How Much Does a Land Survey Cost?
In short, land surveys tell you exactly where your property lines end. In other words, land surveys are binding, professionally certified pieces of evidence that precisely state the true and legal boundaries of your property. A survey most likely needed when you carry out major renovations or additions on your house or land.
If you need help finding your exact property lines, let us help you connect with the right land surveyor near you!
National Hire a Land Surveyor Costs
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Table of Contents
- Land Survey Cost
- Property Survey Cost Factors
- Why Do A Land Survey?
- Surveyor’s Liability
- What Other Services Land Surveyors Provide
- Land Surveyor Hiring Tips
- How To Find Property Line Without Land Surveyor
- How To Find A Land Surveyor Near Me
Land Survey Cost
Several factors shape the final bill of a land survey. The cost of hiring a professional surveyor is not so straightforward as paying for routine repair work or other general home services. The price varies widely not only by locality and surveyor, but also by dozens of project-specific details. Nationally, the average cost to purchase a land survey is about $456 with a range between $367 and nearly $490. Again, these figures can vary greatly based on location and a myriad of other factors.
Property Survey Cost Factors
Even after analyzing over 2,000 land survey projects, the average price above may not be accurate for your parcel or area. That’s because there are plenty of factors that can increase or decrease your property survey cost.
To no surprise, the larger the land, the higher your land survey cost will be. A 1-acre lot will cost less to survey than 2,000 acres. That’s because there is more area the land surveyor must monitor. In addition, if you live in rural area without a fence, it’s more difficult to find the exact property line. Sadly, this raises your final land survey cost.
The terrain is important. Much like a roof, the more difficult the terrain, the higher your cost will be. That’s why high-pitched roofs cost more to install or repair than flat roofs. But when it comes to land surveys, difficult terrains with significant tree cover or underbrush costs more, as do disputed boundaries. It’s just two more factors that make the land surveyor’s job more complicated.
Research & Travel Time
Believe it or not, certain properties have been looked at more than others. If your property falls in the latter, then it may be more difficult to research your property. Sadly, that raises land survey prices.
Finally, surveyors also account for travel time to the job site. More gas means a higher land survey cost per acre.
Why Do A Land Survey?
If you already own your land, why get a land survey? Well, there are plenty of reasons to do so and believe it or not, plenty of homeowners pay for a professional land survey even if they are not selling their home.
Settle Neighbor Disputes
If you’re lucky, you get along with your neighbors. If not, then it surely pays to have a land survey handy. That’s because when it comes to fence installations, landscaping updates or any other exterior upgrades along property lines, a land survey will undoubtedly solve your neighbor dispute. Bear in mind, even if you do not live near another home, many municipalities have guidelines as far as how close you can build a fence to the property lines. The survey will tell you where those property lines are.
As you may have noticed from your property taxes, they don’t stay stagnant for years. They change and that can be due to inflation, new construction, remodels and various other factors. Nonetheless, whenever the County Assessors Office evaluates your taxes, they need to look at a certified land survey (if one is present). Presenting this survey and/or having it if you protest your tax increase will certainly encourage them to keep your taxes down.
Determine Size of Land
Most of us know the size of our home, but few know the size of the land or parcel. While your land size doesn’t come up in day-to-day conversation, it will certainly come in handy when buying a new house.
When researching homes, you must determine the price per square foot for the actual house and the property. The County Assessors Office is not always correct, so don’t consider information on their website as the end all, be all. As you might expect, your land cost per square foot is not only important when selling your home, but also comparing to proposed properties.
Land surveys are conducted and guaranteed by a licensed professional surveyor. If you ever go to court over a land dispute, like with a neighbor, your professional land survey will surely be addressed.
See other reasons you should get a land survey at Why You Should Get A Land Survey.
When you order a survey, you are not only paying for the surveyor's time and work; you are also paying for their solid professional standing. When a surveyor certifies his or her work, that means they will defend it in court if challenged. If there are losses, damages or a boundary dispute caused by an erroneous land survey, the surveyor is held responsible rather than the property owner.
The extent of this liability is determined by state law and usually lasts five to 10 years after the survey has been completed. That is why it is important to find and hire a fully licensed and insured surveyor, preferably one that has been in business for many years. Their liability factors into the land survey cost because property owners are not only buying a survey, but also peace of mind for many years to come. Surveyors who take on greater liability may charge more for their services.
What Other Services Land Surveyors Provide
Land surveys near you do more than draw a big line around your property. There are plenty of other tasks surveys can accomplish. If you’re paying $456 to get a land survey, you might as well use them for what’s worth.
Land surveyors can:
- Prepare legal descriptions of property lines
- Find property lines
- Adjust boundary lines
- Settle property line discrepancies (like with neighbors)
- Prepare maps of property
- Locate utility lines (very important with additions or other exterior remodeling projects)
Land Survey or Hiring Tips
Land surveys are not as popular as bathroom or kitchen remodels, so it’s understandable why most homeowners don’t know what to look for when hiring. Fear not, as we list a few simple tips for hiring any land surveyor near you.
- Talk to friends and family. The best way to find a local and reliable surveyor (or any contractor for that matter) is to ask around. Unlike certain review websites, your friends and family have no reason to lie.
- Contact the County Assessors Office. They most likely have a list of reliable surveys in your area.
- Get multiple quotes. As we have said time and time again, always get multiple quotes for any remodeling or survey project. Quite often, the right pro is not the first or cheapest pro that comes in. Discounted bids usually come with discounted work and that can hurt greatly should you ever get into a land legal battle.
- Know exactly what you need done. It helps knowing exactly what you want accomplished before you start your research. This way, you can ensure all bids include the exact same work.
How To Find Property Line Without Land Surveyor
While it’s certainly not common and won’t help you if you find your way into a land dispute, some homeowners create a land survey themselves. Since you won’t be able to use this in court, we only recommend conducting your own land survey if you need to determine your land price per square foot.
Before you start, it helps to have a few handy tools:
- Measuring Tape
- Plumb Bob
Now, we can begin:
- Start from a known point. Check your property sale documents, your deed or the County Assessors Office to find one boundary of your land.
- Measure the distance, along the lines, according to the deed.
- Every 15 feet or so, it helps to dig stakes into the ground and mark off with your ribbon.
- Remember to keep your string and ribbon level (using the plumb bob). You must account for hills.
- Find the corner or end of boundary, hopefully with your deed, and turn.
- Complete the square or plat of land and make sure all ribbon is level.
- Measure the square footage.
As you might expect, this can be a confusing DIY project. For a more detailed explanation, please see Mother Earth News.
How To Find A Land Surveyor Near Me
If you’ve never seen your land survey and can’t find one on the Country Assessor’s website, then its time to find a land surveyor. As you can see, surveying provides a clear benefit to owners, in both peace of mind and meaningful legal protection.
As always, if you need help researching, we can connect you with up to four reliable land surveyors in your area!
Last updated on Jan 31, 2017
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