Getting Your Property Surveyed

By Matt Valzania

California-SurveyAll properties on LandCentral are undeveloped, and most have not been surveyed recently. Having land surveyed is not a requirement of ownership. You don’t need to have your property professionally surveyed in order to own, use or enjoy the land. However, there are many cases where property owners find surveys useful.

What is a Land Survey?

A land survey is an inspection of your land by a professional land surveyor. They mark the physical boundaries of your property and record the results in county records.

Best Times to Get Your Land Surveyed:

1. When you want to take out a construction loan to build a house.
2. Before you fence in all, or a portion, of the land.
3. Before you put in a driveway or improve an easement to, or over, your property

Most zoning has a required setback from the property line. An example might be that buildings can only be constructed 20 feet from the front line, 15 feet from the side lines and 25 feet from the back line of the property. If you are unsure of where your boundaries lie, it can be difficult to know exactly where to legally place your house or shed. This is why many lenders giving out construction loans will require that the land be professionally surveyed first.

How Do I Get my Land Surveyed?

All areas of the country have professional land surveyors that should be easy to find by searching the internet or the local phone book. Most areas will have several companies to choose from. Just like with any contractor, you will want to choose your surveyor carefully.

Contact local surveying firms to get cost estimates. They will want the assessor’s parcel number, the legal description, the size and the street address, if any, of your property. A good firm will check for any past surveys done on your property. Review the total cost as well as the retainer required up front. Review their timeline. Then choose the surveyor that seems like the best choice.

What Will I Get with my Survey:

When the survey is done you should receive a signed certificate from the company.
The surveyor will place monuments (often metal stakes) at your property corners. These markers will contain the surveyor’s license number. A “Record of Survey Map” will be prepared showing the location of these markers, and it will be recorded in county records.

How Much Does the Survey Cost?

Survey prices vary from state to state, and from land-parcel to land-parcel. Some things that may affect the cost of your land survey:
Shape and size of your property
If a survey has been done before; are the markers still on the property?
Location of the property: how close to the survey office, how far off paved roads, etc.
Type of terrain and vegetation on your land
Time of Year

Example: LandCentral contacted a survey company in Arizona and asked for an estimate for a one acre parcel, with good access, in a subdivision property about 45 miles from the closest major city. The company estimated that the cost would be about $750.00 and would take three to four weeks.

Looking for vacant land?

LandCentral sells affordable and accessible vacant properties nationwide

View Available Properties