the property has been surveyed before, our ultimate goal is to find the original property markers. Usually they are some type of steel rod or pipe. If we find an existing property corner, we will wrap it in pink flagging and place a 3' wood stake next to it. If we have to set a new property corner, we will place a 1/2" x 18" piece of re-bar with a plastic cap on top. The cap will be marked with "CLS" and our license numbers. This would also be wrapped with pink ribbon and marked with a 3' wood stake. Extra wood stakes may also be placed along a property line for an extra fee.
5. There was a survey when I bought my property, why can't I find the property corners?
Most lenders only require a Mortgage Report for a loan. Unfortunately, most lenders, realtors, title insurance companies also usually refer to them as surveys or mortgage surveys. Mortgage reports are prepared for a lender so that they can be reasonably assured that there are no survey related issues that would be detrimental to the value of their loan. They do not include staking of property lines or corners. If you can find a copy of the drawing provided at closing it should state whether property corners were marked or not.
6. Do you use GPS? Is a GPS survey better than a conventional survey?
Yes, we do have a real time kinematic (RTK) GPS system that we use for some surveys. GPS is just another tool in the surveyor's tool box. GPS enables us to use smaller field crews on some surveys and for some surveys significantly speeds up the measuring process. GPS does not however make a survey appreciably more accurate, and so may or may not be used on any specific survey.
7. Do you work in the winter?
Yes. Some surveys are more easily performed in the winter such as those that involve heavy vegetation, swamps, and/or wetlands.