Table of Contents

3 min read Jul 06, 2023

What Is a Land Survey?

A land survey is an essential discipline that involves the measurement, analysis, and mapping of the Earth’s surface and its features. It encompasses the precise determination of land boundaries.

These land surveys play a crucial role in various sectors, including real estate.

Land surveying also helps in the creation of accurate topographic maps and the establishment of reference points for construction projects. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a home, you may need to have a land survey conducted on the property.

Why You Need A Land Survey?

A land survey is crucial for multiple reasons.

  1. Determines Accurate Boundaries
  2. Provides Topographic Information
  3. Reveals Potential Encroachments
  4. Secure Financing and Insurance:

Whether you’re buying or selling land, building a structure, or resolving boundary disputes, a land survey is vital to make informed decisions.

Types of Land Surveys

There are several types of land surveys, each serving specific purposes. Here are some common types:

  • Boundary Survey: A boundary survey determines the legal boundaries, identifying corners and lines. It establishes the extent of a property with precision.
  • Topographic Survey: A topographic survey maps the physical features of a land parcel. It includes elevations, contours, trees, buildings, roads, and other natural or man-made elements.
  • Construction Survey: During construction, surveys are conducted to ensure structures adhere to design plans. They verify the accurate placement and alignment of the building components.
  • Subdivision Survey: A subdivision survey divides larger land parcels into smaller lots. Therefore, it ensures compliance with regulations and creates legal descriptions for each subdivided lot.
  • Cadastral Survey: Cadastral surveys establish and maintain public land records. Afterward, they document ownership, boundaries, rights, and interests for taxation and land management.
  • GPS Survey: GPS surveys utilize satellite technology to determine and record accurate coordinates. Consequently, they enable the precise mapping of specific points on the Earth’s surface.
  • Floodplain Survey: A floodplain survey identifies and maps flood-prone areas. Therefore, it aids in floodplain management, insurance assessments, and land-use planning.

How Much Does A Land Survey Cost?

On average, land surveying can cost from $500 to $3,000.

However, the cost of a land survey can vary widely depending on the location and size of your property. Simple boundary surveys for small residential properties may be on the lower end of the range.

On the other hand, complex surveys for larger properties or surveys with additional features like topographic mapping or subdivision planning tend to have higher costs. These expenses are due to the increased time, expertise, and resources required to accurately complete such surveys.

Contact local surveyors to obtain specific quotes based on your unique survey requirements.

What Does a Land Survey Include?

Land surveying typically includes the following elements:

  • Boundary Determination: It establishes the legal boundaries of the property. Therefore, a property survey helps in identifying and marking corner points.
  • Measurement and Documentation: Accurately measuring and documenting distances, angles, and other relevant data related to the property boundaries.
  • Topographic Mapping: Mapping and recording the physical features of the land, such as elevations, contours, trees, buildings, roads, and other man-made or natural features.
  • Encroachment Identification: Identifying any encroachments, such as structures or improvements, that extend beyond the property boundaries.
  • Easement Identification: Determining and documenting any easements or rights-of-way that may affect the use of the property.

» What is a Land Contract: Learn more about how a land survey and contract are related

Bottom Line

In conclusion, a land survey is an essential tool for property owners, buyers, and developers. It provides accurate information about property boundaries, physical features, and potential restrictions.

Overall, it ensures accurate legal descriptions, helps prevent disputes, supports responsible land management, and enables informed decision-making.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is land surveying?

Land surveying is determining and documenting the boundaries, dimensions, and characteristics of a property for legal and development purposes.

What do land surveyors do?

Land surveyors measure, analyze, and map the land to determine property boundaries. Additionally, they determine topographic features, and provide essential data for construction and development projects.

How can I obtain a survey of my property?

To obtain a survey of your property, you can hire a licensed land surveyor.


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